7 Worst Color Combinations You Need To Avoid

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
August 18, 2022

While it's always fun to bring colors together in your design, there are some combinations that just don't work. Here are the 7 worst color combinations and how you can avoid using them.

The right colors can make or break a design, and even influence the way people feel. 

That's why it's so important to choose colors carefully and to avoid using colors that don't go well together.

In this article, we'll take a look at 10 colors that don’t go together and how you can avoid using these combinations in your design. Here is what’s covered:

Why care about the color combination you use?

Color combinations are important for graphic and product label designing because they can help create a desired mood, attract attention, and convey information. 

Also read: 5 Best Artwork Management Tools in 2022

For example, using a warm color palette can create a feeling of excitement, while a cool color palette can create a feeling of calm. Using bright colors can help attract attention to a product while muted colors can convey a sense of sophistication. Now, as important as it is to know what colors go well together, it’s also important to know what colors do not match and why.

Worst color combinations

1. Yellow and green

Yellow and green are two of the most popular colors in the world. They look better separately and can be jarring when used together. 

Additionally, they can make it harder to navigate through your designs and give off a  cheap and unprofessional look, which is not what you want for your designs. 

2. Brown and orange

Brown and orange is yet another color combination that might not be the best to use when working on your designs. 

Both the colors are fairly dark, which can make it difficult to read through your designs and direct attention to important parts of your design

3. Red and green

The number one reason to not use these two colors in your design is accessibility. To people who are partially red-green color blind, these colors look identical and different at the same time. 

Also, these colors clash on packaging and decrease conspicuousness so they can make a person feel unsettled. You may also be in trouble with the authorities as labeling regulations demand that a package have text that’s clearly visible on the packaging. 

4. Neon and Neon

Neon colors are loud and daring. However, their unique traits also put them into the risky play territory.  These hues compete for attention, and it's hard to focus on any of them so these come under the "colors that don't go together" category.

Plus, some people find it uncomfortable to look at multiple neon colors at once as it hurts their eyes. so, it's not the best way to convey information. 

But if you really want to use neon in your brand kit or design, use a toned-down version of one of the hues or use it sparingly with darker ones.

5. Purple and yellow

Although purple and yellow are complementary colors and are diametrically opposed on the color wheel, you don’t want to use them together. 

If you used them in a striped pattern, the lines would appear to vibrate. So unless you want to create an illusion instead of conveying information, you don’t want to use these two colors together. 

Also, the color combination is not particularly aesthetically pleasing and can make your designs look dated.

6. Red and purple

Red and purple are two very strong colors. When red and purple are used together in a design, they can have a very unpleasant effect on your psyche and eyes, and unlike other color combinations, people have a strong opinion on this one. 

Here’s what a user says about this combination.Red and purple together is so hideous! The colors are beautiful on their own and match wonderfully with many others, but together look horrible.”

7. Black and Navy 

These are the opposite of the neon-neon combination and people avoid this because there’s no point of visual interest that directs the attention of the viewer to a specific part of the design.

Also, dark colors are associated with death, depression, etc., so you don’t want to bundle these two colors together as they’re one of the worst color combinations. 

How can you avoid using these combinations?

Now that we’ve looked at a comprehensive list of which colors don’t match, let’s look at a few ways to avoid these unsightly color schemes.

1.  Use color psychology to your advantage

Color psychology is the study of how colors affect our emotions and behavior. Certain colors can evoke certain feelings, so it's important to choose colors that will create the right mood for your design.

If you are designing something that you want people to feel positive about, it may be best to avoid using colors that have been shown to have a negative effect on mood.

2. Use a grid

A grid can help you create a more balanced and unified look for your design. 

Using a grid can help to create a more consistent color palette throughout your design, which can make it more visually appealing and cohesive.

Source: 123FreeVectors

3. Work with a limited color palette

Working with a limited color palette ensures you can avoid using colors that clash. 

It can also help you stay within the color palette that you are comfortable with and save you from using bad color combos. Finally, it can help you create a more timeless design.

There are a few different color schemes you can use as a guide when choosing colors for your design. Some examples include monochromatic, complementary, and analogous.

4. Use tools like Artwork Flow

Artwork Flow's color extractor tool helps you check the colors on your packaging to ensure that you don’t end up with the worst color combination and choose colors that go together.

This helps you to avoid making costly mistakes with your color choices, and can also help you to create more harmonious and coordinated designs.

5. Experiment with colors

Finally, remember that you can always change your colors if you don't like the way they look. Don't be afraid to experiment until you find a color combination that you love.

Conclusion

Using a bad color combination that doesn’t go together in your design can have many negative consequences. But you can avoid facing these consequences and make the best out of your designs by using our list of some terrible color combinations above. 

You can go one step further by using the color extractor tool with Artwork Flow's online proofing tool to make sure you’ve got the right colors on your artwork. 

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