Think Color – The 3 Most Effective Color Combinations in Design

Humans are highly responsive to colors; throughout the ages artists have used color to create emotion, inspire, or convey a message. Choosing effective colors can be the difference between the failure and success of a design.

Remember, you don’t need to have many different colors to create a great design. Two simple, high-contrast colors are effective at conveying almost any message and look great. These three combinations are by no means an inclusive list, many other great combinations exist; we just think that these three stand out from the rest and are unfortunately often overlooked by designers (especially amatures) in favor of more complicated, confusing color schemes.

Black and White

Black and White has been a staple color combination for quite some time. The high-contrast between black and white makes designs that utilize this color combo easy on the eyes. It can convey a sense of style and class, not to mention a singularly vintage look.

Keep in mind that black and white can be combined with almost any other color to highlight specific elements of the design, for example, our site or the New York Times.

Red and White

This tried and true color combination can inspire feelings of excitement, love, anger, or even luxury. Once again, the high-contrast between the two colors is key to this combination’s success. Also, this color is commonly associated with the holidays and is a great way to kindle a festive spirit.

Green and Blue

One of nature’s favorite color combos and usually used in conjunction with another color like white or black, green and blue work wonderfully together. They convey a sense of freshness and life, and look great in almost any application.

Have a favorite color combination? Tell us about it below-

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  1. Swift
    June 1, 2008 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Orange and black =D

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  3. Drew T.
    June 4, 2008 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Green and yellow is probably my favorite; either that or white and blue…

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  5. Snuffy
    June 7, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I was always a fan of the green, blue, and brown color combination.

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  7. zyco
    July 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    WOW WOW….

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  1. July 10, 2008 at 6:51 pm

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