Color Combos Businesses Should Avoid
Color can never be a bad thing. However, certain combinations of colors just do not work. This can be because the combination is too jarring, or maybe it is because there is a common preconceived notion about the color combo that you cannot ignore. In either case, businesses need to be aware of these color faux pas when they are designing their brand image. Let us get into the list of the color combinations that you need to avoid.
Red and Green
Christmas colors. Unless you are designing something for the holiday season, there is no reason to use red and green together. Let’s be honest with each other, the combo does not look good. Red and green are both bright and bold colors, so when they are paired together, the result is just too flashy.
There is also contrast because of our ingrained understanding of the colors. Red symbolizes stop, and green represents go. Red is wrong, green is correct. Red is a warning, and green is encouragement. When paired the result is a confusing mess with mixed signals. Another reason is that there is a form of color blindness known as deuteranopia, which makes reds and greens look like the same color. If you want to optimize your design for the colorblind, a third color needs to be in between red and green.
Red and Black
Red and black when paired together are just too dark. The only place you see consistent use of red and black is on the cover of horror novels and scary movie posters. The combo is just too gothic and edgy to be successful in brand design. Obviously, if that is the style you are going for, full steam ahead. However, for the rest of us, this is a color combination that elicits fear and unapproachability.
Red and Blue
Unless you are going for the patriotic look, red and blue is a color combo that I would not recommend. Just like when pairing red and green, you are combining too very bold colors, which adds up to a bright mess. Red background with blue text, and vice versa, is hard to read. The red overpowers the blue and will make you dizzy if you stare too long. Unless you are trying to celebrate the 4th of July, red and blue should stay at least 6 feet apart.
Black and yellow
This combo might make you think of like bumblebees, taxicabs, or that song from 2010. Black and yellow is a jarring combo that rarely ever works out. The reason is that yellow is one of the brightest colors you can use, and black is the darkest. Pairing dark and light this abruptly is a recipe for disaster.
The feeling that wafts over the color combo is one of boldness and warning. The black takes away the lightness of yellow, and yellow just emphasizes the bleakness of black. Essentially, these two colors bring out the worst in each other. Keep them apart; they do not play well together.
Black and Orange
If it’s October 31st or the weeks leading up to it, then go ahead and pair orange and black. For the rest of the year, avoid it. This color combo is attached to Halloween so strongly, that it is impossible to make your customers think of anything else when you pair orange and black.
Similar to the yellow and black pairing, the colors are on opposite ends of the light spectrum, so they contradict each other. Also, like the black and red pairing, the combo exudes fear and hazard. Your brand will be seen as hard to approach if you clad your products in orange and black.
That being said…
There are always exceptions to these words of advice. There are no rules when it comes to colors, you can disregard everything you have read and pair whichever colors you like. Leave us a comment if you think our suggestions are wrong. If you know any other combos to avoid, let us know that too. For more advice on color pairings, consider reading our blogs on the best shades of yellow to use for packaging or the most popular brands using blue packaging. QQ Studio is always here to make sure you make the most of the colors available to you.
QQ-Tip- Never use true black in a design. True black is too dark. Add notes of grey or blue to achieve a dark, but not overpowering color.