100 inspiring color combinations (+ free color palette generator)

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Color is often synonymous with branding. Brands use color combinations to communicate their identity. Iconic color combinations can make a brand’s materials instantly recognizable, even without their name, logo, or product anywhere in the design.

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PayPal uses a monochromatic blue across their website and app. UPS has a complementary color combination of brown and gold that makes their uniforms and trucks recognizable wherever they are. Google uses a bright color palette, combining four colors—blue, red, yellow, and green—which contrasts against the company’s clean white web background.

Google’s iconic color palette replicated with hex codes for web and RGB and CMYK for printing in Canva’s color wheel tool.

As you build your brand(opens in a new tab or window), finding the perfect color combinations makes your designs and materials eye-catching, polished, and aligned with your brand identity(opens in a new tab or window). Color makes a design come alive. It can attract attention, set a mood(opens in a new tab or window), and even influence our emotions and perceptions(opens in a new tab or window).

Creating color combinations for the multitude of materials you need to create for your brand can be a challenge. We’ve done the hard work for you, giving you 100 color combinations based on nature, food and drink, travel, and everyday items to inspire your designs.

Below you will find examples of 100 different color combinations to inspire you. Or you can use our Color Wheel(opens in a new tab or window) to show you what colors look good together:

A guide to applying color theory principles

Colors have different properties and can be categorized in a few different ways. An understanding of the fundamental color types will help you to combine them to create dynamic color combinations and effects.

Understanding color varieties

The RGB color wheel is made up of primary colors and the different hues that can be created by combining them.

  • Primary Colors - Red(opens in a new tab or window), Blue(opens in a new tab or window), and Yellow(opens in a new tab or window). The building blocks of the color wheel—these three colors can be mixed together in varying ratios to create any other color.
  • Secondary Colors - Orange, Green, and Purple. These colors are created by mixing an even amount of two primary colors.
  • Tertiary Colors - Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet. Tertiary colors are made by mixing unbalanced quantities of the primary colors. They don’t have set names, so you may see them called by more specific terms, such as Chartreuse for Yellow-Green or Teal for Blue-Green.

An overview of color combinations

Colors have infinite variations, and we have more terms to talk about the intensity and quality of those color combinations. You can play with tint, shade, tone, and saturation(opens in a new tab or window) to give your color combinations more nuance.

  • Hue - The primary property of a color along the RGB color spectrum.
  • Tint - A base color combined with white in varying quantities creates a tint.
  • Shade - A base color combined with black in varying quantities creates a shade.
  • Tone - A base color combined with gray in varying quantities creates a tone.
  • Saturation - Saturation (sometimes called intensity) refers to the amount of hue or color present. A saturated image will be very bright with full-hue colors. A desaturated image will be in gray tones from black to white only.
  • Warm vs. Cool - Warm colors are in the yellow-red spectrum, while cool colors fall on the blue-green-purple spectrum. Warm colors evoke heat and active energy, while cool colors bring calming energy like cool water.

Types of color combinations

Colors take on a new impact when they are combined with each other. Two, three, four, or more colors in relationship to each other add visual interest to a design by contrasting(opens in a new tab or window) or harmonizing. Different types of color combinations and color pairings will create different types of impact based on their relationships along the color wheel. Check out Canva’s colour resources(opens in a new tab or window) for inspiration.

Monochromatic color combinations

A monochromatic color combination uses varying tints, shades, or tones of the same base hue. It is also a great color combo for creating a gradient.

Monochrome designs(opens in a new tab or window) easily create harmony, but they may miss contrast. A monochrome color combination can be subtle and conservative (for example, with dark shades of blue) or bold (like a combination of bright reds), depending on the base shade you choose.

Complementary color combinations

Complementary color combinations are colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Complementary color combinations create a feeling of energy and vitality.

Triadic color combinations

A triadic color combination is a combination that uses three colors in an equidistant triangle on the color wheel. Using this type of color combination can create feelings of peace and harmony in a design.

Analogous color combinations

An analogous color combination is a combination of two to five colors that sit adjacent to each other on the color wheel. It creates a smooth and pacifying feeling in a design. Designers often opt to choose muted shades within these color combinations.

Tetradic color combinations

The tetradic color combination includes one primary and two complementary colors with one additional color as an accent. The four colors are distributed evenly around the color wheel, so no one color is dominant over the other in a design.

