Warm colors invigorate and revitalize us. They’re the colors of sunsets, fields of wildflowers, and bright tropical fruits. And they can bring new life to your designs, too.
When used carefully, warm colors can uplift and inspire your audience, and impactful designs start with the right color palette.
Warm Color Palettes
Prepare to be inspired by these beautiful warm color palettes. Hex codes are included if you want to use the colors in your next design.
1. Summer Blooms
Names: Penn red, Sinopia, Orange (pantone), Carrot orange, Aureolin
Hex Codes: #931D0A, #D1340B, #F65E0A, #F69A2C, #F7E609
Warm colors include red, orange, yellow, and combinations and variations of these shades. This color palette runs the gamut from vivid reds and oranges to bright yellow. When used thoughtfully, the different shades of red and orange are great for layering.
The flowers in the above photo offer a great example. Note how where the petals overlap, the shade of orange is darker (like Pantone Orange). Where there isn’t any overlap, the orange is lighter (like Carrot Orange). If your design involves layering, the Penn Red/Sinopia and Pantone Orange/Carrot Orange combinations are perfect.
2. Purple Mango
Names: Mikado yellow, Pumpkin, Imperial red, Raspberry, Murrey
Hex Codes: #FFC71C, #FB761F, #F62E33, #D60457, #A7055C
Many of the warm color palettes on our list center around red, orange, and yellow. Variations of these colors are beautiful enough, but when you add shades of pink to the mix, you create strikingly complex color schemes. Many of these are reminiscent of sunsets.
As you can see in the example image, the inclusion of Raspberry and Murrey opens up an interesting opportunity for shading and creating depth. In particular, Murrey is a shade that’s tinged with coolness, so it works like a shadow. When you use it this way, you can turn flat color schemes into striking, multi-dimensional works of art.
Names: Xanthous, Dark orange (web), Persimmon, Rust, Penn red
Hex Codes: #FBC246, #FE9135, #E05F1D, #B43E0E, #8F1A00
The example image illustrates a spectacular wind-carved canyon, and the color palette below it captures some of the canyon’s majestic energy. And as you can see, it creates a smooth gradient from yellow to red.
With a palette like this, you can create color schemes with eye-catching ombre effects. Or if you want something a little more non-traditional, try combining these shades in a swirling or watercolor-style effect.
4. Rose Glow
Names: Indian red, Melon, Champagne, Naples yellow, Raw umber
Hex Codes: #BB6065, #E5A8A8, #F3E7D1, #EFCD55, #936F47
As this collection of colors illustrates, a palette doesn’t have to be extremely bright to be warm. Although this palette is much gentler than many on the list, it still delivers a cozy and enveloping feel.
Both Indian Red and Melon might make you feel like you’re traveling back in time to the 90s — these shades look a bit like the popular Dusty Rose. They look great alongside very pale neutrals, and Champagne is pale enough to keep the warm theme going.
This combination works well in interiors and digital design alike. But if you want to add some interest and energy, try including a few accents of Naples Yellow. And if you’re looking for a deeper grounding shade, Raw Umber works beautifully.
5. Summer Haze
Names: Tiger’s eye, Ochre, Bronze, Gamboge, Xanthous
Hex Codes: #B66617, #C6721C, #D68023, #E69E32, #F4B845
The example photo has an eye-catching, warmish haze to it. Whether you choose to replicate that effect in your own designs or not, you might find the color palette above to be useful.
This is an interesting warm palette that ventures more into neutral territory than most on the list. But as you can see, these colors will blend nicely together — Tiger’s Eye fades into Ochre, Ochre fades into Bronze, Bronze fades into Gamboge, and Gamboge fades into Xanthous.
6. Autumn Mist
Names: Seal brown, Blood red, Penn red, Tawny, Dark orange (web)
Hex Codes: #4F1D0B, #5F1003, #981902, #CE5004, #FC8C03
Many of us associate autumn with warmth and coziness. This color palette may remind you of the changing, falling leaves. It’s different from most autumn palettes in that it’s darker and more neutral.
Rather than centering around super-bright reds and oranges, this one emphasizes the deep brown and purplish reds that you often see in the fall. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a color palette that’s earthy, autumnal, and cozy all at once.
Names: Sunset, Atomic tangerine, Begonia, Bright pink (crayola), Mulberry
Hex Codes: #FDC685, #FE956E, #FA6676, #F34C78, #D43E8B
If you want a warm color palette that is fun and summery as opposed to autumnal and cozy, look no further than hot, vivid pinks. This sunset-like palette is a wonderful example of how carefully combining warm colors can create entire new worlds.
