Complimentary Colors and Color Theory

At some point in time, we’ve all been curious – why can we pair certain colors together and they look good, but when we pair others together they look terrible? It’s kind of strange when you think about it. So, what colors do go well together? And what do they mean?

I like to think of complimentary colors as colors that “go well” together, but really they’re two colors that when combined or mixed, they cancel each other out and create either black or white. For the sake of this blog post though, let’s go with my definition: colors that “go well” together😂 These can be helpful in curating your Instagram feed or finding general colors you think you may want to use for your branding. 

After talking with a lot of you over social media, I’ve seen that you struggle with what colors go well together, what colors you should choose for your brand, or why you should choose certain colors over others. I know it can be hard, so I’ve created a little guide for you below on complimentary colors! As a reminder, these are just a few pairings – there are about a billion more, but these are the ones I always go back to. I’ll have to warn you – they aren’t the most beautiful colors you will ever see, but when paired together for illustrations or graphics, they will never fail to make your design pop!

So, what do all of these colors mean? As in, what do they represent? I actually find the psychology of colors fascinating – I don’t have a lot of time to go deep into detail, but the way they’re used in advertising and designs in order to convey a certain meaning is absolutely mind blowing to me. To just scratch the surface, take a look at the list below for the psychology behind some of the main stream colors. While reading through them, ask yourself if the colors you’re currently using in your branding or on your website align with the meanings below. They don’t need to be an exact match, but your branding should  align with the overall meaning. 

  1. RED: love, power, strength, ambition
  2. ORANGE: creativity, confidence, encouraging, balance
  3. YELLOW: optimism, positivity, happiness, warmth
  4. GREEN: harmony, freshness, energetic, renewing
  5. BLUE: stability, wisdom, loyalty, confidence
  6. PURPLE: devotion, independence, luxury, nobility
  7. BLACK: elegance, formality, sophistication, mystery
  8. WHITE: innocence, purity, clean, safe

Now, we have all of this great information, but how do we put together a color palette and make it look good for our brand? Lucky you, I’ve created five free color palettes that you can use for your brand. They all incorporate one or more of the colors mentioned above and are easy to implement throughout your social media! You can click the button below to join my email list and get your free download.