7 Subtle Color Palettes
Vibrant colors and high contrast don’t work for every visual brand.
Whether you’re aiming for a sophisticated, gentle, or mature brand personality, or you’re just a little color-phobic, there’s still plenty of subtle color palettes that are interesting and engaging.
Soft and simple
Pairing a range of grays and white with a soft pastel color is a great way to have a color accent people can start to associate with your business, while keeping the palette gentle and mostly neutral.
Pairing black and a soft shade of yellow (or any color you like) with lighter shades of the two adds depth and contrast without feeling overwhelming.
A dark navy can replace the standard black, and pairing it with cool grays and rich brown creates a neutral palette with warm and cool notes.
Pop of Color
Here’s a secret: any color looks good paired with black, white, a dark gray, and a light gray. This is a great option for the design-illiterate who need to make a professional color palette on the fly.
Choose a medium-toned muted color, and create the rest of the palette by adding shades (created by adding black) and tints (created by adding white) of your original color.
Mix various shades of warm and muted neutrals to create a cozy earthy palette.
dark and handsome
Deep, rich colors paired together create a nice tonal effect. Though black, navy, chocolate, and forest green may feel overpowering individually, together they balance each other out and create a nice sophisticated and masculine palette.
Want me to create a custom color palette (and logo and font pairings and photo style) for your business? Check out my Noteworthy Visual Brand Starter Kit.
I'm Sierra Kellermeyer, brand designer.
I work with passion-driven small business owners who feel their visual marketing is disconnected from their core identity and ideals. I get to know them, their business, and their services, and design them a Noteworthy Visual Brand that effortlessly attracts their ideal clients.