In some cases, warm palettes tend to look much more balanced when you add a few cool colors to the mix. When you look at the example image, you see that the warm shades are the most prominent. However, the dark green leaves, deep blue rocks, purple mountains, and touches of blue in the water add some variety and keep everything in balance.
8. Tabby Cat
Names: Windsor tan, Copper, Tangerine, Bronze, Golden brown
Hex Codes: #A25512, #C46E25, #E5842D, #CC8228, #9D631D
What’s warmer and cozier than a fluffy orange cat curled up beside you? Whether you’re a cat person or not, you’ll certainly see the warmth in this orangish, clay-like palette.
The colors in this closely-grouped palette are similar to one another. You might want to use them to create a layered look or to add depth to a watercolor-style background. If your design starts to lean too heavily on these colors, you might consider breaking them up with paler neutrals.
Names: Coffee, Lion, Desert sand, Champagne, Ivory
Hex Codes: #7E4F3B, #CCA483, #EBCDB5, #FAEAD0, #FEFFED
Speaking of paler neutrals, here’s a delightfully soft color palette that still manages to be warm and cozy. It’s a perfect illustration of how “warm” doesn’t have to equal “heavy.”
As you can see in the example illustration, this is a palette that’s ideal for interiors. It also works well in digital design — it’s soft enough to create an almost-monochromatic palette for a website.
Despite the nuance of this palette, it might seem a little plain for some applications. If you want to add a little color, consider counterbalancing the warmer neutrals with a touch of a cooler shade like blue or green.
10. Fruit Punch
Names: Tangerine, Orange (web), Gold, Rose pink, Magenta dye
Hex Codes: #EB8425, #FDAC07, #FAD128, #F46FC8, #C23583
Orange, yellow, and pink are all linked to happiness, playfulness, and enthusiasm. If you’re creating a warm palette to inspire joy in your audience, why not combine all three shades?
Like some other palettes on the list, this one opens up the opportunity to add depth and shading. Tangerine can work like a darker or shadowy form of Web Orange, and Magenta Dye is a darker shade of Rose Pink.
11. Red Sky at Night
Names: Deep saffron, Orange (crayola), Bittersweet, Indian red, Bittersweet shimmer
Hex Codes: #FF8F3D, #FF773D, #F16055, #D4535A, #CA4849
An old adage holds that a red sky at night is a sign of good weather to come. Whether or not that’s true, this warm, red-leaning palette is ideal if you want an attention-grabbing design.
Many designers will advise you to use caution when you’re using red in a design. Too much red can inspire anger and aggression — two things you probably don’t want your audience to feel! Fortunately, the pinkish-orange tinge of the reds in this palette gives them a much softer glow.
12. Baker’s Dozen
Names: Peach yellow, Carrot orange, Ochre, Burnt orange, Saddle brown
Hex Codes: #F8DD9A, #E4912A, #CC6E0E, #AB5012, #92410C
It’s hard to not think of warmth when you see the color of freshly-baked bread. This neutral palette is perfect for adding a cozy cast to your next design. And thanks to the darker shades of Burnt Orange and Saddle Brown, it also has a distinctly earthy hue.
This combination is reminiscent of 1970s-style design, too. If you want to channel that spirit, try arranging the other colors on a background of Peach Yellow.
Names: Blood red, Rufous, Syracuse red orange, Orange (web), Mustard
Hex Codes: #681707, #9A1E00, #CF4810, #FFAE23, #FDDB3E
This beautiful, autumnal palette is exceptionally well-balanced. While it has bright, vivid yellow at one end, it also includes Blood Red, a color that’s deep enough to keep the palette grounded.
As you can see when you take a close look at the palette, each of these colors has its own distinctive energy. Depending on the balance of colors you use in your design, you can shape the energy. A design with more of the dark, brown-tinged Blood Red will seem calmer than one with large proportions of fiery Syracuse Red Orange and sunny Mustard.
14. Space Odyssey
Names: Engineering orange, Off red (rgb), Coquelicot, Pumpkin, Orange peel
Hex Codes: #CA1302, #EC1D01, #FC4001, #FF6A06, #FE9A06
If you want a super-energetic, red-heavy color palette, this is a great one to choose. At first glance, Engineering Orange, RGB Off Red, and Coquelicot might look very similar. But if you break them up with Pumpkin, Orange Peel, and other lighter shades, they add incredible nuance to any design.