Generate meaning using color combinations

Individual colors carry meaning and symbolism(opens in a new tab or window), and different color combinations can be used to evoke different emotions(opens in a new tab or window) when they are used in a design. Understanding color psychology(opens in a new tab or window) can help you use color strategically to emphasize the messages you want to convey(opens in a new tab or window) with your designs.

  • Red – danger, passion, excitement, energy
  • Pink – feminine, sentimental, romantic, exciting
  • Orange – fresh, youthful, creative, adventurous
  • Yellow – optimistic, cheerful, playful, happy
  • Green – natural, vitality, prestige, wealth
  • Blue – communicative, trustworthy, calming, depressed
  • Purple – royalty, majesty, spiritual, mysterious
  • Brown – organic, wholesome, simple, honest
  • White – purity, simplicity, innocence, minimalism
  • Black – sophisticated, formal, luxurious, sorrowful

Combining these colors allows you to build nuanced color stories that communicate through your designs. Yellow is generally a cheerful color. However, tool manufacturers and construction companies often use it in a high-contrast color scheme with more serious blacks and grays. In this color combination, yellow becomes a color of warning and action, like a high-visibility vest against a concrete wall.

Build powerful color combinations for your brand

Once you choose the colors for your brand, you can build color combinations for use across your company’s materials. Create combinations for your logo designs, posters and ads, social media posts, and landing pages which are harmonious with your brand colors. You can browse premade color combination ideas for inspiration or generate your own with Canva’s color tools.

Use a color wheel to generate color combinations

The color wheel is the best tool for experimenting with color relationships to create harmony and contrast. Canva’s color wheel tool allows you to select your desired color combinations—complementary, monochromatic, analogous, triadic, or tetradic—along the spectrum and export the resulting combinations for use in your designs.

A tetradic color combination

Use a color picker to create color combinations from a photograph

If you are using photographs in your designs or simply want to find color inspiration(opens in a new tab or window), you can use the photographic color palette generator(opens in a new tab or window). Pull inspiration from any image, whether you’re creating color combinations inspired by art(opens in a new tab or window), current color trends(opens in a new tab or window), nature, food, or your own advertising images.

Upload a photograph and the tool will automatically generate color combinations from the existing hues in the image. This tool helps to find the best color combination for any webpage or ad with a photograph in it. The tool provides hex codes(opens in a new tab or window) so you can use this palette in any of your designs, or you can download the resulting palette to add to your brand kit.

Upload your brand’s photographs to the color picker to design palettes around them.

Create a brand kit that includes your color combinations

The color combinations you generate can be included in your brand kit(opens in a new tab or window). Strong guidelines(opens in a new tab or window) for branding and design help you manage your brand(opens in a new tab or window) and use your visual identity strategically(opens in a new tab or window). Include color combinations and detail exactly where and how they should be used. If you have different marketing campaigns(opens in a new tab or window) or target markets, you can create specific variations of your brand colors(opens in a new tab or window) for use in those materials.

A brand kit can help keep your color scheme consistent.

