Color is an irreplaceable form of communication—immediate and strong. It’s especially important in today’s fast-paced world, where first impressions matter so much.
With just a glance, color can soothe or distract the eye. It can change thoughts and even actions. That’s why designers across the world have been pushing the boundaries, creating new and colorful ways of visualizing emotions for their clients.
With the amount of competition and globalization across the internet, it’s no wonder that color trends are changing rapidly—yet they manage to exist in perfect harmony.
Be assured: there’s a little something for everyone—from clean, subdued whites to bright and vibrant tones. With that in mind, let’s take a look at these diverse color trends coming in hot in 2019.
Being such a powerful color, a little bit of red in your design can go a long way. So imagine what you can achieve with a lot of it!
Red was seen as the color of blood and fire by our ancestors, further being associated with love, passion, energy and strength, but most commonly, with joy and wellbeing.
That said, it’s an attention-getter for sure and a risky choice—which is not necessarily a bad thing! The feeling of living on the edge can carry over to your consumers. Just make sure you are certain that using such vibrant reds makes sense for your brand or product. Brace yourself (or your eyes) because you’ll see a lot more of this fiery color all around you in 2019!
If you need a break from the sheer magnitude of all this red, you may find serenity in the cleanliness of the white neutrals trend. White is the symbol of purity and is often associated with honesty and neutrality. Thanks to these characteristics, the use of white in design has an immediately calming effect. It makes any composition soft and airy and gives it a sense of wonder.
White has been around forever, but it looks like it is taking center stage in 2019. It’s perfect for brands that are modern and elegant, given that whitespace is the primary ingredient in a sleek, minimalistic look. Obviously, it will always be combined with other colors (usually other neutrals), but as long as those colors don’t take over the composition and overall look, you can still take advantage of this trend.
Earthy tones connect our subconscious back to mother nature. That is, they evoke a nostalgic emotion. They make you remember a trip to the beach or the desert, the smell of fresh cut grass. To recreate this feeling for your clients, consider greens, browns, yellows, corals or even colder shades like blue—almost pastels but with a dusty and muted base. You can use them in lighter or darker shades, but in both cases you’ll get a raw and effortless feel.
The point is, it’s 2019, and we are all looking for a break from the daily glowing images we see on social media. From time to time we need to see pleasant colors, that make us feel safe and at home—a good reason why these tones are gaining so much popularity right now.
A simple, minimal composition with just a touch of color will make any design pop. That one little splash of color has the ability to turn a flat image into one that screams and shouts. It adds visual interest, highlights certain information and guides the eye through the design. It makes the overall look modern and brave. Expect to see designers making use of color sparingly, yet in clever and eye-catching ways in anything from web design to packaging in 2019.
Working with contrasting colors can be tricky. Make a mistake and you’ll end up with a piece that literally hurts people’s eyes! On the other hand, if you manage to get them right, you’ll have a super vibrant and striking piece.
Juxtaposing two or more colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel will make them accentuate each other—and ramping up the saturation will help them glow, move and yell! Besides traditional contrasts, in 2019 creatives are experimenting with unusual contrasts more than ever before. Contrast is not only achieved by combining two opposite hues, but patterns and shadows too. It all adds up to a highly dynamic composition that’s bold and fearless.
Color lovers, this one’s for you! People are embracing colors because they immediately make any composition joyous and fun. In the past, we were told to stay put and avoid super intricate color combinations—nowadays, the whole color spectrum is our playground.
As much fun as it is to play with the color wheel, please don’t jump head first into the deep sea of colors and randomly mix and match. You need to be extremely attentive and careful to create harmonious compositions. For example, you can play with different saturations or brightnesses of the same hue, or you can add the same amount of brightness to all your hues for a more harmonious and muted palette.
High contrast or a super colorful palette are great for a bold look, but there are times when you might want something that’s a little more light and magical. That’s when iridescence can come in handy.
Iridescence is an optical effect where certain surfaces (think of soap bubbles or the backside of a CD) seem to change their color when viewed from different angles. In both design and fashion this effect is gaining popularity due to its enchanted appearance. If you are looking to add a mystical, otherworldly flair to your designs, this is definitely your best choice, as you can easily recreate this effect with the use of pastel gradients.
We can’t talk about color trends without mentioning Pantone’s color of the year. Looks like in the upcoming year we will be seeing a lot of Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral, which is a vibrant, yet mellow coral color. It inspires warmth and comfort, optimism and joy.
Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.
Some designers may already have guessed or influenced this upcoming trend by using colors that are pretty close to this hue. Now, as yet another sign of 2019’s return to nature, this color is rising out of its undersea depths onto the surface of our everyday world.
Colors make the world go round in 2019
As you may have noticed, 2019 brings us a little bit of everything. Whether you’re into super loud colors or subtle neutrals, classic color or a modern mix—you’ve got options. So aren’t you excited to see what designers, artists and brands will come up with this year? I know I am!