24 Themed Color Palettes for Inspiration and Design

Collection of themed color palettes

When you sit down to create a new design, you’re faced with an exciting opportunity: selecting the color palette you’re going to use. However, even the most talented designer is bound to run out of color inspiration every now and then.

We all need a bit of help sometimes, so if you’ve found yourself struggling with designer’s block, take a look at these powerful themed color palettes and pick the one that conveys the right message to your audience. You’ll find classic palettes, innovative collections of color, and everything in between.

Warm Color Palette

Warm color palette with hex codes

Names: Canary, Selective yellow, Safety orange, Golden gate bridge, Red (cmyk)
Hex Codes: #FFED00, #F8B405, #F17A0A, #EA400F, #E30613

The first thing you probably notice about this palette is its extremely high energy. You’ll want to make sure to use ultra-warm palettes like this one with care. Some designers choose to use a dark and/or cool background — think bursts of yellow, orange, and red against black.

However, if you want a design using only the colors above, consider gradient or ombre color schemes. Blending the colors into one another creates a striking, sunset-like effect. You also might consider swirling, watercolor-like effects.

Here are 30 Warm Color Palettes for Cozy Designs.

Cool Color Palette

Cool color palette with hex codes

Names: Jade, Dark cyan, Bice blue, YInMn blue, Eminence
Hex Codes: #00B877, #169593, #2C72AF, #4D5B9C, #6D4389

If you found the super-warm energy of the palette above to be a bit too much, check out this relaxing, cool-hued color scheme. If warm colors capture the sun and fire of the world, cool colors capture the lakes, forests, and rolling green fields. The example palette shown above presents a distinct opportunity: Dark Cyan fades into Jade, YInMn Blue fades into Eminence, and both Cyan and YInMn Blue seem to flow forth from Bice Blue. There’s a kind of built-in gradient here, so this collection is ideal for gradient palettes.

However, there’s enough contrast between these five shades that you could also create colorblock designs. Although you often see colorblocking done with very stark contrasts, a reduced-contrast look like what you’d get with this palette is an outstanding choice if you want to mix things up a bit.

Here are 30 Cool Color Palettes for Calming Designs.

Retro Color Palette

Retro color palette with hex codes

Names: Jungle green, Celadon, Orange (web), Syracuse red orange, Burgundy
Hex Codes: #2BAF90, #A1D4B1, #F1A512, #DD4111, #8C0027

Speaking of colorblocking, retro-style designs (like the kind of designs you might make with this particular palette) tend to lend themselves to it. So-called “retro” palettes tend to look more desaturated and “flat,” giving any design a vintage appeal. The palette above spans a wide spectrum of color, but many retro color schemes (especially the ones inspired by the 1970s) combine shades of brown with muted versions of red, orange, and yellow.

So how should you go about using a palette like this? If you really want to lean into the retro aesthetic, consider rainbow-style stripes, colorblocked designs, and anything that combines simple shapes with bold colors like the ones above.

Here are 31 Retro Color Palettes for Throwback Designs.

Vintage Color Palette

Vintage color palette with hex codes

Names: Dun, Ecru, Chamoisee, Rose taupe, Cambridge blue
Hex Codes: #D7C1A2, #A79D71, #A28667, #9C6F6A, #8A9C8C

Not everyone distinguishes between vintage and retro color palettes. However, vintage palettes tend to have a more generally faded appearance (think sepia-toned photos). Retro palettes tend to use the kind of bold colors often seen in designs of the past. Essentially, a retro palette is meant to mimic old styles of design. A vintage palette is meant to look actually weathered — much like a time-worn toy or photo album.

There’s no set guide on how to use a vintage palette like this one. However, to make a design look authentically older, make a point of only using a few colors. If your design involves text, it’s often best to avoid stark blacks. If you need a dark-colored font, go with very dark brown instead.

Here are 30 Vintage Color Palettes for Nostalgic Designs.

Food Color Palette

Food color palette with hex codes

Names: Chili red, Orange peel, School bus yellow, Yellow green, Purpureus
Hex Codes: #EE341B, #FD9C02, #FDD813, #9EC640, #9762A7

Love designs with lots of bright colors? If so, this food-inspired palette can breathe life into your next project. Of course, as you look at this palette, you might think of a rainbow before you think of food. If you’re creating a rainbow-inspired design, that’s no problem. But sometimes, you just need a bright palette that doesn’t look like a rainbow.

