Color is a critical aspect of a design. In this roundup, we compiled 101 brand new color combinations to inspire your next project.
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. Each color palette is inspired by Shutterstock images and comes with a set of hex codes so you can use them in your website design, social media ads, direct mailers—maybe even your kitchen remodel! Look out for the palettes already available in our free online photo editor, Shutterstock Editor, where you can start designing with them right away in a pre-made template.
Love one 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. Some complements include red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. These colors appear more vibrant when paired together, so exercise caution.
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. By adding black, white, or gray to a color, you can create a consistent color palette that’s versatile and easy on the eyes.
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
This agate crystal, inspired by our Natural Luxury trend, is derived from shades of yellow to give a bright sunshine tone. 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. With their calming and fun blue or green hues, they act as perfect color inspiration for your next project.
5. Western Wear
6. Emerald Garden
7. Rosy Reds
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
Cooler colors consist of blues, greens, and purples, giving off tranquil and soothing vibes. By integrating these colors into your designs, you can achieve trustworthiness and calmness. These colors pair well with warmer hues to provide contrast.
10. Turkish Coffee
11. Color Whirl
Get whimsical with this electric teal and toned-down pinks. The addition of a deep teal creates vital contrast for dynamic designs.
12. Grunge Graffiti
These complementary colors play well together in these desaturated values, atop a neutral gray and paired with a near-black purple.
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
Delicate blue and pink contrast beautifully to a deep red and warm brown in this sakura-inspired color scheme.
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
This tetradic color combination infuses delicious blues with a sumptuous red and cheerful yellow to create a palette anyone would want to take a bite out of.
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, from home interiors to consumer goods. 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
If hygge could be described in four colors, it would be these. Cozy up with this soft color scheme in your next design.
23. Pure & Pigmented
24. Soft Watercolors
A pop of bright blue adds a bit of oomph to this delicate watercolor-inspired color scheme.
25. Northern Lights
Recreate this cosmic wonder in your design using bright greens against darker blues.
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. Go against the grain of flat design by integrating these whimsical images to your next project.
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
This tropical teal is accented with a baby blue and mossy green to create a nautical theme.
34. Greek Getaway
Pair subdued blues with a charming pink and orange to recreate an idyllic sunset in an exotic location.
35. Natural Linens
This family of versatile neutrals can add a sense of calm and comfort to your next creation.
36. Foggy Landscape
Mystical landscapes create imaginative realms that continue to surface in the creative arena. Take your viewer to an alternate dimension with magical palettes and imagery.
37. Bare Birch
A rich gold takes center stage in this scheme, combined with a baby blue and high-contrast black.
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
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
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
Fluorescent hues electrify a simple continuous line drawing. This take on the New Minimalism trend, with concentrated and luminous colors, elevates a seemingly minimalist design.
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 too visually overwhelming.
50. Pops of Neon
Neon lights add a spark of interest to typography and clean lines, seeking to juxtapose minimalism with retro-futuristic brights for a striking effect.
51. Rainy Views
Add richness and depth to your design with this bold complementary color scheme.
52. Arizona Sunsets
These desert cacti beauties, when paired with stunning sunsets, give off an air of vibrancy and allure that never goes out of style. 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
Bring a little joy to your next design with this cheerful color combination of bright orange, fern green, and petal pink.
58. Luminous Bubbles
The incandescence of holographic foil adds an unmistakable retro spin to backgrounds and patterns. Add splashes of shimmer or create emphasis with this bubbling creative palette.
59. Poolside Waves
With this summer-ready color combination, the only thing missing is a fruity drink and a towel.
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
Depart from neutral tones by incorporating punchy pastel palettes to your designs for a thrilling bang.
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
This truly tetradic color scheme combines two sets of complementary colors (blue + gold and magenta + green) that are certain to create depth and interest.
68. Rainbow Reverie
Mysterious yet mystical worlds invite viewers to dive into the unknown. Incorporate these creatures and landscapes in your designs for an imaginative flourish.
69. Acrylic Madness
Hop on the paint-pouring trend bandwagon with this dynamic combination of pinks, purple, and gold.
70. Fresh Spring
Pastel hues are known for their delicacy. These punchy pastels aren’t afraid to hide from saturation. Pack a punch in your next design with these energetic hues and backgrounds.
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
Deep-sea inspiration doesn’t have to come in shades of blue or green.
74. Striking Macaw
Bright yellow, red, green, and blue are the perfect combination for youthful kid-friendly designs.
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
Transport your viewers with this charming palette consisting of energetic olive green, orange, and pink, balanced with a deep black.
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 to your designs.
82. Lush & Luxurious
Plush purples and burnt oranges are the ideal combination for upscale applications.
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 colors 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 is crucial for an effective design composition.
88. Fitness Sportswear
This neutral gray and smoky blue are offset by a punch of coral, which is complemented by a more subdued teal.
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
93. Juicy Fruits
Feast your eyes on this mouth-watering color scheme, reminiscent of fruit-flavored candies.
94. Rusted Gates
Blue takes center stage in this complementary color palette, with a rich, golden brown to provide contrast.
95. Snow & Sunshine
This unexpected take on a warm winter scene will make you want to hit the slopes at sunset.
96. Decorative Florals
97. Buzzing Blooms
Bright blue and yellow buzz together in this springy color scheme.
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
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.
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.
Need a few more color tips, keep going with these inspiring articles:
- Complete Guide to Color in Design: Color Meaning, Color Theory, and More
- 10 Fresh, FREE, Fantastic Rainbow Color Palettes
- 25 Eye-Catching Neon Color Palettes to Wow Your Viewers
- 3 Color Theory Tips to Inspire Your Digital Design
- The Colors of Dutch Culture Go Way Past Orange
Cover image via Pixel-Shot.