When it comes to crafting a visual identity for a brand, the color scheme is often the first decision a designer makes. This lays the foundation for the overall mood and personality of the branding, and guides the rest of their design choices.
Sure, the exact hues may end up changing as the design evolves. But making that first decision on color helps build the momentum needed to avoid designer’s block and just get started! So, while it’s not in a designer’s best interest to blindly follow trends, looking at which color combinations are popular can help spark inspiration and kickstart the design process.
That’s why we’ve asked three designers to predict which color palettes will be trending in 2020. From bold and contrasting duos to complimentary combos, these pairings are set to make a splash in the design world.
Read on for trending color combinations for 2020 you can make your own in Canva today.
1. Navy and Mint:
Navy has long been considered as a safe choice in brand design. It emanates trust, reliability and ironically, doesn’t rock the boat too much. In the era of daring modern design, navy can be at risk of seeming too ‘old school’ or boring. However, pairing navy with another cool hue like mint can breathe new life into this classic color. It creates depth and contrast and gives it a more contemporary feel.
“Navy and mint is such an easy color combination to play with,” says web designer Kirsten Atkins of South Palm Design. It just so happens to be versatile, too. “You can make it more professional and tame or fun and quirky depending on the fonts and other color combinations you choose,” Kirsten adds.
In the wedding invite design above, you can see the role that typography and other design elements play in tying this color scheme together. The illustrations, hand-written font and other lines and graphics give it a romantic and whimsical feel. However, with a more pared-back design and blocky font, it could easily feel more serious and corporate. That’s the beauty of it!
Canva’s Navy Blue Mint Green Leaves Spa Massage Gift Certificate template is the perfect way to play with this fresh color combo and can easily be repurposed as a website header or logo.
2. Peach and Orange
Often favored by tech and financial companies, orange exudes friendliness, vitality and confidence. However, it can also come across as playful, which is while you’ll often see it teamed with dark or neutral colors to show consumers they still mean business.
However, according to Connie Holen, web and brand designer at Pixality Design, this tradition is set to take a backseat to a more monochromatic color combination in 2020. “The color orange is all about energy, but it can be tricky when paired with black and white (hello, Halloween!),” says Connie. “By combining an intense orange with softer, muted shades you can use this bold color with more depth and larger appeal.”
You can see this peach and orange color combination in action in the above website for fitness studio, Barre 3. The layering of the darker orange on top of the peach really adds dimension to the color and design and gives the graphic a welcoming feel. We’re likely to see this combination used by modern brands looking to market to millennials.
Peachy keen on this color combo? Use the Peach Orange Luau Wedding Invitation template in Canva to get started.
3. Mustard and Beige
Once upon a time, pairing mustard and beige might have seemed like a one-way ticket to creating a boring design. But with mustard appearing everywhere from fashion runways to interior design this year, a complementary brown hue might be just the thing in needs to continue its upwards trajectory in 2020.
“Mustard was a popular color option in 2019, and the trend will continue in 2020,” says Kirsten Atkins. “Since mustard is such a bold color, pairing it with a more neutral light cream or beige can help balance it out.”
In the above sneaker campaign for luxury fashion brand Balenciaga, you can see how when used correctly, this combination can be more bold than bland. The pairing of mustard with various shades of beige gives the website and shoe design an earthy and organic feel. Meanwhile, the pops of white and teal help ensure it still looks fresh and modern.
Want to see if this color palette will cut the mustard for your own brand? Check out the Mustard School Accounting Logo template in Canva.
4. Black and Lime
In the design world, neutral colors never go out of style. But in 2020, it’s all about pairing them with bold and bright colors to inject some fun and personality. Lime and black is a perfect example of one of those surprising color combinations that just works. “Blues and greens have traditionally been associated with wellness brands, but the trend is moving away from complex color palettes in favor of a single accent color,” says Connie Holen. “The core color, black, is minimal and modern, while the single accent color, lime’ adds energy.”
Previously, the lime and black color combination has been prominent in interior design—especially in homes with a more retro aesthetic. But in the near future, it’s set to become a mainstay in branding and design. As you can see in the above example, it works well for freelancers and creatives as well as bigger businesses. Pairing it with white typography also helps to add balance to the color palette and stops it from falling flat.
Take the black and lime color palette for a spin with Canva’s Lime Green Logo Fitness Business Card template.
5. Bombay Pink and Secret Moss
Paint companies are a handy resource for forecasting which color trends will reign supreme in the year ahead. Bombay Pink and Secret Moss were two colors in Vaslpar’s selections for 2020 and turns out, they’re even better when paired together
“Bombay Pink and Secret Moss are going to be popular options for 2020, especially since they're two of Valspar's 2020 colors of the year,” says Kristen Atkins
Taking over from the once-omnipresent dusty pink, Bombay Pink is a more muted hue that almost borders on mauve. Meanwhile, Secret Moss falls somewhere between a grey and green. Together, they create a soft, ethereal palette that is perfect for feminine-focused brands. For a more luxe aesthetic, Kristen also recommends pairing the Bombay Pink with gold.
