This is the year of deep blues and soft blushes – certainly according to the industry experts and leading paint brands that have put forward their trending color picks. In a vast departure from last year’s Living Coral and vibrant hues, 2020 sees us craving natural shades that create a sense of steadiness and peace. Here we’ll highlight current color and color combination trends in 2020 and explore how they can give meaning to your next design project.
The importance of color
Colors are incredibly compelling. They significantly impact our emotions and how we behave. In certain contexts, their effect is universal, but our perception of color is largely subjective. How we respond to certain hues is dependent on a number of factors, including gender, age and culture.
Of all the elements of design that appeal to our emotions – including shapes, words and images – colors hold the most influence. So when using them, it’s crucial to consider what they communicate. Who do they speak to, and what do they say?
The purpose of color
Colors inform how the viewer should start to feel. So from a branding perspective, they should represent the purpose and personality of a product or brand. For example, the color blue is perceived as reliable and trustworthy, making it a popular choice for corporate businesses. Green often points to wholesomeness and nature, so it’s often adopted by wellness brands. And red symbolizes prosperity and power in certain cultures. So what we learn here, is that used strategically, color can effectively position a brand in the minds of its customers.
The emotional impact of colors can also be used to a brand’s advantage. Red and orange shades make us feel hungry, which is why they abound in the food industry. Blues and neutral colors have a calming effect, while yellow can be energizing. If you want to make your audience feel a certain way, the right color or color combination can make your intention known.
10 trending colors for 2020
1. Classic Blue (#34558B)
The high court of color, Pantone, has declared Classic Blue its hue of 2020, describing it as “a reassuring presence, instilling calm, confidence, and connection”. This timeless shade is also associated with stability, introspection and resilience, and is widely used across all categories of design.
2. Chartreuse (#DFFF00)
Etsy has made a bold choice in Chartreuse as its color of the year, prompted by its users’ increased searches for items in vivid shades of green. The daring hue embodies unconventional thinking and a sense of new beginnings – and originated as a fashion textile.
Get the look with the White and Lime Green Barbell Icon Fitness Logo and Lime Green Bold Business Kindle Cover templates.
3. First Light (#F0E3DF)
Warm and airy First Light has been selected by paint company Benjamin Moore & Co as the color of 2020. Chosen for its comforting and uplifting qualities, this rosy wash radiates beauty, creativity and optimism. It’s a sweet alternative to white or beige that, as Benjamin Moore & Co points out, “flatters any space and plays well with other colors”.
4. Back To Nature (#BDB990)
Inspired by rolling green meadows, Behr Paint’s color of the year is called Back To Nature. A neutral, olive-based tone, this restorative shade mingles well with other colors and helps in promoting a sense of balance, positivity and wellbeing.
Get the look with the Pale Green Initials Simple Social Media Manager Minimalist Resume and Pale Green Renewing Vows Facebook Event Cover templates.
5. Chinese Porcelain (#395E7D)
“A deep, shaded, orchid blue with a violet undertone” is how PPG Paints describes its color of the year, named after the inky blue underglaze traditionally used in Chinese ceramics. Much like its Classic Blue cousin, Chinese Porcelain compliments all kinds of design and creates a sense of steadiness, hope and trust.
6. Romance (#EBCFC3)
Romance has been announced as this year’s HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams favorite – a playful-yet-posh contender. Defined as “a soft blush tone with a slight apricot influence”, this color sings of elegance, luxury and serenity – and makes itself at home across interiors, fashion and brands with a feminine slant.
Get the look with the Blush and Grey Photo Collage Wedding Timeline Planner and Pink Makeup Sale Emoji Slider Beauty Interactive Instagram Story templates.
7. Mint Whisper (#DAEFDF)
Valspar Paint’s 2020 color palette includes the crisp and breezy Mint Whisper. This color has a fresh, calming effect that's fast becoming a nursery and bathroom favorite. Surprisingly versatile, mint can be seen at both the fun and luxe ends of fashion, beauty and even some food brands.
8. Lush Lava (#FF4500)
In a departure from its peers, Shutterstock has picked vivid colors as the trend of 2020, with bold and fiery Lush Lava at the fore. This blazing hue has an optimistic, self-assured tone. As an accent it will add a zing to any design project. As the main event, pair with a neutral or complementary color.
Get the look with the Red and Orange World Environment Day Talk Instagram Post and Red Orange Confetti Movie Night Invitation templates.
9. Tranquil Dawn (#BDC3B9)
Chosen as color of the year by paint brand Dulux, grey-green Tranquil Dawn takes inspiration from the morning sky, offering a soothing remedy for our “increasingly disconnected” modern culture. Used across all forms of design, this versatile hue creates a sense of calm and sparks creativity.
Get the look with the Green and Dark Grey Geometric Jobs Classroom Poster and Grey and Green Freeform Abstract Family House Party Christmas Event Flyer templates.
10. Naval (#2F3D4C)
Following in the rich, blue-tone fashion of PPG and Pantone, paint brand Sherwin-Williams has named deep navy blue, Naval, its color of the year. With a grounded composure, this shade is both calming and confident – and conjures images of the night sky and deep blue sea. Quite possibly the new navy, just watch as this one rolls out across all kinds of branding and design projects.