In that case, the key to avoiding the rainbow connection is to use unequal amounts of the different colors. For example, because this palette was inspired by food, you could take some inspiration from a humble salad. You might create a design with a background that’s mostly Yellow Green. From there, you can add smaller accents of Chili Red, Orange Peel, School Bus Yellow, and Purpureus — like making a salad with tomatoes, orange and yellow peppers, and eggplant slices! Place a greater emphasis on warmer colors for a high-energy design, or use more cool Purpureus to quiet things down.

Here are 31 Food Color Palettes for Appetizing Designs.

Pastel Color Palette

Pastel color palette with hex codes

Names: Lavender (web), Pale spring bud, Beige, Wheat, Pale dogwood
Hex Codes: #E1DBFA, #E4ECC9, #FAF8DF, #FEE6C2, #FBD4C6

Like the food-inspired color palette above, this pastel palette might remind you a bit of a rainbow — just a pale, quiet one. Pastels are a smart choice if you want to incorporate many different colors into your design without making it look too bright or garish. If you’re basing a digital design around pastels, there’s nothing wrong with making it look like a watercolor-style or swirling design. However, because pastels are so pale, they’re actually great candidates for geometric designs.

For example, a backdrop of tiny, highly saturated purple, green, yellow, orange, and red triangles might be overwhelming. But because softer colors like these create softer lines, the same design will look more balanced and engaging with pastels.

Here are 31 Pastel Color Palettes for Soft Designs.

Neutral Color Palette

Neutral color palette with hex codes

Names: Isabelline, Timberwolf, Khaki, Beaver, Walnut brown
Hex Codes: #F4F2F0, #D1CBC7, #C3AA97, #907564, #57514C

Neutral colors have an undeserved reputation for being boring. It’s certainly possible to create a boring palette with neutrals, but color schemes like the one above can create strikingly beautiful designs. For example, the light/dark contrast in the set of colors above makes it perfect for creating intricate, lined geometric designs. Starting with a background of Isabelline (or Timberwolf, if you prefer something with a bit of a darker cast), try including lined designs with Walnut Brown and/or Beaver.

Starker designs like this one certainly draw the eye. However, the five colors here are close enough that you can also use them to create 3D-style shading. Try creating a landscape with 3D shapes and shadows!

Here are 30 Neutral Color Palettes for Elegant Designs.

Light Color Palette

Light color palette with hex codes

Names: Misty rose, Antique white, Baby powder, Alice blue, Pale purple
Hex Codes: #FED7D7, #FDECD8, #F3F7F3, #E2E9F3, #DFD4ED

Do you want your next design to look as though it’s cloaked in a light mist of color? If so, then this super-light color palette is just what you’re looking for. As you can see with the text overlay on the palette above, one of the advantages of pale colors is that you can easily use them as a background without worrying about the colors competing with the text.

That doesn’t mean you have to feel like you need to use all five of these colors together. For instance, if you want to create a cool, soothing website homepage, you might consider a combination of Baby Powder, Alice Blue, and Pale Purple. For something that leans warmer while still remaining calm, you might prefer a mix of Misty Rose, Antique White, and Baby Powder. Light colors like these can be a lot of fun to play around with, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Here are 31 Light Color Palettes for Airy Designs.

Dark Color Palette

Dark color palette with hex codes

Names: Space cadet, Indigo dye, Payne’s gray, Violet (jtc), Dark purple
Hex Codes: #161638, #1B435E, #38667E, #563457, #302442

Light colors can create a refreshing, airy look. However, if you’d prefer to create a darker, moodier aesthetic, palettes like this one may be a better fit. When some people think of dark color palettes, they picture shades of jet black and charcoal gray. But even very deep jewel tones like the ones shown here can create wonderfully dark designs.

Darker color palettes don’t necessarily have to include a lighter color to be complete. But they do give you an outstanding opportunity to create lighter focal points. For example, you might use the colors above to create a shadowy landscape of teal, deep purple, and indigo. You could then add a bright white moon at the center to draw the eye.

Here are 31 Dark Color Palettes for Dramatic Designs.

Neon Color Palette

Neon color palette with hex codes

Names: Bluebonnet, Hollywood cerise, Orange (wheel), Neon green, Fluorescent cyan
Hex Codes: #2A1FFF, #F02D9F, #FF810A, #35FF1F, #20FEE8

Neon colors are just about as different from darker colors as they come. But if you want something extraordinarily bright, neons are exactly what you need.

It’s possible to successfully integrate neon colors into a digital design, but you should do so with caution. Looking at a design with too much neon is kind of like staring straight into the sun. It hurts your eyes, it’s entirely too bright, and you can’t wait to look away. Not a great combination when you’re trying to create something visually appealing.