100 color combinations to inspire your designs

Find organic color combinations in nature

01. Fresh & Bright: petal, poppy, stem, spring green

02. Subdued & Professional: mist, stone, shadow, autumn foliage

03. Dark & Earthy: crevice, cloud shadow, desert, red clay

04. Crisp & Dramatic: thunder cloud, waterfall, moss, meadow

05. Cool Blues: deep aqua, ocean, wave, seafoam

06. Outdoorsy & Natural: forest green, grass, lime, earth

07. Shady Foliage in Blue-Greens: blue black, cadet blue, rain, greenery

08. Primary Colors with a Vibrant Twist: sky, sunset, sunflower, grass

09. Refreshing & Pretty: aquamarine, turquoise, canary yellow, pink tulip

10. Playful Greens & Blues: blue pine, new grass, reflection, mist

11. Fresh & Energetic: blue sky, granite, pine, fields

12. Surf & Turf: sandstone, burnt orange, sea, lagoon

13. Autumn in Vermont: crimson, forest, rust, gold

14. Icy Blues & Grays: overcast, warm gray, ice, glacier blue

15. Birds & Berries: lavender gray, branch, berry, yellow feathers

16. Day & Night: dark navy, blueberry, tangerine, daffodil

17. Stylish & Retro: sky, sunglow, mountains, mist

18. Shades of Citrus: orange, yellow, olive green, lime

19. Sunset to Dusk: deep purple, indigo, taupe, blush

20. Bright & Tropical: hot pink, bubblegum, pollen, chartreuse

21. Warm Naturals: bark, seaweed green, bronze, goldenrod

22. Bold Berries: eggplant, strawberry, lemon lime, basil green

23. Summer Sunflower: blue, leafy green, sunflower, seeds

24. Modern & Crisp: deep green, white, plants, new growth

25. Timeless & Nautical: navy, peacock blue, ivory, candy apple

Get delicious color combinations from food & drink

26. Neutral & Versatile: slate, ceramic, latte, coffee

27. Cheerful Brights: avocado, yellow pepper, aqua blue, tomato

28. Garden Fresh: carrot, tangerine, off white, pear green

29. Summer Barbeque: green, charred, toasted, tomato

30. Berry Blues: midnight blue, indigo ink, blueberry, periwinkle

31. Lemonade Stand: cherry red, ice, marmalade, orange juice

32. Serene & Spa-Like: sage, honeydew, bluebell, raspberry

33. Fun & Tropical: electric blue, banana, watermelon, cantaloupe

34. Spicy Neutrals: cayenne, cinnamon, cream, caramel

35. Pastels: baby blue, peach, butter, butterscotch

36. Bold & Cultured: fig, apple red, swiss cheese, basil

37. Sunny Citrus: citrus, grapefruit, ruby red, off white

38. Crisp Complementary Colors: golden delicious, granny smith, ripe apple, red delicious

39. Warm & Rustic: mushroom, onion, red pepper, driftwood

40. Neon Night: caviar, avocado, salmon, black seaweed

41. Warm Jewel Tones: purple onion, ripe tomato, lemon, spices

42. Polished & Inviting: linen, oyster, pewter, lemon tea

43. Fresh Greens: emerald, green bean, light green, cotton

44. Wintery Reds: berry, cherry, chiffon, smoke

45. Summer Fiesta: avocado, cilantro, lox, toast

46. Chocolaty Browns: cocoa, chocolate, toffee, frosting

47. Naturally Elegant: yellow pear, moss green, umber, gold

48. Cozy & Warm: red onion, spicy, parsnip, peppercorn

49. Violet Sunset: stoneground, lapis, salmon, peppercorn

50. Strawberries & Cream: strawberry, papaya, milk, granola

Find inspiration in color combinations around the world

51. Grecian Holiday: grecian blue, sea, plaster, coral

52. Bold & Basic: night, phone booth red, pearl, flash

53. Vineyard Neutrals: dark, wine, clay, dusty rose

54. Modern & Urban: sunshine, steel blue, bone, coal

55. Misty Mountain Greens: forest, evergreen, pine, fog

56. Sunkissed Village: terracotta, honey, biscotti, stone

57. Sun & Sky: cerulean blue, mustard, asphalt, shadow

58. Aqua Blues: peacock blue, deep aqua, lichen, mist

59. Urban Oasis: leaves, bark, marble, brownstone

60. Candy-Coated Brights: orange, fuschia, lemon drop, blue raspberry

61. Muted & Antique: Robin’s egg blue, nectar, tuscan red, olive

62. Classy & Timeless: midnight blue, dusk, golden, bronze

63. Cosmopolitan: blue-gray, steel, pewter, blush

64. Cheerful & Friendly: dark teal, arctic, white cloud, brick

65. Nightlife Neons: cyan, magenta, yellow, black

66. Coastal Sky: powder blue, clouds, sand, palm

67. Maritime Brights: saltwater, lagoon, whitewash, raspberry

68. Vintage Charm: honeysuckle, warm gray, putty, faded roses

69. Understated & Versatile: stormy sea, fog, rust, charcoal

70. Arctic Sunrise: sunrise, blue topaz, cerulean, icicle

71. Mediterranean Afternoon: currant, scarlet, marigold, cobblestone

72. Hazy Grays: blue-green, waterway, haze, smog

73. City Sights: fire engine red, light gray, denim, concrete

74. Retro & Relaxing: ginger, light gray, oat, concrete

75. Green Fields: split pea, camouflage, light, grass

Pull color combinations from everyday items

