Color choices can make or break a design. In fact, research has shown that color can increase brand recognition by up to 80%, memory, engagement with a design piece and text comprehension, so when choosing a color combination for your design, you want to make sure that you are saying something with the colors you choose.
Capture Inspiration on-the-go.
When looking for inspiration for a color combination, it is advisable to take photos of beautiful colors/color schemes such as flowers or sunsets and sample those colors directly in Photoshop or Illustrator. It’s also a great way to match text or graphics with any photo you’re working with to make sure your work is cohesive.
So, if you have a photograph with a color scheme that you love, sample colors directly from it to make a quick, easy and effective palette.
Use a Color Wheel
This tip works for almost everything else you can think of. Play with analogous color schemes to add shadows to your titles or borders to your backgrounds. These colors usually blend well because they are closely related. Find unique combinations by simply matching colors to their neighbors on the wheel!
But if you’re not keen to sort out these schemes manually, fear not, because there is an abundance of online tools at your disposal to help you figure out your favorite colors’ friends and lovers.
Borrow Inspiration from Interior Design
Different design fields share common challenges when dealing with color. Interior designers, for example, have to harmonize spaces using textures, objects and color schemes that blend well together.
Try to delve into other creative fields and discover their rules of thumb when it comes to color use – every artistic discipline is bound to have a few! If you keep your eyes peeled for rooms and buildings that use color well, you’ll tap into a whole new world of awesome color techniques.
Create Color Moodboards
Allow yourself to search for palette inspiration anywhere — in contemporary designs, or historical art; in online sources, or print sources.
You probably know about the usefulness of sites like Pinterest that can allow you to save and catalog all kinds of digital palettes. But, what about physical pieces of inspiration? Whenever you see a picture or a photo with colors that you love, pin it for later and when it is time to find a good color palette you can always look through and find something appropriate.
Use Color Swatches
Sometimes when choosing a color combination, a digital color wheel just won’t cut it. You can select the colors the old-fashioned way. It is always nice to have a physical guide that doesn’t just rely on-screen colors.
Bring in colors from nature
Our eyes are used to admiring natural color schemes. If you take your inspiration from the environment, the color combinations are endless. Landscapes, foliage, fruit, all things natural can be amazing, accessible and free sources of color inspiration. It can be easy to get stuck searching for inspiration online and in others’ work, but there’s a whole world of inspiration just outside your window, just begging to be tapped into.
Stick to Three or Four Colors
Unless you’re going for a deliberate, full-on rainbow look, avoid combining an excessive amount of colors. It is advisable to use three colors to keep your graphics looking clean, and not too overwhelming.
Match Color to your Topic’s Mood
Consider the topic that you are trying to portray. Is it sports, fashion, beauty, or business? From there, think about a specific mood that you would like to associate with the activity. Is it a cute fashion flyer, or an aggressive sports brochure? Is it feminine, cheerful, serious or elegant?
Another good technique to build your color choice’s strength and effect is to familiarize yourself with color theory. Do a little research, read a few studies, and find out what some common colors can do to people psychologically and subconsciously when used correctly. Remember: colors that are chosen with purpose and reason can often the most effective!
Search Pinterest for Themed Palettes
Pinterest holds an impressive amount of color palettes curated by creatives all around the world. For example if you are doing a design for a beach themed poster, you could do a simple search under ‘Summer Color Palettes’ and choose one.
Follow Sites for Color Lovers
Colour lovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes, and patterns. Join the site and explore millions of user-created color palettes to inspire your ideas.