The palette itself is extremely warm. But if you look at the example image, you’ll find that it has a quiet, peaceful glow. That’s because this design uses a large amount of cool color as a counterbalance. Shades of navy blue, cool white, and various light blues combine with the bright palette to create a deep and memorable world of color.
15. Picnic in the Park
Names: Burnt orange, Sienna, Blood red, Engineering orange, Orange (wheel)
Hex Codes: #B25716, #8A361A, #5C150A, #B2180B, #EB7F24
This artful blend of reds, oranges, and browns is a fantastic way to create a warm, cozy design. Whether you’re hoping to capture the autumnal spirit of the example image or create something else entirely, this grouping of colors can help you do it.
This is a palette that’s great for layering. But because the colors are all relatively dark, using them by themselves can quickly overwhelm your design. The example image shows you a great way to keep things in balance —the warm white of the pages of the book and the soft grays of the flannel blanket help your audience better appreciate the vibrance of these rich, earthy shades.
Names: Raspberry, Cinnabar, Safety orange, Carrot orange, Vanilla
Hex Codes: #D51E4F, #E35738, #F57E20, #F79623, #FCF6AA
Many warm color palettes include a bouquet of yellows and oranges. But you can make any palette one-of-a-kind by choosing an unusual color to include. Instead of a more traditional shade of red, this one uses Raspberry, a warm pinkish shade that makes yellows and oranges really pop.
The example image’s burst-like appearance highlights the contrasts between the palette’s high-energy shades. But if you want to create an even starker contrast, try using the pale Vanilla as a backdrop for the palette’s more saturated shades.
17. Pear Tree
Names: Chelsea gem, Gamboge, Maize, Orange (wheel), Tomato
Hex Codes: #9B5800, #EC990D, #FFE974, #FC8833, #FF4E35
Pear trees in autumn are great sources of warm colors. From tree bark to red leaves to the skin of the pears themselves, you can find a whole host of cozy shades.
This example palette includes a decent amount of variety, but you can make it look even more dynamic if you include some contrasting colors. Gamboge, Wheel Orange, and Tomato are all at least somewhat orangish in color. Blue is complementary to orange, so any shade of blue — be it sky blue or navy — will really make this palette pop!
Names: Bittersweet shimmer, Burnt sienna, Orange (wheel), Xanthous, Mustard
Hex Codes: #C35754, #E1634A, #FF8931, #FFB53E, #FFD84E
This richly-colored palette was inspired by the majesty of aspen trees at sunset. Appropriately, it includes bright Mustard, a color that’s roughly the same as that of aspen leaves in fall.
It also includes an interesting color gradient from Bittersweet Shimmer to Wheel Orange. The gradient runs from dark to light, but it’s also a slow transformation from red to orange.
19. Sherbet Swirl
Names: Butterscotch, Earth yellow, Sunset, Hunyadi yellow, Carrot orange
Hex Codes: #D39041, #E9B15E, #FBC77B, #FAB33D, #F2971D
This is a great example of a color palette whose closely-related shades still manage to be interesting. Depending on the style of your design, you might consider arranging them in a gradient or creating a pattern.
This collection of colors also presents you with an interesting choice. You can keep it as-is for a smooth, calm look. But you also can incorporate a contrasting color to energize your design. For instance, if you incorporate blocks of these colors against a dark charcoal-gray background, you’ll have a design that really catches your audience’s eye!
Names: Rose red, Razzmatazz, Orange (web), Safety orange, Syracuse red orange
Hex Codes: #CA1A5A, #EF1C6C, #FAAA18, #F77A17, #D84E0E
Shades of yellow and orange are energizing enough as-is. But bring in vivid, magenta-like pinks, and suddenly your color palette becomes a party. This wide-ranging collection of colors captures the appeal of a wildflower-filled field. If you’re hoping to create a design with extremely high energy, you might consider using an approximately equal amount of each shade.
However, this approach can sometimes make a design look too frenetic. If that’s the case, you might take some inspiration from the example photo and choose a couple of colors to be your main shades. If you take a close look at the photo, you’ll see that Razzmatazz and Safety Orange are the most prevalent shades of the bunch. The rest appear as accents.
You also might notice that while the example image’s palette is warm overall, there is a little bit of a cool color: green. In this case, it’s just enough to keep the warmth in balance.