76. Distinctive & Unexpected: turquoise, cool gray, brownish purple, orange red

77. Sleek & Modern: blue-black, cool gray, white, cobalt

78. Orange Accent: wood veneer, sand dollar, charcoal, orange

79. Beyond Black & White: turquoise, lipstick, grayish white, black

80. Shabby Chic Neutrals: metal, kraft paper, newsprint, pewter

81. Warm & Cool: faded navy, punch, ocean breeze, warm

82. Industrial & in Control: ink, aluminum, paper, ruby red

83. Autumn Oranges: pumpkin, cantaloupe, cotton, hot chocolate

84. Pool Party: royal blue, pool blue, orange juice, blood orange

85. Classic Metallics: black steel, paper, gold leaf, silver

86. Subtle & Versatile: blue-green, minty, faded red, oatmeal

87. Professional & Traditional: brick red, gloss white, matte black, medium gray

88. Light & Natural: stone, sage, buttermilk, leather

89. Shadowy & Dramatic: slate, neon red, crepe, brown gray

90. Golden Afternoon: burgundy, oatmeal, cinder, goal

91. Dark & Handsome: mahogany, chestnut, leather, parchment

92. Technology Meets Nature: buttercup, silver plate, dark, green

93. Cheerful Blues + Pink: soft pink, warm white, bright blue, aegean blue

94. Wild & High-Impact: onyx, taupe, firework, oceanic

95. Back to School: wood, pencil yellow, orange, pink eraser

96. Bright & Painterly: ultramarine, watermelon, sunshine, turquoise

97. Urban Living: soft gray, blackish, houseplant, blue-gray

98. Retro Kitchen: mint, red, porcelain, fresh blue

99. Smoky Purples: warm gray, dark bluish gray, beige, mauve

100. Trendy & Metropolitan: dark aqua, gold, charcoal, gray

Find organic color combinations in nature

The natural world is a great source of design inspiration. Colors found in nature can harmonize or contrast, but our familiarity with the natural world means the resulting color combinations will still feel harmonious and organic. These color combinations can be great to use when you want to evoke associations with health and vitality, outdoors activities, or environmental consciousness.

1. Fresh & Bright

Image by u2tryololo via Flickr

Fresh greenery and colorful blossoms make springtime a welcome sight after a long winter. Thiscolor combination features bright shades of green and coral that will make your design pop. These types of colors are perfect for a spring or summer event poster or an advertisement that wants to communicate a fresh, youthful feeling.

2. Subdued & Professional

Image by Vincent D’Amico

Red and blue are common colors for branding, and for good reason. Red says “confident and powerful,” while blue says “calming and trustworthy.” This color combination offers a little bit of both, with slightly muted shades that aren’t overpowering. The brick red adds a burst of extra color to the more conservative blues while still keeping a professional look.

3. Dark & Earthy

Image by Wolfgang Staudt

Desert landscapes are full of complex shades of brown, purple, and red, and so is this color combination. For an unexpected color combination that is toned down, try this combination of plum and reddish oranges.

4. Crisp & Dramatic

Image by Alexander Shchukin

Iceland’s natural beauty is legendary, and this color combination finds inspiration in its dramatic contrasts. The warm, grayish undertones of the top two colors contrast nicely with the cooler greens. The range of lighter and darker shades makes it easy to combine any two or three of the colors and have them still complement each other.

5. Cool Blues

Image by Sunova Surfboards

Monochromatic color combinations (made up of the various tints, tones, or shades of one color) are extremely versatile. While this combination may not qualify as monochromatic according to the technical definition, it creates a similar visual effect. With a color as versatile as blue, this combination could be used just about anywhere.

6. Outdoorsy & Natural

Image by PapaPiper via Flickr

If you have a brand or need a design that emphasizes natural or green-friendly qualities, greens and browns are a logical choice. This color combination brightens things up with a splash of lime green for emphasis.

7. Shady Foliage in Blue-Greens

Another winner for any brand looking to emphasize its eco-credentials. This moody color combination of watery shaded greens has a subtle sophistication.

8. Primary Colors with a Vibrant Twist

Image by Clint Losee

Bright colors have undeniable eye-catching power. This primary color combination is ever-so-slightly muted, giving the palette a muted sunset effect.

9. Refreshing & Pretty

Crisp turquoise hues set off bright yellow and bubblegum pink for a color combination almost reminiscent of Easter candy. You can also leave the pink out and opt for the aqua shades and yellow for a bright, clean combination.