One of the best ways to use neon colors in a digital design is to mimic the aesthetic of a neon sign. You get all the allure of the bright colors, but when you place them against a dark background, you bring everything back into balance. There are also some applications where the energy of neon colors can be a great asset. If you design user interfaces, you already know that having eye-catching CTAs (or other clickable buttons) is a generally good idea. When you’re trying to get as many conversions as possible, it’s in your best interest to make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to get where you want them to go.

One word of caution when using neon colors: beware of vibrating boundaries. Vibrating boundaries happen when you put two very bright colors next to one another. The boundary between them seems to vibrate or move slightly. That’s because when you look at a very bright color, your eye generates an afterimage. But when two of these colors are right next to each other, the afterimages interfere with one another, creating the illusion of moving boundaries.

Here are 30 Neon Color Palettes for Vibrant Designs.

Gradient Color Palette

Gradient color palette with hex codes

Names: Purple pizzazz, Steel pink, Mauveine, Indigo, Federal blue
Hex Codes: #FE47D9, #C637BB, #8D279C, #54177D, #1B065E

Technically speaking, you can create a gradient between any two (or more) colors. However, some color combinations tend to look better than others. Gradients like the one above generally work well — you take a darker color (like Federal Blue) and fade it slowly into a lighter, brighter color like Purple Pizzazz. Basic gradients like this make great backgrounds, but if you wish, you can create more intricate designs, too. For instance, some designers are partial to radial gradients, where you start with one color at the center and then fade it outward in a sunburst-style pattern.

When you’re creating a gradient-style design, it can be interesting to experiment with the level of contrast. For example, if you want to approach a more monochromatic look, you could slowly fade a darker shade of blue into a lighter shade. Or if you’re going for maximum contrast, fading a cool color into a warm color (as with Federal Blue and Purple Pizzazz above) can yield truly eye-catching results.

Here are 33 Gradient Color Palettes for Dynamic Designs.

Monochromatic Color Palette

Monochromatic color palette with hex codes

Names: Burgundy, Paprika, Madder, Red (ncs), Cardinal
Hex Codes: #6E0A1E, #850C24, #9C0D2A, #B30F30, #C91035

High-contrast designs have their place. But if you’re someone who appreciates nuance and subtlety, you might find that a monochromatic design works best for your project. “Monochromatic” technically means “one color,” but monochromatic design contains many variations of a particular color.

When choosing a monochromatic color scheme, make sure you put careful thought into the color you choose. For example, the color orange is often associated with bargains, so if you’re creating a website for an upscale brand, a monochromatic orange color scheme wouldn’t be a great choice.

These color schemes are more versatile than you might think. For instance, some designers like to lean into the gradient-like appeal of monochromatic palettes by blending the colors into one another. But you can also create monochromatic palettes with enough contrast for colorblocking. That way, you can create visual interest without disrupting the continuity of the design.

Here are 40 Monochromatic Color Palettes for Minimalistic Designs.

Sunset Color Palette

Sunset color palette with hex codes

Names: Saffron, Atomic tangerine, Bittersweet, Cerise, Pomp and power
Hex Codes: #FCCC73, #FD9D5D, #FD6B5D, #D04E6C, #8A5687

If you’re ever running low on inspiration, you can’t go wrong with looking to the natural world for ideas. One of the most spectacularly colorful everyday events is the sunset. If your design calls for a combination of red (or deep pink), orange, yellow, and purple, a palette like the one above is the perfect choice.

There’s nothing wrong with colorblocking a design with this palette. But if you want your design to be as much like a sunset as possible, using a gradient to blend each shade in the next will work best.

Here are 31 Sunset Color Palettes for Captivating Designs.

Nature Color Palette

Nature color palette with hex codes

Names: Cal poly green, Pistachio, Columbia blue, Beaver, Liver
Hex Codes: #244F26, #A5CC6B, #CEE5F2, #967D69, #6B4B3E

Sunsets are just one of the many colorful phenomena in the natural world. The palette above combines the colors of grass, forests, and sky. If you need a color scheme that feels like a breath of fresh air and makes your audience think of a hike through the woods on a pleasant spring day, this is the one to choose.

If you want your design to be as nature-inspired as possible, you might consider including these colors in almost the same proportions seen in nature. For example, you might use a large amount of Columbia Blue (a sky-like shade that’s also pale enough to be a background color), a moderate amount of Cal-Poly Green and Pistachio, and a smaller amount of Beaver and Liver.

Here are 33 Nature Color Palettes for Lively Designs.

