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Analogous Colors

What are Analogous Colors?

Analogous colors are like best friends who sit really close to each other on the color wheel. In design, the pairing creates a seamless flow that’s easy on the eyes.

analogous colors cover

The design concept will work well with most ideas -- especially if you’re going for a peaceful, smooth effect. Designers looking to instill a sense of calm and trust should try their hand at implementing analogous colors into their next project.

In a world full of bright lights, loud noises, and clashing colors, analogous schemes are a pleasant reprieve. Enjoy learning about this delightful approach to color combination.

How to Use Analogous Colors in Modern Design

The idea of peace and relaxation seems nice, but how can you apply it to your modern design? You’re building an app, website, or cutting-edge piece of technology. How can modern designers make the most of analogous colors?

We broke it down step-by-step for you:

1. Consider The Tone Of Your Product

First, consider the tone and voice of the product you are creating.

Do you want to be revered as prestigious? Purple is often a color linked to royalty. Think about brands like Cadbury and Hallmark as a great example of that.


What if you want to just promote a fun, positive outlook? Yellow cheers us up with its sunny hues. Think about the McDonald’s arches and their happy meals.

What feeling do you want people to associate with your brand?

2. Choose Your Place on the Color Wheel

Here’s where’ you’ll start building your color scheme. Now that you know the right feeling you’re going for, it’s time to pick the right color.

color wheel

Building an analogous color scheme isn’t difficult. Select your primary color. (Spoiler: It’s the color associated with what you uncovered in the previous step.) From there, choose a color to the right and left. Voila!

3. Get Creative and Experiment

Don’t confuse simple with boring. There’s no reason you have to keep your analogous color scheme to basic colors like red, purple, and blue. Feel free to throw in some pastels, neons, and various shades into the mix.


Experiment with combinations and just enjoy the process! Keep mixing, creating, and figuring out what works best with your users.

Word to the wise: Simple can be boring, so it’s important to find a combination that suits your mission, personality, and company culture. It’s an art more than a science, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the 1st (or 11th) try.

How to Use Analogous Colors in Modern Design

Designers looking for high-quality design solutions find a tried and true method in analogous colors. They’re easy-to-use, simple-to-apply and often lead to a united, harmonious design.

Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this with your logos and websites.

1. Logos

Analogous colors work wonderfully in logos, particularly if you are looking to create a unified piece that promotes elegance and authority.

A good example of a company using analogous colors effectively for their logo is BP.


Their current logo was released in 2000 and is a tribute to nature. Named after the Greek god of the sun, Helios, the logo utilizes natural green and yellow colors to create a depiction of the sun.

The sun rises each day with predictable authority. As one of the world’s leading energy companies, it’s no wonder they chose this analogous inspiration from the environment around us.

2. Website Design

Analogous colors are a very easy way to promote a sense of flow on your website. Rather than looking for bold, clashing colors, designers can use a more understated scheme to promote a sense of security and serenity.

Screenshot 2018-10-16 11.46.06

3. Find Inspiration from Nature

We often see analogous colors in nature. Think of the soft contrast of the blue and greens of the sea or perhaps the red, yellow and oranges found in flames.

Vincent van Gogh’s most famous piece in his Sunflowers series is an excellent example of this scheme. The piece also shows how the combination has been used effectively by hundreds of artists across the centuries.

van gogh

As you can see, the vast majority of the work is created with variations of yellow and orange, leading to an earthy, natural feel. Classic Analogous.

We enjoyed exploring this topic with you. Want to keep going? Pick one of these related terms to read next:

A. Gradient [grey-dee-uh nt], noun:

As the perfect transition, jump into this definition of gradients. You’ll learn about how to use them in modern design… Read the full definition »

B. Skeuomorphism [skyoo-uh-mawrf-siz-uh m], noun:

Apple taught us the simplicity of effective design through this nostalgic technique… Read the full definition »

C. Vector Graphics [vek-ter graf-iks], noun:

This scalable image file is a favorite for many reasons, especially if you’re an illustrator… Read the full definition »