5 Practical Tips for Creating a Considered Color Palette
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Identify the mood you want to create
  2. Study color theory
  3. Find inspiration in nature
  4. Consider the context
  5. Test your palette

Are you ready to dive into the world of color? If so, you've come to the right place. This blog will guide you through the process of creating a considered color palette. The aim is to help you gain a deeper understanding of how colors work together, and how to use them effectively in your designs. So, let's get started!

Identify the mood you want to create

When creating a considered color pallette, the first step is to identify the mood you want to create. This can be anything from calming and serene to vibrant and energetic. The mood you choose will be the foundation of your color palette, guiding your color choices and how they're combined.

Why mood matters in color palettes

Color has a big role in setting the mood of any design. Think of it like this: if you're painting a room in your house, the colors you choose will have a huge impact on how that room feels. Bold, bright colors might make the room feel energetic and lively, while softer, cooler colors might make it feel calm and relaxing. It's the same with creating a color palette for a design project: you want the colors to reflect the mood you want to convey.

How to identify the mood for your palette

  • Think about your project: What is it that you're designing? A website? A logo? An infographic? Each project will have a different mood, and your color palette should reflect that.
  • Consider your audience: Who are you designing for? Different audiences may respond to different colors and moods. For example, a color palette for a children's book might be bright and fun, while a color palette for a corporate website might be more subdued and professional.
  • Reflect on the message: What message do you want to convey with your design? The colors you choose can help reinforce this message. For example, if you're creating a logo for a eco-friendly company, you might opt for earthy greens and blues to reflect their commitment to the environment.

Remember, identifying the mood is just the first step in creating a considered color palette. It's a key part of the process, but there's more to consider. In the following sections, we'll look at color theory, finding inspiration in nature, considering the context, and testing your palette. So stay tuned!

Study color theory

Moving on from identifying the mood, our next step towards creating a considered color palette is understanding color theory. It might sound a bit complex, but don't worry, we'll break it down into digestible chunks. Color theory is all about how colors interact with each other and the effects they have on the viewer. Let's get into it.

Understanding Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors

Every color palette starts from the basics. The primary colors—red, yellow, and blue—are the parent colors that give birth to all other hues on the color wheel. Mixing these primary colors gives us the secondary colors: orange, green, and purple. And when you mix primary and secondary colors, you get tertiary colors. Understanding this color hierarchy will help you when creating a considered color palette.

The Color Wheel and Color Schemes

Ever heard of the color wheel? It's a handy tool that helps us visualize how colors relate to each other. It includes primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. You can use the color wheel to create various color schemes, such as:

  • Complementary: Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.
  • Analogous: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Triadic: Three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.

These are just some of the color schemes you can explore when you're creating a considered color palette. They can provide a harmonious balance that is pleasing to the eye.

The Role of Warm and Cool Colors

Colors can be warm (reds, oranges, yellows) or cool (blues, greens, purples). Warm colors tend to be vibrant and energetic, while cool colors are more calming and soothing. The balance of warm and cool colors in your palette can greatly influence the overall mood of your design.

There you have it, a crash course in color theory! It's an indispensable tool for creating a considered color palette. But don't stop here, there's more to learn about finding inspiration, considering context, and testing your palette.

Find inspiration in nature

Now that we've dabbled in color theory, let's step into the great outdoors. Nature is one of the best sources of inspiration when creating a considered color palette. It offers a wealth of colors, all perfectly paired and balanced. Let's see how you can draw from nature's palette.

Observing Natural Landscapes

Start by observing the world around you. From the lush greens of a forest to the serene blues of a beach or the vibrant hues of a sunset, nature is a master of color. Take pictures of these landscapes and use them as inspiration. You'll notice that nature uses a mix of analogous and complementary colors that create harmony and balance, helping you in creating a considered color palette.

Exploring Flora and Fauna

Have you ever noticed the striking colors of a peacock or the subtle tones of a desert cactus? Flora and fauna offer a treasure trove of color combinations. The brilliant red of a rose or the cool blues of a butterfly's wings can serve as the base for your color palette. Remember, the goal isn't to copy these colors exactly, but to draw inspiration from them.

Seasonal Colors

Each season brings a unique color palette. Spring is full of bright, fresh colors; summer leans towards vibrant, sunny hues; fall is characterized by warm, earthy tones; and winter brings cool, muted colors. Use these seasonal shifts as a guide for your color palette, especially if you want to evoke a specific time of year.

So, the next time you're out and about, don't forget to look around. Mother Nature might just provide the perfect inspiration for creating a considered color palette. And once you've gathered your inspiration, it's time to think about the context of your color choices.

Consider the context

With your color inspiration in hand, it's time to think about context. Context matters, folks! Whether you're creating a color palette for a website, a living room, or a piece of artwork, the environment and purpose play a big role in your color choices.

Understanding the Purpose

Firstly, consider the purpose of your project. Are you painting a relaxing bedroom or designing an energetic workout app? The mood you aim to set directly influences your color picks. For example, warmer colors like oranges and reds might be great for a lively website but less so for a meditation app. Understanding the specific purpose is a key step in creating a considered color palette.

Accounting for the Environment

The physical or digital environment where your colors will be seen affects how they appear. Bright sunlight can wash out colors, while dim lighting can make them look darker. Digital screens also vary in color display. Consider where and how your color palette will be viewed to ensure it looks its best.

Considering Cultural Associations

Color meanings can vary greatly across different cultures. For instance, in many Western cultures, white is a symbol of purity, while in some Eastern cultures, it is associated with mourning. If your project is meant for an international audience, it's a good idea to consider these cultural color associations.

Alright, you've found your inspiration and considered the context. Now it's time for one of the most important steps: testing your palette. But we'll save that for the next section. Stay tuned!

Test your palette

Now that we've considered the context, it's time to put our color choices to the test. Let's see how they perform in action!

Testing on Different Platforms

First off, you'll want to see how your colors look across different platforms. Make sure you try them out on various screens like mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers. If you're designing a physical space, check your colors in different lights and times of day. This step will help you ensure your palette is versatile and works well in all scenarios.

Using Mock-Ups

Next, it's always a good idea to create some mock-ups. These can be anything from website pages to room layouts. By putting your colors into a real-world setting, you can see how they interact with each other and the space. Do they complement each other? Is one color overpowering the others? Mock-ups will make any issues visible before you finalize your color choices.

Getting Feedback

Lastly, don't forget to gather opinions. Show your palette to colleagues, friends, or your target audience. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and help you make any necessary adjustments before finalizing. Remember, creating a considered color palette is a process, and feedback is an integral part of it.

And there you have it: the final step in our journey to create a considered color palette. Remember, the goal is to create a palette that effectively communicates your intended mood, fits the context, and passes the test phase. It may take some trial and error, but with these practical tips, you're well on your way to mastering the art of color selection.

If you're looking to further improve your color selection skills, don't miss the 'Daisie Original Animation Course' with none another than Alex Jenkins who will you take you through his complete animation process. Dive in and take your animation skills to the next level!