Color sets the tone of any visual, engaging viewers while shaping their perceptions. Whether monochromatic, bright, cool, warm, or complementary, all shades play a role in design.
Finding the right colors for your design can be daunting. That’s why we created 101 color combinations for you to use.
Love one of these color combos? Be sure to pin it on your design mood board so you can get inspired later. Scroll to the bottom to get your free swatch download to easily access all of these color palettes in design applications.
A Crash Course in Color Theory
Before you dig into the treasure trove of curated color schemes, it’s helpful to understand what makes them work so well so you can modify/mix/match to make your own!
The color wheel diagrams the relationship between colors. It’s an essential tool for understanding foundational visual art principles known as color theory.
We’re going to use the color wheel to explain key color harmonies: complementary, analogous, triadic, tetradic, and monochromatic.
Complementary Color Combinations
Complementary color schemes are comprised of two colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel.
Analogous Color Combinations
This color scheme uses three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, often presented as different tints and shades. These can be paired with a neutral color to round out the palette.
Triadic Color Combinations
A triadic color scheme uses three colors that are evenly spaced around the wheel, in a triangle shape.
The combination of hues we know as “primary” (red, blue, and yellow) and “secondary” (orange, purple, and green) are examples of triadic harmonies.
Tetradic Color Combinations
This color scheme uses two pairs of complementary colors, creating a rectangle on the color wheel.
Monochromatic Color Scheme
Monochromatic color palettes are made up of a single base hue, then extended with that hue’s shades, tints, and tones.
Monochromatic Color Combos
Let’s start the list with gorgeous monochromatic themes, perfect for a more reserved design.
1. Comfy & Neutral
This color scheme combines a subdued blush tone with perfectly neutral grays to create a feminine and inviting feel.
The range of light-to-dark shades make this a versatile scheme for any design.
2. Mellow Agate
Use this complete palette to instantly grab the viewer’s attention, or select a single yellow hue to add contrast in your designs.
3. Misty Greens
These vibrant green shades run the gamut of soft and pastel to rich and deep. Try this energizing color scheme in your next nature-inspired design.
4. Subdued Succulent
Cacti and succulents are a force of nature. The popularity of these desert plants is on the rise and will continue to appear throughout the creative realm.
5. Western Wear
6. Emerald Garden
This lush look is perfect for a natural, boho, or sustainable brand.
7. Rosy Reds
The berry-inspired black tone adds depth to balance everything out beautifully.
8. Pink Powders
Keep it light with this cute color combination of pastel pinks and soft gray. These shades are a beauty must-have.
9. Electric Purples
Keep It Cool Color Combos
These colors pair well with warmer hues to provide contrast.
10. Turkish Coffee
11. Color Whirl
12. Grunge Graffiti
13. Celestial Green
Celestial craters and other galactic beauties are continuing to rise as a dominating trend. Grab inspiration from these dazzling space oddities for a truly out of this world design.
14. Cork Crowd
One of the most popular beverages of the millennia, wine will never go out of style. And, neither will these luscious wine-inspired colors.
15. Snakeskin & Scales
It may be hard to spot at first, much like a snake in the grass, but this fashionable critter-inspired scheme is all about subdued complementary colors.
16. Blooming Blossoms
17. Angular Kaleidoscope
Intricate kaleidoscope patterns prevail as a global trend. Originated by international cultures, these complex motifs are ideal for backgrounds with its symmetrical and seamless characteristics.
18. Raspberry Tart
19. Vitamin Sea
Can you hear the sound of ocean waves already? Whisk any viewer away with this unmistakable beach-themed color scheme.
20. Icy Stone
The delicate and alluring characteristics of the Natural Luxury trend transform any space—home interiors, consumer goods, and so much more.
Add a touch of extravagance to your design by incorporating these dazzling details.
21. Sea Green
Explore the mysteries of the deep with these equally deep and mysterious nautical blues and greens.
22. Peace & Tranquility
23. Pure & Pigmented
Show off your business’s special BOGO sales or advertise new products with a design like this one. Use one of Create’s templates to sport your seasonal giveaways.
24. Soft Watercolors
A pop of bright blue adds a bit of oomph to this delicate watercolor-inspired color scheme.
