Analogous Colors: What Are They, and How To Use Them

This page may contain links from our sponsors. Here’s how we make money.

As a graphic designer, you know that color plays a significant role in how we communicate with our audiences. So if you want your designs to really stand out and make an impact, it’s important to understand the power of analogous colors. They go way beyond just selecting shades of the same color family.

Whether your goal is creating calming and cohesive designs or adding creative color variety with an off-the-beaten-path look and feel, this post will give you all the information and examples you need on what analogous colors are and how to use them brilliantly!

What Are Analogous Colors?

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are next to each other on the traditional color wheel. Look at the example shown above. Green-yellow, yellow, and yellow-orange are analogous because they’re adjacent on the wheel.

Here are some more examples of analogous colors:

  • Red, red-orange, orange
  • Yellow, yellow-green, green
  • Green, blue-green, blue
  • Blue, blue-violet, violet
  • Violet, red-violet, red

How to Use an Analogous Color Scheme

Using analogous colors in your designs can give you a more calming, uniform look. You create harmony and balance by using colors that are closely related to each other. It’s a great way to bring subtle contrast to your designs without going too far off the beaten path.

Remember this rule when selecting analogous colors for your project: limit your color palette to three to five hues (or tints and shades of a single hue). Don’t pick too many colors, or you risk creating a busy and overwhelming design.

Here are some more tips to keep in mind when using analogous colors:

  • Pick the right color. Choose a base color and then add two to four adjacent colors that are next to it on the color wheel.
  • Use contrast. Make sure your analogous colors have enough variation in value, so you don’t end up with a flat-looking design. Try using a darker shade with a lighter tint to create contrast.
  • Add visual interest. Analogous colors can sometimes appear less interesting than other color schemes, so add texture and dimension with patterns, negative space, and other design elements.
  • Don’t overdo it. Be careful not to use too many analogous colors in a single design, or it could become overwhelming for the viewer. Try to stick between three to five colors.

Example Analogous Color Palettes

Creating beautiful designs with color doesn’t have to be complicated. With analogous colors, you can create eye-catching visuals that are sure to draw attention.

We’ve assembled a collection of seven analogous color scheme examples that use only four hues each — perfect for creating balanced and harmonious designs with just the right amount of contrast. Each color swatch includes hex codes, so you can easily insert them into your projects.

Autumn Blaze

Autumn Blaze - Analogous Color Palette

Colors: #a81e23, #d81a22, #f15e18, #fa9337

The warm colors in this palette featuring reds and oranges are perfect for designs related to fall and the harvest season. It evokes feelings of warmth and coziness and would be great for a business that wants to create an inviting atmosphere for its customers.

Citrus Burst

Citrus Burst - Analagous Color Palette

Colors: #e55b19, #fc9130, #f8c147, #fde274

This vibrant, warm color palette featuring oranges and yellows is perfect for designs that need to stand out. It’s an uplifting palette that can be used for any type of business but works especially well for summer-themed projects or food and beverage-related projects.

Golden Sunrise

Golden Sunrise - Analogous Color Palette

 Colors: #e70103, #f64e1d, #f9a615, #fbf63d

This bold color palette featuring reds, oranges, and yellows is the perfect way to add a touch of sunshine to your designs. It would work well for projects related to optimism, joy, or energy. For example, it could be used for a business that sells organic foods or health products.

Lemon Lime Twist

Lemon Lime Twist

Colors: #fdef31, #9dd54f, #21c769, #126c3c

This bright color palette featuring yellows and greens is perfect for designs related to nature or optimism. It would be great for any business that wants to convey a sense of freshness and renewal — think eco-friendly products, green technology, or natural health remedies.

Emerald Seas

Emerald Seas - Analogous Color Palette

 Colors: #197f44, #5cb59d, #015672, #011a3f

This calming color palette featuring blues and greens is perfect for designs related to the ocean or relaxation. it’s great for businesses that want to evoke feelings of calm and tranquility — think spas, yoga studios, and health resorts.

Royal Orchid

Royal Orchid - Analogous Color Palette

Colors: #375eb5, #322f8b, #8958e2, #60248c 

This regal cool color palette featuring blues and purples is perfect for designs related to royalty or luxury. These would make great branding colors for businesses that want to create an opulent atmosphere in their designs, such as high-end jewelry shops or upscale interior design firms.

Mulberry Magic

Mulberry Magic

Colors: #2b095a, #9126a1, #6a134c, #b22727

This romantic, attractive color palette featuring reds and purples is perfect for designs related to romance, creativity, or spirituality. it would be great for any business that wants to convey a feeling of warmth and care, such as a flower shop or an art gallery.

Final Thoughts on Analogous Colors

Using analogous color combinations in your designs can make a huge impact and give you the perfect balance of harmony and contrast. With this article, you now know what analogous colors are, how to use them effectively, and have some inspiring examples to use in your own projects. So go ahead — pick your favorite analogous palette and start creating eye-catching graphic designs!

Get the Free Resources Bundle