10. Playful Greens & Blues

Image by Shandi-lee Cox

The bluish shades at the top and bottom of this selection have gray undertones. This muting makes them almost neutral—a great foundation for playing with more daring tones like the lime green.

11. Fresh & Energetic

The almost neon shades of blue and green balance out the more conservative colors and add a bright freshness that gives the color combination some kick. This kind of scheme might work well for a fitness brand or any design that needs to balance a businesslike feel with an energetic vibe.

12. Surf & Turf

This landscape of sea and stone features warm and cool colors in bright and subdued shades. The beachy, mellow color combination brings to mind relaxing island vacations. This is one example of how we can associate color with certain places, moods, or emotions.

13. Autumn in Vermont

These earthy colors are rustic, evoking woodsy autumnal feelings. This color combination would be perfect for anyone looking to add a rugged or down-to-earth touch to their brand.

14. Icy Blues & Grays

Contrast warm grays with cool, glacial blues for a dynamic color combination. Blue and gray can be an understated combination, but the icy brightness of the blue here brings more visual energy. Try these lighter, brighter hues rather than opting for navy and dark gray if you want to add some vibrancy to your designs.

15. Birds & Berries

Much like the image, this color combination brings to mind the first moments of spring and the newly emerging flowers, buds, and berries.

16. Day & Night

This color combination is a perfect example of the power of contrast. The strong, bright hues of the yellow and orange are balanced by the indigo and navy tones, creating an overall effect that is graphic and powerful.

17. Stylish & Retro

The muted shades in this color combination have a vintage vibe. Light aqua and gold were popular in interior and graphic design in the 1950s and ’60s, but that doesn’t mean this combination looks dated. These colors have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years along with mid-century modern design style.

18. Shades of Citrus

Nothing says liveliness more than these varied citrus hues. Orange, yellow, and lime green are the perfect choices if you want a color combination that suggests freshness and vitality.

19. Sunset to Dusk

The colors that are seen across the sky as the sun sets and moves toward twilight come in a wide range of peaches and blues. This color combination creates a soft and sophisticated palette that will make any design unique.

20. Bright & Tropical

A color combination so tropical you can almost feel the warm breeze on your skin—these warm colors will add a youthful energy and vitality to your next design.

21. Warm Naturals

Think of changing leaves and the various shades of brown, red, orange, and green of the foliage. Use this color combination to create a design that is appealing and cozy.

22. Bold Berries

This color combination balances out bright red with soft brown, yellow, and green. This combination can be used to create designs that are bright and fun while the fresh, natural tones keep it soothing.

23. Summer Sunflower

This color combination has an outdoor feel to it, like a summer baseball game or a field of sunflowers. This combination uses bright primary and secondary colors, with a slightly muted orange that lets the blue-yellow end of the spectrum be visually dominant.

24. Modern & Crisp

Pairing black and white with bright, crisp shades of green makes for a modern color combination that is sophisticated without being too serious. Instead of pairing red or blue with your black and white, freshen things up with some green.

25. Timeless & Nautical

This is a classic color combination. Neutral navy and ivory play off the red and peacock blue in this combination.

Get delicious color combinations from food & drink

Food evokes feelings of hunger and mouth-watering cravings. Edible goods are an obvious inspiration for restaurants and food producers. They can also be used strategically to stoke the appetite of your viewers for whatever it is you’re designing.

26. Neutral & Versatile

Neutral color combinations like these shades of gray and tan are versatile and can be paired with almost anything. This color combination can have different effects based on how it’s used. It can give an upscale and sophisticated effect, like the branding for a luxury hotel, if it favors the grays. Otherwise, it can create a calming and comfortable feeling, like a neighborhood coffee shop, if you use more of the brown and taupe.

27. Cheerful Brights

Bold but not overly bright, this color combination is eye-catching and cheery while remaining sophisticated.

28. Garden Fresh

Orange is often associated with energy—and what's more energetic than these two complementary orange tones? The off-white and pear green colors balance the color combination, creating a fresh feel.

29. Summer Barbeque

This color combination is pure nostalgia. It evokes memories of warm summer afternoons, hanging out in the backyard, and just enjoying the day.

30. Berry Blues

An effective color combination doesn't need to use extremely different colors, as this combination demonstrates. The different shades of blue are perfectly balanced and conjure the trustworthiness blue promotes.