25. Northern Lights
26. Pool Daze
27. Morning Fishermen
28. Floral & Fun
Paper and digital crafts are an emerging trend that provide realistic, three-dimensional feel to online images.
29. Cool Chameleon
Steal this cool chameleon’s look with pastel lavender, gray-greens, and subdued blue.
30. Gorgeous Galaxies
Space’s dazzling qualities continue to reign as a dominant creative trend. Incorporate the breathtaking views of the galactic universe in your designs for added dimension.
31. Bold Ballerinas
Invoke the action and drama of stage lighting with this peach/blue/purple color combination.
32. Mountainous Trek
Satisfy your wanderlust with this mountain-inspired scheme that includes a snowy gray and blue, as well as a dusty green and brown.
33. Piers & Pelicans
34. Greek Getaway
35. Natural Linens
This family of versatile neutrals can add a sense of calm and comfort to your next creation.
36. Foggy Landscape
37. Bare Birch
38. Bundled Yarn
These cuddly colors make for a cozy color scheme, as well as a comfortable cardigan.
39. Ocean Floor
Everything’s better down where it’s wetter, especially this complementary color scheme.
40. Desert Beauty
Couple these cacti with important announcements for a striking design.
41. Vintage Vibes
Evoke a bygone era with this muted rainbow of colors.
42. Central Breeze
This analogous color combination will make your next organic-inspired design a walk in the park.
43. Island Tourist
Call attention to your next clothing or product sale with this eye-catching design. Plus, you never have to start from scratch when customizing one of Create’s pre-made templates.
44. Blooming Bouquet
Don’t forget something old and something borrowed to go with the baby blue in this new bridal-inspired color scheme.
45. Calming & Soothing
This pastel tetradic color theme evokes the sweet sense-memories of your favorite handmade bath bombs.
46. Exterior Blossoms
A classic complementary combo, pink and green visually appear brighter together, making this subdued blue a perfect backdrop for the two.
Bright Color Combinations
Vivid colors are both attention-grabbing and intense. Their bold nature can be overpowering when paired with other rich hues, so use them sparingly.
Complement a bright palette with a dark or neutral counterpart to avoid oversaturated designs.
47. Luminous Lines
48. Tropic Popsicles
You can’t go wrong with these bright, fruity colors combined with a deep slate blue for contrast.
49. Distorted Abstraction
An eye-catching electric blue energizes this color palette. But, thanks to its muted companions, it isn’t visually overwhelming.
50. Pops of Neon
51. Rainy Views
Add richness and depth to your design with this bold complementary color scheme.
52. Arizona Sunsets
These lovely palettes continue to captivate and dominate the creative world in playful backgrounds and artistic photography, alike.
53. Colorful Bloom
54. Pastel Pastries
These light and airy colors make for a deliciously dainty color scheme.
55. Meticulous Mandala
The rich and dynamic hues of this symmetrical mandala make for stylish backgrounds and backdrops.
This globally adored trend, coined Ancient Geometrics, dives into the historic cultural elements of worldwide regions.
56. Cobalt Caves
Celebrate natural wonders with this cavern-themed scheme.
57. Bright Cityscape
58. Luminous Bubbles
59. Poolside Waves
60. Italian Dwellings
Go on your own Roman holiday with this pleasing palette of popping colors.
61. Vivid Overlays
Evoke a hint of nostalgia with shiny overlays and iridescent patterns.
62. Sunny Scallops
Use these warm, sunny colors to create a design that would turn any beach-comber’s head.
63. Pastel Patios
This laid-back rainbow of colors is best paired with a glass of lemonade and a slow Sunday afternoon.
64. Vibrant Vibes
65. Crisp Citrus
This combination of fruity colors makes playful, youthful, and inviting design.
66. Hot Chili
Spice up your next design with this chili-inspired palette, perfect for a restaurant brand.
67. Tea Party
68. Rainbow Reverie
69. Acrylic Madness
70. Fresh Spring
71. Summer Getaway
This primary color scheme is certain to bring back fond memories of being on the open road.
72. Bohemian Motif
Digital crafts like embroidery transform a design by adding a touch of unexpected and tactile textures.
