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What is a Color Scheme: The 6 types of color schemes

Some of us just don’t have the eye for combining colors to make beautiful designs.

Snapied- The 6 types of color schemes
Snapied- The 6 types of color schemes

As a graphic designer or any designer for that matter, it’s important that you understand the different combinations and relationships that colors have with one another in order to make sure that you’re putting them together in a way that will be successful.

The 6 types of color schemes

  1. Monochromatic color scheme

  2. Analogous color scheme

  3. Complementary color scheme

  4. Triadic color scheme

  5. Split-complementary color scheme

  6. Tetradic color scheme

Below, we’ll go over each of these six color schemes:

Monochromatic color scheme

Monochromatic color schemes are a type of color scheme that combines typefaces from the same family while font pairing. Monochromatic color schemes are variations on the same hue, made by adjusting the shades, tones, and tints.

Monochromatic color scheme
Snapied- Monochromatic color scheme

A monochromatic color scheme is a type of color scheme in which all colors are equal in brightness, intensity, or saturation. In this way, the colors may be used to create an effect similar to that of white or black and white photography. This type of color scheme is often used in graphic design and advertising.

Analogous color scheme

This analogous color scheme includes colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. This allows you to quickly and easily create a look that is cohesion.

Snapied - Analogous color scheme
Snapied - Analogous color scheme

Some possible Analogous color schemes are:

Green and pink - A green and pink color scheme is often associated with nature or growth. It can also be used as a neutral color to help balance out other colors in a room.

Blue and yellow - A blue and yellow color scheme are often associated with sunshine and happiness. It can also be used to add brightness and life to a room.

Purple and green - A purple and green color scheme is often associated with royalty or power. It can also be used as a neutral color to add convenience and organization, and look great in any space.

Complementary color scheme

This complementary color scheme features two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Example- blue and orange.

Snapied- Complementary color scheme
Snapied- Complementary color scheme

This combination is amazing because it can be used to add a touch of brightness to any outfit. You can use this color scheme to mix and match different items to create a unique look.

Triadic color scheme

A triadic color scheme is a style of color that uses three colors that are evenly spaced apart on the color wheel.

Snapied- Triadic color scheme
Snapied- Triadic color scheme

This allows for a more "open" look and allows for more variety in your design choices. Just as importantly, it's a very safe bet if you're looking to go outside of one hue.

5 basic triadic color schemes for graphic designers:

  1. Blue + Green + Yellow + Orange

  2. Red + Orange + Yellow + Green

  3. Violet + Gray + Blue

  4. Army green + Teal + Coral

  5. Grey + Blue

Split-complementary color scheme

This split-complementary color scheme is perfect for graphic designers who want to create a cohesive and eye-catching design. The two schemes land right next to one another on the color wheel, achieving the same head-turning ability as complementary color schemes.

However, this scheme provides designers with a few more color options, making it the perfect choice for projects that need a bit of variety. To find out more, be sure to check out our Split-Complementary Color Scheme guide!

Tetradic color scheme

This Tetradic color scheme (also called double-complementary color scheme) is perfect for graphic designers who want to create high-quality, eye-catching visuals. You can use it to create logos, icons, and other graphic design elements.

The colors are easily blended together to create a unique look. The double-complementary color scheme is easy to use, and it can help you create a look that is both professional and stylish.

Tips from Snapied

There are a lot of color schemes to choose from when designing a website or print ad. Colors can be helpful in helping to communicate a message, but they can also be overpowering when used in combinations.

Here are a few guidelines to help you avoid seeing too many colors and getting overwhelmed:

  1. Choose a color palette that is complementary to your website’s colors. This way, your colors will match and the overall look of the website or print ad will be more cohesive.

  2. Try to use colors that are complementary to your website’s theme colors. For example, if your website is all earth tones, then use shades of blue, green, and yellow in order to keep the look cohesive.

  3. Use muted colors on occasion. For example, if you have a bright website and want to add some understated detail, then use shades of gray or black instead of bright colors.

  4. Use lighter colors sparingly and only when they need to be used in order to create a strong effect. For example, if you’re using a light blue background on a dark site, then you might use a light blue color sparingly on the page and use only darker colors


Snapied is a simple yet powerful online graphic design tool that helps both professional and non-designers create amazing designs easily and quickly. Snapied has integrations with Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash, and iStock.

Snapied- graphic designing platform for professional and non-designers
Snapied- graphic designing platform for professional and non-designers

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