Get the look with the Navy Blue and Yellow Bordered Get Together Invitation and Simple Navy Blue Photo Luncheon Invitation templates.
10 trending color combinations
1. Light grey (#E9E9E9) and Cosmic Latte (#FFF9E3)
A modern take on the classic black and white, light grey paired with pale pink or beige makes for a calming balance of cool and warm. An elegant, graceful choice, this combination thrives across branding in fashion, jewelry, photography and beauty.
A subtle take on this pairing can be achieved with the Bisque And White Traditional Life Quote Instagram Story template, while the Beige Grey and Orange Makeup Beauty Youtube Outro template gives the combo a deeper, peachier look.
2. Mint (#CFFFE5) and white (#FFFFFF)
The cool combination of mint and white is fresh and fun - but, as Tiffany’s shows us, these colors can also be supremely sophisticated. Pastel versions of mint paired with white are seen in brands with soft and soothing identities, such as baby and skincare lines, while more vibrant, contrasting versions of this combo put the cutting-edge on tech companies.
3. Classic Blue (#34558B) and orange (#F95700FF)
The popular pairing of blue and orange isn’t going anywhere. Used across numerous industries for its high-contrast, eye-grabbing effect, this combination communicates trust and dependability, care of blue, alongside orange ‘I’m not afraid to be different’ attitude. Businesses love it, as proven by countless ads and marketing campaigns.
The Orange and Blue Freeform Health Facebook Cover and Orange and Blue Freeform Health Instagram Post templates will take this color pairing across any platform of your choosing.
4. Moss green (#4A5D23) and cream (#FFFDD0)
In keeping with the earthy color palette of 2020, the marriage of green and cream creates a calming, au naturel vibe. It’s a versatile match that, unlike its pastel contemporaries, has a seriousness and maturity about it. Brands that have wellness at their heart are made for this combo, as are outdoorsy offerings such as landscaping, travel and adventure companies (hello, Kathmandu).
Go soft and pretty with the Green and Cream Plants Border Rustic Floral Wedding Thank You Card template, or striking with the Green and cream Leaves Landscaping Logo template.
5. Navy (#02075D) and blush (#FFC0CB)
Move over pink and electric blue, a more sophisticated couple are in town. While the eye-pleasing combination of deep, stable navy and sweet, gentle blush plays across all kinds of design, the wedding industry is particularly partial to it. You’ll also see this pairing used in fashion, furnishings and home interiors.
Customize the Modern Navy and Pink Block Save the Date Invitation template for a punchy, to-the-point design, or take things down a notch with the Pink and Navy Fun Brush Strokes Professional Certificate template.
6. Chartreuse (#DFFF00) and light grey (#E9E9E9)
Chartreuse likes to steal the show, so works well when paired with muted, subtle colors like grey and white. Paler shades of grey balance the limey Chartreuse, a color currently prominent in fashion and textiles, and the pairing makes for a modern, chic aesthetic across a wide range of projects.
Channel this trend with the Grey and Neon Green House Home Furnishing Logo template. Keen for higher contrast? The Lime Green and Charcoal Fitness Trifold Brochure template has you sorted.
7. Lush Lava (#FF4500) and electric blue (#0000FF)
If you want to make a serious splash, look no further than the super-high contrast of Lush Lava and electric blue. While technically complementary, this striking pairing gives the impression of a powerful clash that is used to great effect in brand design, websites and typography.
Stand out with this vibrant combo by way of the Blue and Orange Shape Musician Influencer Maximalism Instagram Post Set and Orange and Blue Artsy Pets Influencer Freestyle Art Instagram Post Set templates.
8. Brandy (#DDBE91) and cream (#FFFDD0)
The sumptuous pairing of brown with a lighter neutral is often seen at the luxury end of fashion (think Louis Vuitton and Coach). Exuding both the stability, prestige and worldliness of brown with the light freshness of cream, this combination is as versatile as it is heavenly.
9. Naval (#2F3D4C) and peach-orange (#FFCC99)
Warmer and deeper than the stark, cooler pairing of navy and white, Naval and peach-orange is both serious and approachable. If 2020’s trending color palettes are anything to go by, we’ll see pairings like this make their way across home interiors and furnishings - and prominent in branding and web design.
Try this combo on for size with the Peach and Navy Blue Watercolor Product Label template, or for a more subtle look, the Cream and Navy Blue Foliage Border Sympathy Thank You Card template.
10. Pink (#FFC0CB) and Forest Green (#014421)
Combining this year’s blush tones and back to nature trend, the union of pink and forest green is fresh, calm and comforting. An endearing duo often sighted in fashion and beauty, this pairing is perfect for brands wanting to stand out while staying easy on the eye.
Make pink and green your signature color combo with the Pink and Dark Green Circle Artists Illustrators Influencer Asymmetrical Highlights Cover Set template or the Green and Pink Stripes Artists Illustrators Influencer Maximalism Instagram Post Set template.
In contrast to the bolder, more daring hues of 2019, this year’s trending colors and combinations are classic, enduring and sure to see your designs well into the future. There’s never been a better time to be inspired, so have a play, and find the perfect color match for your designs.