31. Lemonade Stand

This cheerful color combination of reds, oranges, and yellows will perk up any design. It looks juicy, like a melting popsicle or a summer spritz. Yellow and orange have been shown to increase the heart rate and make viewers hungry, so this color combination is great for advertising food.

32. Serene & Spa-Like

Calming, spa-like greens and blue—great by themselves—look a little more lively with a splash of raspberry as an accent color. Add a brighter or bolder accent color to a more restrained selection to liven up a color combination and give it a little extra interest.

33. Fun & Tropical

This happy blend of colors doesn’t take itself too seriously. This color combination is perfect for summer advertisements or children’s designs. A combination like this one will make it clear where the fun is at.

34. Spicy Neutrals

Shades that have a full range of light to dark make it easier to apply a color combination to a design. There’s enough contrast that you can choose a background color(opens in a new tab or window), a text color, and an accent color or two just from these four.

35. Pastels

Applications for a pastel color combination can be a little more limited. They will be common in designs for spring, infants, and sweet shops. Pastel colors generally come across as pretty and delicate, so you’ll want to make sure your design calls for a similar mood if you want to use a color combination like this one.

36. Bold & Cultured

A bright color combination that has been slightly shaded with the inclusion of black or gray into each color base. It will be easy to make elements of your design stand out with this color combination without creating too many contrasts in your design.

37. Sunny Citrus

Citrus shades of orange are juicy and appetizing. This color combination includes an off-white for contrast and shades on both the yellow and red sides of orange, so your designs will be distinctive and easy to read.

38. Crisp Complementary Colors

Red and green are one of three pairs of complementary colors on the traditional color wheel. These colors combine to make a striking, high-contrast impression that can be a little jarring if you don’t use them carefully. They can also easily become Christmasy when used at full saturation. These reds and greens have been balanced and toned down for a fresher twist on a complementary color combination.

39. Warm & Rustic

With a neutral white and soft brown paired with brighter warm colors, this color combination is eye-catching. If you let the neutral hues dominate your design, the red pepper and onion will make perfect accent colors.

40. Neon Night

A black background, in this case slightly softened, makes neon brights pop. Designs using this color combination will draw attention and stand out.

41. Warm Jewel Tones

Full saturation red, orange, and yellow are offset by a softer warm purple. The purple grounds the rest of the color combination and brings sophistication to an otherwise popping, bright design. It’s also perfect for adding text or emphasis.

42. Polished & Inviting

Warm grays with a pop of golden yellow is a color combination you’ll sometimes see in interior design and home décor. It’s primarily neutral, and the warmth of the grays feels calming and inviting. A pop of yellow adds some cheerfulness and energy for an overall combination that’s refined without feeling stuffy.

43. Fresh Greens

This monochromatic green color combination adds contrast with a bright, clean white. The pastel light green also contrasts well with the darker emerald. With this combination, you can give your designs a dynamic effect while the monochrome base keeps things harmonious.

44. Wintery Reds

Reminiscent of winter berries and bare branches against a snowy sky, this combination of colors would make a great alternative to your traditional Christmas or holiday palettes. The rich reds paired with violet-tinged grays feel festive but stay sophisticated.

45. Summer Fiesta

Appetizing and retro, each of these colors uses a touch of yellow to make the combination harmonize.

46. Chocolaty Browns

Who says brown has to be boring? Add some red and violet undertones, and you have a full, rich color combination that—like these chocolate cupcakes—feels a little decadent.

47. Naturally Elegant

Yellow draws attention, and this green-tinted yellow stands out beautifully in a design with the more muted green, brown, and gold shades.

48. Cozy & Warm

You can mute red and combine it with softer neutrals to create a dynamic effect that isn’t too jarring.

49. Violet Sunset

The salmon and lapis in this color combination contrast brightly against each other. Soft purple-brown neutrals make a perfect backdrop for any design. This combination is great for giving a sophisticated pop of brightness.

50. Strawberries & Cream

Bright primary red can be aggressive, so this combination mutes it and adds some warm neutrals to balance it out.

Find inspiration in color combinations around the world

Color can communicate place and environment. Taking inspiration from colors around the world allows you to communicate emotions to your audience by association. You can use the feeling of a relaxing seaside vacation or a dynamic modern city to communicate through design.

51. Grecian Holiday

Sun-softened plaster, sea, and sky—this color combination is relaxing and aspirational, great for designs that want to evoke a desire for time away and days off.