Spring Color Palette

Spring color palette with hex codes

Names: Light green, Maize, Cyclamen, Sky blue, Vista blue
Hex Codes: #83D88E, #F9ED62, #F4669A, #68D5F3, #7498E7

Whether you’re creating an ad, giving a website a seasonal update, or designing product packaging, you sometimes need a seasonal color scheme. Spring is generally associated with light, cheerful shades — soft green like new leaf buds, yellow and pink like blooming flowers, and bright blue like clear spring skies.

Cheery palettes like this one lend themselves to patterns. You might consider vertical stripes, spots, or plaids. Alternatively, you could create a design that takes inspiration from the season itself. With the color palette above, you could create a floral design with Light Green stems and leaves and Maize, Cyclamen, and Vista Blue flowers.

Here are 30 Spring Color Palettes for Fresh Designs.

Summer Color Palette

Summer color palette with hex codes

Names: Deep pink, Giants orange, Mikado yellow, Aquamarine, Aqua
Hex Codes: #F02D92, #FE5720, #FFC31F, #2FEEB8, #20F6FE

Some spring color palettes are bright and energetic. However, if you need to create a design that’s even brighter and more energetic, a vibrant summer color palette may be even better. Colors like these are great for drawing the attention of audiences, but you should use them with caution.

For instance, imagine you’re designing a user interface for an app. Often, bright colors are used to strategically draw users’ attention and create an information hierarchy — users tend to look at brighter colors first. If you’re designing a page with the colors above, you might use Deep Pink to highlight a list of product benefits. You then might use Giants Orange to create a CTA “buy now” button.

If you use every single color above in the creation of that product page, it will be visually confusing and overwhelming. You might be able to create some designs that use every color in the palette, but if you want to soften some of the impact, consider separating the colors with black, white, gray, or another neutral (or cool-leaning neutral).

Here are 31 Summer Color Palettes for Sunny Designs.

Fall Color Palette

Fall color palette with hex codes

Names: Seal brown, Persian red, Cocoa brown, Gamboge, Moss green
Hex Codes: #532A16, #BE4836, #DB7217, #F0A205, #758A49

Summer colors might be incredibly bright, but fall colors are intense in a different way. They’re generally rich and earthy while being slightly muted. As you can see above, Persian Red is a brick-like shade, Cocoa Brown looks like the exterior of an unripe cocoa bean pod, and Gamboge has a golden glow.

One of the more obvious ways to use this particular palette is to create a design featuring fall leaves. If you want to amp up the rustic appeal, consider placing these colors against a background of parchment or a similar warm white shade. For something a little darker, consider a background that’s about the color of weathered wood.

Here are 30 Fall Color Palettes for Earthy Designs.

Winter Color Palette

Winter color palette with hex codes

Names: Ube, Ash gray, Alice blue, Powder blue, Silver lake blue
Hex Codes: #837EB4, #ACC3B8, #E2EAF3, #9DB2D2, #6C90C6

If you want your design to capture the icy appeal of a still winter day, this palette is ideal. When most people think of winter colors, they imagine various shades of white and blue. The color collection above expands that palette to include other cool colors. Ube comes close to being a frosty purple, and Ash Gray has the memorable silver cast of sage leaves.

All-cool winter color schemes are popular, but in some cases, you might want to create a winter color scheme that has a burst of warmer shade. When placed in the right context, bright colors can fit naturally into winter palettes. For instance, red is a warm color that commonly appears in cold-weather color schemes. Many people associate it with cardinals and holly berries, two red things often seen in the snow. And if you want to create a winter design that creates a sense of coziness, red is also warm enough to remind your audience of a soft, warm blanket.

Here are 31 Winter Color Palettes for Frosty Designs.

Wedding Color Palette

Wedding color palette with hex codes

Names: Mulberry, Amaranth pink, Mimi pink, Pink lavender, African violet
Hex Codes: #C05D8C, #F193BD, #FBDAF1, #D6AED6, #AE6FAB

What makes a wedding color palette? If you’re planning a wedding, you can technically choose any palette you want. But generally speaking, color schemes used at weddings center around shades of white or off-white, pink, light blue, lavender, and other soft colors. It’s not unusual to use slight variants on the same or similar colors. The above palette is a great example — Amaranth Pink is a little lighter than Mulberry, and Pink Lavender is a little lighter than African Violet.

Lots of wedding palettes involve layering those color variants alongside a neutral. For example, with the above palette, bridesmaids might wear Mimi Pink dresses and hold floral bouquets that include cream, Mulberry, Amaranth Pink, Pink Lavender, and African Violet flowers.

Here are 32 Wedding Color Palettes for Dreamy Designs.

