The What, How, and Why of Analogous Colors –All You Need to Know

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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Color is one of the most essential elements of graphic design; something we all can agree upon. 

Now, if you are wondering what are analogous colors and why are we discussing a specific set of the color type here, we have the answers for you.

So, let’s begin with the basic definition first.

What are Analogous Colors?

analogous colors

Simply put, analogous colors are the set of three colors that sit next to each other on a color wheel. It literally takes the definition of the word ‘analogous’ which means things which are comparable in nature. 

Pick any color from the color wheel and the two color shades on either side of the base color, which you chose, make up for a set of analogous colors.

Out of the three colors, one is the primary color or the base color or the dominant color which is usually the one which you have picked from the wheel. 

The other two colors are the supporting colors that are placed adjacent to the primary color on either side of it; on the color wheel. Out of these two supporting colors, one would be your accent color and the other would be the one to pop.

For example, let’s say you chose the color yellow as your base color then, the set of analogous colors which you’d have for your designs will be yellow, yellow-green, and green. Here, you can use either of yellow-green and green as your accent color or the pop color.

How to choose and use Analogous Colors?

analogous colors

Selecting analogous colors may seem like a tricky work to do but, honestly, it’s as simple as understanding your product. In order to pick the right set of colors, you primarily have to outline the objective and application of these colors.

Let’s understand this in detail.

As mentioned earlier, the first thing that you need to do, in order to choose the right set of analogous colors is to consider the tone of your business (your products and services).

Every color carries a specific human emotion with it and this psychology behind colors is what you need to utilize while making the selection.

So, let’s say your brand stands for happy, cheerful, and bright. In that case, your base color can always be yellow. Similarly, if your brand is more inclined towards nature, organic, and bio-diversity then your base color can be green.

And once you have got your primary color, the next step is simply to pick the associating color from either side. 

Now, when it comes to using the analog colors for your designs, you need to be creative about it. What we mean by this is, you need to be cautious about confusing simple with boring.

Many designers apply the 60-30-10 rule, which is used to ensure a peaceful, visually appealing balance. Under this rule, 60% of your space will be the base color, 30% will be your accent color, and 10% will be your pop of color. 

Why and where to apply Analogous Colors?

Well, the main purpose of using analogous colors in graphic design is to provide a seamless flow to the design that creates a soothing effect on the eyes.

This color concept can be used for designs that are aiming to instill a sense of calmness, peace, and tranquility.

You can use it to create custom logo designs for your brand that promotes elegance and authority. There are several big brands that can make up for good logo design examples that have applied analogous colors; such as BP, Red Bull, MasterCard, TacoBell, BurgerKing, etc.

The application of analogous colors is also a viable option for website designs. Using analogous colors for creating custom website designs can be a great way to provide a flow to your website.

To conclude…

Analogous colors are just one of the many sets of color schemes available on the color wheel that can be strategically used to your business’s advantage. However, it must be remembered that this color scheme should only be used when your main brand message is about communicating subtlety, tranquility, peace, etc.

If you are not sure of what color scheme to use for your business designs, be it for your logo design, website design, or any other kind of graphic design, we are here to help. Simply send us an email at