52. Bold & Basic

White, black (or, in this case, very dark navy), red, and yellow are a very common combination. But the saturation here makes this combo unexpected and exciting. If you’re looking for a bold color combination that makes a strong, eye-catching statement in your design, this color scheme is easy to apply.

53. Vineyard Neutrals

Another more monochromatic design, these earthy tones are warm and sophisticated.

54. Modern & Urban

Bone and coal are softer than a true black and white. The tinted shades of yellow and blue make for excellent accents for a design that needs to make information obvious.

55. Misty Mountain Greens

These blackened greens create a gradient, like fog coming down off a tree-covered mountain. The green gives your design a natural softness, while the black tint evokes strength and boldness.

56. Sunkissed Village

Many cliff-hugging villages along the Mediterranean coast are often painted in warm pastels. You can replicate that sunny, carefree look with this selection of shades and bring a little of the Italian dolce vita to your design, creating a warm and welcoming effect.

57. Sun & Sky

Mustard yellow stands out brightly against deep cool tones. Use this color combination when you want to draw the viewer’s attention to a particular element or feature.

58. Aqua Blues

This monochrome color combination of blue-tinged greens forgoes a black or white at either end of the spectrum. The individual elements of a design using this combination may not stand out, but the design as a whole will be eye-catching in any environment you place it in.

59. Urban Oasis

Lively green brings some visual interest and a natural touch to a more stark combination of neutrals.

60. Candy-Coated Brights

These vibrant hues look like they belong in a candy store, and they’re sure to give a design some youthful energy. Make sure you’re going for a loud overall effect in your design. Like the graffiti they’re inspired by, these colors are out to make a statement.

61. Muted & Antique

Soften a primary palette by tinting it with white to create a faded but colorful combination.

62. Classy & Timeless

Dark blue and gold is a timeless combination that you’ll see on everything, from swanky party invitations to elite schools and sports teams. To add a little class to a design, try this combination of hues. If you can manage to get your design printed with gold foil accents, even better.

63. Cosmopolitan

Each of these shades has a soft gray-purple touch that makes for a design that harmoniously blends each element.

64. Cheerful & Friendly

Warm brick stands out against a teal and white background. Great for creating bright, friendly designs that pop.

65. Nightlife Neons

This color combination uses the basic three printer ink colors—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (abbreviated CMYK). They make a striking combination on their own, similar to the neon and illuminated signs of a big city at night.

66. Coastal Sky

Powdery colors with a tint of white help this color combination blend nicely, while the contrasting warm and cool hues give you space to create accents that stand out.

67. Maritime Brights

Raspberry red and a softer combination of blues create a crisp, fresh combination that would look good in bright sun and ocean air.

68. Vintage Charm

Sun-faded stone and faded red and yellow create a natural feeling for any design.

69. Understated & Versatile

Charcoal and darker tinted contrasting colors mean this color combination contrasts but stays classy and sophisticated. This combination is good for any design that wants to be taken seriously without being boring.

70. Arctic Sunrise

Blue and gray always work nicely together, but the addition of a light coral pink gives this combination a little extra sparkle and increased visual interest.

71. Mediterranean Afternoon

Italian for lunch, anyone? Some of the things most often associated with Italian cuisine—wine, rich tomato sauce, fresh handmade pasta—all make an appearance in this color combination. Use it to add warmth and flavor to a design. The inclusion of a creamy neutral shade balances out the combination. You can use cream as a background or base color and one or more of the others as tasteful accents.

72. Hazy Grays

Haze with a grayish-blue gradient creates a relaxing and understated color combination. You can swap out background colors in a design to create multiple different materials from this combination, like announcements for the upcoming season’s shows at a museum.

73. City Sights

This combination is urban and bold. The fire engine red creates contrast against diverse shades of gray.

74. Retro & Relaxing

This combination exudes softness, warmth, and comfort but with a blue note that gives some freshness to your design.

75. Green Fields

A creamy white combined with muted yellow-greens feels fresh and natural.

Pull your color combinations from everyday items

Color combinations inspired by the everyday spaces and objects around us are easy to use to create feelings of familiarity and harmonize with our surroundings.

76. Distinctive & Unexpected

This image shows how bright turquoise can create a distinctive background for a design with a range of shades to use to grab attention in the foreground.

