Spring Color Palettes 2021: 10 Color Trends to Spark Joy and Creativity

Spring Color Palettes 2021: 10 Color Trends to Spark Joy

Refresh everything from your home decor to your small business branding using 2021’s unconventional and inspirational Spring Color Palettes.

Unconventional Spring palettes, including moody Tidewater Green, traffic sign red, and acid pastels, offer an unashamedly fun mood. Meanwhile fresh spring green, terracotta, and swimming pool blue hint at the promise of late Spring vacations.

Color Palette Spring 2021Clockwise, from top left: Image by contributor greensphera. Image by contributor 3DJustincase. Image by contributor Limages Studio.

Pantone’s contrasting Colors of the Year for 2021, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating—a vibrant sherbet yellow—have set the tone for an overarching theme of balance across the color board this year, with exuberant, maximalist colors finding perfect harmony alongside more subdued and classic hues. We’re also increasingly looking to color to boost our mood through our home décor and clothing, with many of our palettes themed on optimism, wellbeing, and self-expression.

Scroll down and spark joy!

Color Palette Spring 2021Clockwise from top left: Image by contributor Zamurovic Brothers. Image by contributor wacomka.

Yellow Color PaletteClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Bespaliy. Image by contributor Studio KIWI. Image by contributor Alim Yakubov.

2021 Spring Color Palettes: Inner Power and Self-Expression

No one needs to remind us how tough 2020 was (and 2021 continues to be). We’re all looking for strategies to combat low moods and improve our overall wellbeing. Color has been scientifically proven to have a significant effect on our mental and physical health. There’s even a term for color-specific therapy. Chromotherapy is the science of using colored light to adjust vibrations in the body to frequencies that are believed to result in improved health and harmony. 

The emotional effect of specific colors also has a long and established history, with each color able to bring some (or all) of these psychological powers to a palette. For example, orange is able to boost energy and creativity, while green has healing and calming qualities (the reason why it is used almost ubiquitously across pharmaceutical branding). 

In 2021, we could all do with a little boost, and color is an instant and effective way of not only improving our personal wellbeing, but also of leading consumers to feel more positively towards designs, brands, and marketing communications. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by tika the iggy (@tikatheiggy)

Instagram sensation Tika the Iggy knows about the mood-boosting power of color. Make a note and follow suit!

Read on to discover ten on-trend color palettes for Spring that can be used for a wide range of projects, from web design to products, photography to graphic design.

1. Moody March

Colored Leaves Image by contributor WillemijnB.

A rich, jewel-toned palette that allows lovers of darker shades to keep using their beloved moody tones well into Spring. Here, Tidewater Green is teamed with hedgerow-inspired mulberry and plum. Pale dusky pink lends a lighter tone, giving this alternative Spring palette a fresh and vibrant feel. 

While dark shades are not usually the conventional choice for Spring, they can make for exceptionally sophisticated, grown-up schemes. Bringing in a brighter pastel tone is a good way to update dark tones for the new year. 

Purple and Green Color PalettesClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Papuchalka – kaelaimages. Image by contributor Super Prin. Image by contributor Lana Langlois.

2. Retro Brights

Runway ModelImage by contributor FashionStock.com.

This cheering palette is inspired by Versace’s 2020 show, which took the 1970s and glam rock culture as a starting point, then dialed up the color to maximum. Deep orange and apricot make a nod to the era of flares and Bowie, while emerald green and azure blue bring nature-inspired freshness and boldness. 

This scheme embraces an anything-goes approach, and will suit maximalist, vintage-themed designs. High-energy orange is balanced by soothing green and blue hues. Try this palette for branding and advertising that requires an open, creative approach.

Color PalettesClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Jacob Lund. Image by contributor Yulia Gust. Image by contributor Sascha Burkard.

3. Pantone + Monochrome

Great Gray OwlImage by contributor Nyvlt-art.

With Pantone’s Colors of the Year—Ultimate Gray and Illuminating—already reaching saturation point on social media posts, it’s time to give an altogether more chic spin on this contrasting pairing of gray and yellow

Allow white to offer Spring-worthy purity and black to bring the edge. In this palette, Illuminating acts as the anchoring accent, and can be used in small doses to bring Springtime sunlight and vibrancy to an otherwise urban, somber scheme. This color palette was seen everywhere across the Spring/Summer 2021 runways, including Altuzarra, Off-White, and Prada.

Yellow Color PaletteClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Bespaliy. Image by contributor Studio KIWI. Image by contributor Alim Yakubov.

4. Liquorice Sherbet

Color Palette Spring 2021Image by contributor davecsmith.

This candy-hued palette, with pale blueberry, egg-yolk yellow and pale pink, is a no-brainer for Spring schemes, but the introduction of inky black anchors the palette, giving it a design-forward edge. 

Fashion designer Lela Rose mixed these palatable hues in her cheerful, striped creations at her Spring/Summer 2020 show, and we’re seeing more of these pastel tones mixed with black coming through in interior design in 2021. Mixing cool, warm, and dark tones together gives this scheme an off-beat, fashion-forward feel. Use in branding projects or on app designs for something a little different. 

Color Palette Spring 2021Clockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Olga Prava. Image by contributor Indigo Photo Club. Image by contributor Zamurovic Brothers.