21. Sandy Shores
Names: Seal brown, Sienna, Rust, Cocoa brown, Butterscotch
Hex Codes: #5D1E0E, #802B0F, #A2471A, #CD6528, #F1A347
Most people wouldn’t take a look at this color palette and immediately think of the beach. But as you can see in the example image, it captures the look of this particular beach at sunset.
This collection of colors strikes an interesting balance between rust reds and chocolatey browns. It’s incredibly rich, but because of that richness, it’s important to make sure you keep things in balance. Even some touches of pale blue and white (as shown in the example picture) can make a difference.
22. Reading Nook
Names: Atomic tangerine, Spanish orange, Fire brick, Sienna, Seal brown
Hex Codes: #FDA063, #E16827, #BF2325, #902512, #5B280A
This group of colors captures the feeling of curling up with a cup of tea on a crisp autumn day. It also gives you a bit of a break from the super-saturated colors you see in many palettes on the list. Atomic Tangerine is pale enough that it could even work as a background or inset color for a text-based design.
This palette also has a balanced light-to-dark gradient, so you can shape the mood of your design with different colors. For example, if you want a calmer, darker vibe, emphasize Sienna and Seal Brown. If your design needs to be lighter and more energetic, place more emphasis on Atomic Tangerine and Spanish Orange.
Names: Chocolate cosmos, Fire engine red, Cinnabar, Carrot orange, Hunyadi yellow
Hex Codes: #641224, #C51B2B, #EB4B24, #F5962F, #FDC56F
Who doesn’t love a striking, flame-colored blend of warm colors? Fire is a great way to get your audience’s attention. But regardless of whether your design includes a depiction of an actual flame or not, this bright and fiery assortment is one of the most invigorating palettes on our list.
You also have plenty of options when it comes to arranging these shades as parts of your design. You can stick with a flame-like gradient if you wish. But if you’re working on a design that would benefit from some symmetry, take a closer look at the example image. To replicate it, you just need to put Carrot Orange and Hunyadi Yellow at the center. Flank them with Cinnabar on each side, then Fire Engine Red, and then Chocolate Cosmos.
24. Clay Earth
Names: Caramel, Burnt orange, Coffee, Raw umber, Deer
Hex Codes: #D57C3A, #B0582A, #704C36, #A26436, #BE8656
Some of the warm palettes on the list are vivid and fiery. Others, like this one, capture a sense of beautiful simplicity and coziness. If you’re someone who enjoys creating layered looks, this is an outstanding combination to consider.
If you’re designing an interior, this collection is ideal for cultivating a Scandinavian-style aesthetic. Simply include elements of these colors throughout a cream-colored room, and you’ll have a cozy, welcoming space.
Of course, that’s not the only way to use these shades. If you find this palette’s close-to-monochromatic look to be a little too dull, you might find that you like it better with a burst of color. Cooler shades like blue and green can help you balance out this palette’s overall warmth.
25. Late Autumn
Names: Sunglow, Xanthous, Carrot orange, Ochre, Copper
Hex Codes: #FFD13D, #F6AD0F, #EB8E1C, #CF730D, #B96C32
Depending on the types of deciduous trees surrounding you, you might see leaves in every possible shade of red and orange. But in some cases, you might see leaves in vivid, cheerful yellow. This palette captures the colors of yellow leaves falling on the forest floor.
It also creates an interesting and eye-catching gradient from yellow to brown. Because these colors blend so effortlessly into one another, you might try using them to create a soft, watercolor-like background.
26. Scarlet Fade
Names: Chili red, Tomato, Atomic tangerine, Peach, Apricot
Hex Codes: #F13023, #FF7054, #FF9A7D, #FFC1A2, #FED4BD
When you think of using pink in warm color palettes, you might picture electric shades of magenta. But soft pinks are warm colors, too! This pretty, rosy collection can add some gentle warmth to your designs. You can include Chili Red for an extra-bright burst, or you can use only the softer colors for a more delicate design. Include an ivory backdrop and hints of sage green to complete the look.
27. City Lights
Names: Jasmine, Sunglow, Dark orange (web), Syracuse red orange, Rufous
Hex Codes: #FFDA88, #FECA55, #FE8D19, #DA4F02, #A62A01
Designs that create a sense of depth can intrigue and captivate audiences. And as you can see in the example image, this palette can be used to give even blurred, abstract projects this kind of depth.
This warm palette is perfect for layering and creating the illusion of light and shadow. If it starts to look especially warm, you might want to add black or dark gray to keep everything in balance.