77. Sleek & Modern

Black, gray, and white are easy-to-use colors. But add some cobalt blue, and those neutral shades become a backdrop for a modern, attractive color combination that could work for any design style, from corporate to trendy.

78. Orange Accent

A soft color combination with a highlight of orange to create contrast and accent the areas you want to draw the viewer’s eye to.

79. Beyond Black & White

Red and blue are classic pairings with basic black and white, but a deeper red and brighter turquoise blue give a fresh twist to a familiar combination.

80. Shabby Chic Neutrals

Neutral doesn’t need to be boring. With a hint of purple, this combination can feel industrial or steampunk.

81. Warm & Cool

Warm and cool together always make it easy to create designs where elements stand out from each other. Soften the whole effect by tinting each color with a little bit of white.

82. Industrial & In-Control

Industrial colors like this deep red and metal-inspired grays and blacks create designs that inspire viewers to take them seriously.

83. Autumn Oranges

This warm and cozy color combination features muted oranges that won't overwhelm your audience. It imbues your design with softness and harmony.

84. Pool Party

This color combination is fun and playful. Bright blues and oranges contrast sharply, making your design eye-catching and energetic.

85. Classic Metallics

If you want a combination that says tradition or trustworthiness, look no further. These classic hues, inspired by metallics, will add a touch of class to your design.

86. Subtle & Versatile

Reminiscent of colors you might see decorating a beach house, this color combination looks nautical, sun-faded, and vintage. The hues included here won’t box you into a certain style or overwhelm your design.

87. Professional & Traditional

Brick red is warm and attention-grabbing, but like a brick wall, it can also create a supportive background for glossy blacks and whites in a design.

88. Light & Natural

Soft, warm neutrals balance beautifully with green shades of stone and sage. This can be used to create a fresh design that is gentle and non-aggressive.

89. Shadowy & Dramatic

Neon red plays off three earthy, muted tones. This color combination is perfect if you'd like to emphasize one element of your design with neon red while letting the rest of the shades play supporting roles.

90. Golden Afternoon

Rich jewel-like tones of red, gold, and neutral speak to calm sophistication and luxury.

91. Dark & Handsome

Dark wood, leather, old books—things you might find in an English pub or the library at a prestigious university. If your design could use some sophistication, try out this color combination of rich browns plus a lighter, smoky neutral shade.

92. Technology Meets Nature

Create a design with this color combination that contrasts sharply between soft natural tones and a bold dark element.

93. Cheerful Blues + Pink

The ever-popular millennial pink finds balance here with cheerful blues. This would be a great color combination to use to communicate a hip, modern feeling.

94. Wild & High-Impact

Onyx, taupe, and oceanic blend in both the image and the inspired color combination. The bright pop of orange brings the design to the next level, giving a high-impact effect.

95. Back to School

Child-friendly and fun without being garish, these colors are cheerful while staying soft and understated.

96. Bright & Painterly

Bold shades with a little bit of quirk create an artsy effect in any design.

97. Urban Living

This color combination blends a little gray with its colors. The resulting effect is fresh and modern while remaining soft.

98. Retro Kitchen

Bright and fun, this palette will draw the eye in any design.

99. Smoky Purples

Soft purple hues create an impact that is almost monochrome but with the warmth in mauve and coolness in dark bluish gray to increase the contrast of the elements.

100. Trendy & Metropolitan

Gold does the work of accenting softer blues and grays here. This color combination can be used in more serious contexts while still giving an inviting bright element to your design.

Design with color

Color is just the first step. You’ll really begin to be inspired once you create designs with these color combinations. Experiment with how much or how little of each color creates wildly different designs with the exact same combination. Increase contrast to draw attention to the areas you want to highlight.

You can start with a template(opens in a new tab or window) to get an initial feeling for the impact of a color combination or start a project(opens in a new tab or window) from scratch to slowly add colors and experiment with different combinations. As you build your brand(opens in a new tab or window), you’ll develop combinations that work and grow a color vocabulary your whole team(opens in a new tab or window) can use.

Are you still looking for more ways to get the most out of your design projects in Canva? Try these useful hacks to enhance your experience and spend more time focusing on what matters — color, graphics and inspiring design.

Use Canva to generate beautiful color combinations and use them to create high-quality brand materials. Anyone on your team can generate brand materials using your color palette. No design experience needed.

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