To channel this trending color combination in your own designs, Canva’s Grey Circle Leaves Floral Logo Template is a great place to start.
6. Burnt Orange and Teal
It’s no secret that orange and teal have been the color combination du jour in recent years, especially on Instagram feeds. However, 2020 is set to turn up the heat on this pairing, with traditional orange being swapped out with a more burnt hue. To balance out this warmth, the teal will lean more towards a minty green than a blue “Earthy tones are still a favorite going into 2020,” says Kirsten Atkins. “Burnt orange and teal pair well together because they are complementary.”
Sitting opposite each other on the color wheel, there’s no doubt that teal and orange creates a striking effect that’s hard to ignore. Designer David Reyes has used this to his advantage in the above branding for Mexican restaurant, Burro Zebra. Not only does it command attention, but the colors also creates a fresh aesthetic that whets the customer’s appetite. It’s a clever design choice that’s sure to be channelled by many a food brand in 2020.
For a more subtle application of the teal and burnt orange color scheme, check out Canva’s Teal and Orange Icon Bar Nightclub Logo template.
7. Scarlet and black
Often regarded a retro color combination (possibly due to its association with burlesque and cabaret theatre), red and black is set to make a comeback in 2020. This pairing exudes drama and power, and is for brands that refuse to shy away from the spotlight. “Red is an emotionally intense color,” says Kirsten Atkins. “Paired with black, you’re sure to attract some attention!” But at the same time, the black can have quite a grounding effect that actually dials down the intensity and stops it from feeling too OTT. Specifically, scarlet creates an air of sophistication and style, compared to more orange-based or burgundy shades of red.
The above website for motorcycle company Ducati shows how commanding this color combination can be. It artfully invokes power, luxury and style—all of the qualities that Ducati has long been associated with,
Want to command your audience’s attention with a scarlet and black color combo? Canva’s Black, Red and Grey Automotive Logo Template is ready to be customized with your own branding.
8. Pink and Electric Blue
Pairing pink with blue is hardly anything new. We’ve seen many iterations of this combination over the years, from soft pink with baby blue to bright aqua with hot pink. But in 2020, designer Emily Ponton of Em.ly Studio predicts we will see a rich, electric blue partnered with a peachy pink. “This bold combination has been gaining popularity for businesses that want to show a little attitude—it’s fun, vibrant and full of character,” she says. “This colour combination creates strong visual identity in branding and captures attention from the get-go—while also leaving a lasting impression.”
Emily adds that this combination works well for retail and publishing brands that want their product to stand out against the crowd. Funnily enough, that also goes for children’s brands—where pink and blue have often been used as standalone colors to signify gender. But in the above example for forward-thinking kids clothes brand Funfunny, you can see how they can be just as effective when used together.
To experiment with this color combination in your own branding, try Canva’s Pink and Blue Box Art Design Logo template.
9. Soft Green and White
Another modern take on pairing green with neutrals, soft green and white are set to be a dynamic duo in 2020. In contrast with the bold lime and black, this pairing invokes serenity and a sense of zen—so it’s not surprising that it’s favored by yoga and wellness brands. “A soft olive green paired with white gives a clean and natural feel,” says Kirsten Atkins“If you want something minimal, this is the pairing for you.”
As you can see in the example above, this combination works well when combined with a clean minimalistic layout. The use of symmetrical lines and negative space in this logo for Analog Creative Company adds to the harmonious aesthetic.
Our Green Modern and Environment Logo template features a similar color combination. You can make it your own in Canva today.
10. Terracotta and Sand
Earth-inspired hues aren’t going anywhere in 2020. They’re so versatile that depending on what other colors you pair them with, they can look either beachy and relaxed or rustic and romantic. But for a warm and earthy aesthetic that still feels modern, terracotta and sand go together like a dream. “I’ve seen this combination pop up a lot in wedding and event design lately, as well as branding and product design for environmentally-friendly and sustainable brands,” says Emily Ponton. “It’s a great combination for organic food companies, like chocolate and start-up organic beauty brands.”
In the above visual branding for Berry Beauty and Co, you can see the undeniable appeal of pairing terracotta with sand. Together, they have a grounding and calming effect, which is ideal for a business that offers beauty and grooming services.
Canva’s Terracotta Modern Minimal Color Wedding Invitation Logo is the perfect starting point if you want to roadtest this earthy color combination.
At the end of the day, the best color scheme is the one that exemplifies your unique brand personality, values and point of difference. But by experimenting with these trending color combinations in 2020, you can get your creative juices flowing and start moving in the right direction.