Easter Color Palette

Easter color palette with hex codes

Names: Periwinkle, Pale azure, Salmon pink, Maize, Celadon
Hex Codes: #B4AFD5, #85E2FF, #F292A5, #FAF389, #AFD5BC

Easter color palettes are generally similar to spring color palettes — both often include pastels (or at least light colors). This example palette’s colors are relatively saturated, so in most cases, it’s a good idea to choose one or two “main” colors and use the others as accents. Using equal proportions of each color (especially if those portions aren’t separated by white or another neutral) can result in an overly loud design.

Here’s an example. Much like the nature-inspired palette we looked at earlier, you could use this palette to approximate a natural scene. Large stretches of Pale Azure and Celadon can create what looks like a grassy field outdoors. Touches of Periwinkle, Salmon Pink, and Maize can make that scene look like a field of wildflowers — or even an Easter egg hunt.

Here are 31 Easter Color Palettes for Joyful Designs.

Christmas Color Palette

Christmas color palette with hex codes

Names: Madder, Butterscotch, Peach yellow, Asparagus, Hunter green
Hex Codes: #9A1A33, #E69F47, #FEE0AE, #80A256, #3A5947

Each Christmas season, holiday color palettes appear seemingly everywhere — from advertisements to lawn decorations to the insides of businesses. While the “standard” Christmas colors may be red and green, the best Christmas color schemes incorporate nuances. This one is a great example. Madder and Hunter Green are classic Christmas colors, but because light green Asparagus, gold-leaning Butterscotch, and soft Peach Yellow are included, this is a palette that can communicate the warmth and joy of the season.

With intense colors like these, you might sometimes want to include a neutral. Peach Yellow comes close, but if you’re looking for something closer to a true neutral, either vintage-inspired ivory or snow-inspired white works beautifully. If you’re creating a printed design (or any design where you can include metallics), gold and silver make great, glitzy additions.

Here are 37 Christmas Color Palettes for Magical Designs.

Halloween Color Palette

Halloween color palette with hex codes

Names: Orange (web), Aerospace orange, Licorice, Veronica, Spring bud
Hex Codes: #FFAE03, #FE4E00, #1A090D, #A42CD6, #A3EB1E

What makes colors Halloween colors? If you ask most people, they’ll tell you black and orange. But if you want to expand that palette, you might add a few other colors commonly associated with the holiday. For example, Spring Bud is reminiscent of the color of Frankenstein’s monster, or maybe of a witch’s brew. Historically, purple has been associated with the otherworldly, so it’s a fitting addition to a holiday that focuses on ghosts, goblins, and magical creatures. And if you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you know how much bright red, fake blood is often involved in Halloween decorations!

If you’re creating a Halloween design, you probably don’t want the focus to be on very bright colors. There’s nothing wrong with using plenty of brighter colors, but balancing them out with enough Licorice will help ensure your audience associates this palette with Halloween and not with a candy store.

Here are 32 Halloween Color Palettes for Spooky Designs.

Valentine’s Day Color Palette

Valentine’s Day color palette with hex codes

Names: Persian red, Cherry blossom pink, Misty rose, Amaranth pink, Cerise
Hex Codes: #D42C34, #EEAAAE, #FCDFE1, #F0A8BE, #DC2E62

Valentine’s Day is a holiday with an especially recognizable color scheme: red, pink, and (sometimes) white. And whether you’re designing a digital card, a commemorative social media post, or something else, this palette offers you a great place to start.

In particular, the inclusion of cherry blossom pink, misty rose, and amaranth pink — three relatively similar pink shades — makes it easier to create 3D designs. A digital design that’s only made up of light pink might run the risk of looking too washed out. However, Persian red and cerise are both dark enough and saturated enough to offer a grounding influence and provide visual interest.

Here are 30 Valentine’s Day Color Palettes for Romantic Designs.

Thanksgiving Color Palette

Thanksgiving color palette with hex codes

Names: Rufous, Persimmon, Xanthous, Field drab, Café noir
Hex Codes: #AC2411, #DD5705, #ECB206, #5B540E, #4E2D0A

Just as Easter color palettes are often very similar to spring color palettes, Thanksgiving colors often look much like fall colors. If you want your audience to picture Thanksgiving as soon as they see your design, go with rich, slightly muted earth tones.

Many fall color palettes tend to emphasize red, orange, and yellow, as they’re some of the most recognizable colors of turning leaves. On the other hand, a Thanksgiving-focused palette will often lean toward rich greens and browns — some of the colors commonly seen on the Thanksgiving table.

Here are 30 Thanksgiving Color Palettes for Rustic Designs.