73. Coral Anemone
74. Striking Macaw
75. Spring Fling
Warm Color Combinations
Warm hues contain reds, oranges, and yellows, along with a combination of the three hues. These stimulating colors give off rays of happiness and optimism, in contrast to cool colors’ relaxing and soothing nature.
They tend to be vibrant colors, so think about using warmer tones in moderation or paired with cool hues to create a natural balance.
76. Koi Pond
77. Japanese Gardens
78. Citrus Punch
These blood orange hues are sure to pack a citrusy twist. Incorporate fruity palettes to sweeten your designs.
79. Mango Dream
The perfect shade of mango-yellow pairs well with a dark green to convey health and vitality.
80. Wood Fired
Borrow this savory color scheme next time you’re branding a pizzeria.
81. Terracotta Marble
The intricate swirls and streaks ingrained into marbles are a true natural luxury. Add a touch of unrefined elegance by integrating marbleized effects into your designs.
82. Lush & Luxurious
83. Sushi Platter
This seafood-themed scheme is sure to make your stomach rumble.
84. Bird in the Shadows
This monochromatic color scheme has a wonderful range of light-to-dark, making it practical for many designs.
85. Rustic & Traditional
If you’re looking for a timeless combination of hues with a little punch of color, this is the theme for you.
86. Butterfly Bliss
Create a serene and energizing mood with the warm colors from this monarch butterfly.
87. Adventurous Reds
This orange, red, dusty pink, and purple combination perfectly captures the excitement of outdoor exploration.
Complementary Color Combinations
As mentioned at the top of the article, complementary color schemes include tones that are opposite from one another on the color wheel. Some complements include red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.
Their contradictory nature makes these color combinations both complex and arduous to carry out. When paired successfully, the complements create a vivid contrast that’s crucial for an effective design composition.
88. Fitness Sportswear
89. Textile Dyes
The warm pink and peach tones really bring out the purple and blue undertones of the darker shades in this color scheme.
90. Rooftop Views
This warm complementary color scheme is a terracotta rooftop dream.
91. Pure Produce
This deeper, richer take on a primary color palette is perfect for a culinary twist.
92. Mediterranean Marine
Rich complementary hues attract viewers to your Summer Sale like *that* (imagine us snapping in an instant).
93. Juicy Fruits
Feast your eyes on this mouth-watering color scheme, reminiscent of fruit-flavored candies.
94. Rusted Gates
95. Snow & Sunshine
This unexpected take on a warm winter scene will make you want to hit the slopes at sunset.
96. Decorative Florals
Inform and direct your clients to your website with a flowers-so-close-you-can-almost-smell-them look.
97. Buzzing Blooms
98. Rainy Day
A pop of orange adds vibrance to the understated blue and purples, so save this theme to brighten a rainy day.
99. Bakery Treats
Alert potential customers of hourly changes or new additions to your store with a drool-worthy photo and supporting color scheme.
100. Tigers & Tundra
Combine these colors with black and white to add drama.
101. Aged Arrangement
This antique red and green combination is kept from appearing too “Christmasy” with the inclusion of a powdery blue and warm brown.
Now, to thank you for staying with us, we want to reward you with a huge, massive, and necessary pro tip.
Pro Tip: While knowing each hex code is extremely helpful, Create’s Eyedropper Tool is about to become your best friend. It’s designed to match any element with the same color as another element in just one click.
To use it, click the layer, graphic, or element you wish to match colors for, then click Change color. Next to the hex codes, select the Eyedropper Tool, drag it over the color you want, then click to set!
You can also create a fresh palette all your own from an inspiration photo of your choosing with Shutterstock’s color palette generator.
This way, you can make different elements cohesive without having to type in the same code over and over again.
Download FREE Swatch Files
Download these 101 FREE swatch palettes by clicking the link below. Each of these swatches is available in the RGB color profile, ideal for both online and web designs.
Swatch files allow you to quickly apply color to any design element in your document with ease. These swatch files can be opened in Adobe design programs in just a few clicks.
In other design applications, you can easily type the six-digit hex codes found on each color swatch in the palettes above.
License this cover image via Pixel-Shot.