Names: Barn red, Turkey red, Engineering orange, Chili red, Coquelicot
Hex Codes: #720E04, #A10F01, #C62104, #E12B04, #FD4102
You might take one look at this intense palette of saturated reds and wonder how exactly you would use it in any design. After all, these shades are too similar to create significant contrast, and they’re so bright that they can easily overwhelm an audience.
But in the example picture, these shades of red fit in nicely: they help create nuance in the glow of the embers. And because the picture also includes a good bit of black and dark gray, this palette creates a striking focal point — not an overwhelming wash of red.
29. Mountain Sunset
Names: Sinopia, Orange (pantone), Orange peel, Bittersweet shimmer, Cordovan
Hex Codes: #CB330C, #FF6201, #FF9A03, #CA4951, #8B2B37
The most beautiful sunsets include elements of red, orange, yellow, and pink. This palette includes all of the above. You don’t have to be depicting a sunset to get the benefit of these shades, either — each color is distinctive enough that it’s a good choice for colorblocking. If you want a design that’s especially high-contrast, incorporate bursts of each shade on a black or navy blue background.
30. Pink Lemonade
Names: Safety orange, Gold, Flax, French rose, Crimson
Hex Codes: #ED740F, #FDD736, #FCEA94, #FD4B80, #D72046
Warm colors are great for making abstract designs come to life. And thanks to the example image’s artful distribution of color, this dynamic color palette is impactful without being overwhelming.
The example image also uses an interesting strategy. By keeping the more saturated colors like Crimson and Safety Orange closer to the edges, it creates a paler central space perfect for showcasing text or an important image.
Using Warm Colors in Your Design
Warm colors can impart life and vitality to all of your designs. But like other colors, warm shades are tools: you can use them carefully to create beautiful designs, but if you don’t put thought into your design’s execution, you might create something that’s less than impressive.
If you’re considering using one of the color palettes above for your next project, here are some tips to help you create a beautiful, memorable design.
Consider Color Psychology
Generally speaking, warm colors are bright and energizing. But before you decide to use these colors in your designs, it’s a good idea to know a bit about what each one means. Here are some of the main warm colors and some of their associations:
- Red: Power, ambition, romance, excitement, danger, aggression
- Orange: Enthusiasm, creativity, youth, joy, extravagance
- Yellow: Friendship, cheerfulness, optimism, imagination, danger
- Pink: Sweetness, frivolity, love, calm, compassion
Of course, there are seemingly endless shades of each of these colors, and the exact shade shapes the meaning. For instance, an orange with a muted, earthy quality might have a calming effect. A very bright shade of orange might be more closely connected to enthusiasm.
If you’re designing a website with a call-to-action button, it’s a good idea to make that button red or orange. Warm colors tend to energize viewers, so you might find better success with a bright, eye-catching “Buy It Now!” (or similar) button.
Keep Balance in Mind
There’s no rule against using exclusively warm shades in a color palette. But in many instances, using only warm colors can make your design look a little too warm.
Why is that a bad thing? Exposure to warm colors can increase your energy and even appetite. However, it also can make irritation and anxiety worse. Whether you’re creating websites, advertisements, or just pieces of art for people to enjoy, you don’t want to make your audience tense and irritated!
Even one cool color or cool neutral can bring a mostly-warm design back into balance. For example, a background of charcoal gray or navy blue can be a good choice. When used with warm colors (particularly orange), both charcoal and navy can really make colors pop.
Some design experts suggest following an 80/20 rule when it comes to warm and cool colors — in a warm design, use 80% warm colors and 20% cool colors. That way, the design still has an overall warm effect, but there’s just enough cool influence to keep it from overwhelming your audience. Trust your eye as you work — you might find that a slightly different color balance works best.
Consider the Breadth of Your Palette
As you saw in the list of color palettes above, some warm palettes contain an impressive variety of different shades. Others have a few closely-related shades (like a set of lighter and darker oranges). Narrow, closely-related palettes are ideal for soothing, almost-monochromatic designs. Higher-contrast palettes can create energetic and invigorating projects.
Revitalize Your Next Project With Warm Shades
As a designer, you know that the colors you choose are one of the most important elements of any project. The exact same poster, billboard, or advertisement can look completely different with warm vs. cool shades.
The world of warm colors is vast enough that it can be hard to know where to start. But hopefully, the collection of palettes above has given you the inspiration you need to start your next project.