Three simple color palettes to use when designing

Designer working with colors on her tablet PC

A key aspect of good graphic design is knowing how to use colors to convey your message or brand. There are countless ways to mix and match colors: bright colors, shades, pastels, fluros, light colors, dark colors... the list goes on!

Three simple ways to choose a color palette

In this post we look at three simple color palettes you can use in your designs.

Color palette #1: Pastels

Using pastels

Pastel colors are often described as soft, soothing and neutral. As design shack writes, pastels have become a popular choice  for graphic design lately. It suggests using pastels to convey softness and sophistication.

Canva has templates with pastel colors. Start off with Pastel Circus Tent Talent Show Flyer and Pastel Scissors Beauty Hair Flyer, and tweak it according to how you need it.

Color palette #2: Tones

Color palette: Using tones

Another reliable color palette is to use varying tones. The graphic above uses different tones, or shades, of blue. Creating a design that uses various shades of a color is often referred to as a 'monochromatic' color scheme. You can use this technique with any color. As design website ColorSchemer shows, different monochromatic color palettes convey different messages.

Don't be afraid to use color tones. Try Blue Modern Company Presentation and Green and White Modern Slow Living Guide Presentation, then change up the colors.

Color palette #3: Bright colors and white

Color palette: Using brights

As we've written previously, contrast is very important in graphic design. It's no different with colors; using bright colors with white highlights will give your designs some extra zing! While there are many different ways to contrast colors — some great examples on Love of Graphics —  combining strong colors with white is always a safe option.

Use white to bring out the strength and brightness of your primary color. See Blue and White Abstract Lines Independence Day Instagram Post and Red & White Circle Fitness Exercise Health Instagram Post

Want to learn more about using color? Check out our tutorial series about designing with colors.