5. Red on Red

Red Color PaletteImage by contributor SAMY SNOUSSI.

With 2020 thankfully behind use, we’re all looking forward to spending more time in the outside world. However, after a long period of uncertainty, color can be used as an empowering tool in our forays back into real life. 

Consider this heady and powerful all-red palette your color armor for 2021. Street style regulars have been seen wearing a variety of shades of red from head to toe, making a statement in this powerfully feminine hue. 

Layer up cherry red with brick, burgundy, and deep wine red for an ultra-sophisticated palette that will give luxury designs, food photography, and fashion a bold and courageous mood. 

Red Color Palette Clockwise, from top left: Image by contributor Ferruccio Dall’Aglio. Image by contributor Davide Valsecchi. Image by contributor eversummerphoto.

6. Spring Green

Green Color PaletteImage by contributor fotokop.

If you like your Spring palettes fresh, clean, and breezy, look no further. This soothing, nature-inspired scheme combines coffee-toned buff brown with rose pink, cocoa brown, and fresh, clean spring green. 

Calming and grounding, this color palette is a contemporary take on traditional Spring schemes, and is a perfect fit for lifestyle or health brands, as well as soothing editorial designs for magazines or brochures. 

For a paler, brighter scheme, why not try combining these hues with one of our 2021 Color Trends, Set Sail Champagne?

Green Color PaletteClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor greensphera. Image by contributor 3DJustincase. Image by contributor Limages Studio.

7. Olive Morning

Olive Color Palette Image by contributor Photographee.eu.

On tentatively sunlit early Spring mornings, is there anything more comforting than the promise of coffee and a hearty breakfast? This color palette is inspired by trends in food branding and packaging. It combines a deeper olive green and navy blue with rich mustard yellow and gray-hued pink. 

A comforting and homely color scheme, this palette can be used effectively on designs that aim to provide a friendly, cocooning feel. Restaurant menus and café signage will feel modern, yet welcoming, with this earthy palette

Earthy Color PaletteClockwise, from top left: Packaging design for Pineapple Collaborative by STUDIO L’AMI. Image by contributor Eleni Mavrandoni.

8. Terracotta and Sky Blue

Terracotta Blue Color Palette Image by contributor nvphoto.

This elegant color palette anticipates the summer months ahead, with a combination of earthy tones of terracotta, deep brown, and tan. Brightening sky blue provides the accent color, inspired by the pairing of terracotta-clad buildings with Mediterranean skies.  

Architecture and interior designr Rina Lovko Studio used this ultra-desirable blue and terracotta scheme for an apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine, which demonstrates how this strikes the perfect balance between earthy and playful colors.

Blue Color PaletteClockwise, from top left: Image by contributor ABB Photo. Image by contributor 3DJustincase. Interior design by Rina Lovko Studio.

9. Acid Pastels

Pastel Color PaletteImage by contributor TierneyMJ.

We could all do with a bit more fun in our lives. Enter Acid Pastels—a high-octane, sugar-sweet palette inspired by retro candy and 1980s colors. 

Not quite neons or pure pastels, these colors combine the freshness of pastel hues with the fizzing energy of neon tones. Parma violet, pale lime, bubblegum aqua, and candy pink make for a flagrantly fun and nostalgic scheme that brings playfulness to websites, brands, or 3D illustrations.

For an extra dose of 2021 on-trend style, seek out inkscapes with acid pastel tones, which make for impactful backgrounds on landing pages and social posts.  

Pastel Color PaletteClockwise from top left: Image by contributor Zamurovic Brothers. Image by contributor wacomka.

10. Fortuna Gold and Gray

Gold Color PaletteImage by contributor CARACOLLA.

Fortuna Gold, one of our must-watch 2021 Color Trends, is a deep, antiquated shade of gold, bringing depth and glamor to any scheme. Gold, which is reminiscent of sunlight, is a natural choice for Spring-themed schemes. But here, concrete gray, ink black, and crisp white gives it an urban edge. 

A sophisticated and elegant palette for interior design, it would also work beautifully for high-end brands, masculine fashion design, or home products. Make sure to introduce plenty of white to keep this palette fresh and appropriate for the new season. 

Gold Color PaletteClockwise from top left: Image by contributor Rina Garon. Image by contributor Photographee.eu.

Live Life in Color

Proven to improve our mental wellbeing, color can be an amazingly effective way to boost low moods and spark joy! The ten Spring color palettes above will bring optimism and energy to your design projects, helping to spread the joy to your clients, as well.

If you’re interested in discovering more trending color schemes, don’t miss Shutterstock’s 2021 Color Trend Report, which uses search data to identify which colors are desirable in photography, illustration, and graphics now, and for the year ahead.

Cover image via Alexander Raths.

Read more about color psychology and color trends in these unmissable articles:

Discover Shutterstock’s 2021 Color TrendsFrom Creamy Pastels to Luscious Greens: The Color Palettes of Inner LifeThe Meaning of Colors in Cultures Around the WorldCreating a One-of-a-Kind Portfolio: Color Branding for PhotographersWhat Does Vintage Really Mean in Pop Culture and Design?

The post Spring Color Palettes 2021: 10 Color Trends to Spark Joy and Creativity appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

Read more: shutterstock.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *