17 Minimalist Color Palettes for Your Next Design

Minimalist color combinations simplify the website design process. The results are clean, elegant, and professional.

Minimalist Color Palette Blog Post Nov21

Sometimes, less is more. This is especially true when choosing a brand color palette.

Why?

The purpose of a brand identity is to communicate your business’s value and professionalism. A well-crafted identity enhances your expertise and works with all other brand assets to attract your best customers.

Color schemes are a critical piece of the brand design puzzle. A color scheme should strengthen the brand’s image and align with the brand persona you want to create.

But brand design doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, some of the most compelling brands take a minimalist design approach, yet they’re bold and inspiring. Think of Nike, with the black and white “shoosh” logo, or Apple’s minimalist color palette.

The nike swoosh
IMAGE: The Nike Swoosh
The simplicity of apple is appealing to a large target audience.
Apple’s minimalist design appeals to a diverse audience.

Minimalist design reduces the complexity of creating a clean, professional brand or website. There are several other reasons to consider a minimal color palette, among them:

  • A design that appeals to a broad audience.
  • The simple layout makes it easier to highlight important content.
  • Style is likely to remain consistent, reducing the need for redesign.

But simple doesn’t always mean easy. There is a little more to minimalist design than meets the eye.

For example, the use of whitespace is critical. Too much makes the design look weak, but too little results in crowded elements that can be overwhelming. It takes some practice with spacing, margins, and padding to get a feel for what works well.

Typography is another way to make an impact with minimal design. The right font selection can transform a mediocre design into a memorable one.

But this post is all about color. Here, I’ll share some tips on using a minimalist color palette in your design. I’ll also give you 17 of our favorite palettes you can use for your next branding or website design project.

The Meaning of Colors in Minimalist Design

Perhaps you’ve heard of color theory, a popular term in the professional design industry. This concept refers to the idea that colors have meaning.

For example, in the United States, white is often perceived as a symbol of purity. This makes it a popular choice for wedding designs and the health care industry. But in other places around the world, there’s a link between the color white and death.

Red, often associated with passion and energy, is often used as a “call to action” color for websites. Yet, it’s also a common signal of danger. Thus, the term, red flag.

Because there are fewer choices in a minimalist color palette, each one will have more impact. So, choose wisely.

How to Choose Colors for Your Minimalist Design

How do you want people to perceive your business?

As you answer this question, there are two considerations:

1. The type of brand you want to build.

2. Who you’re trying to reach (your audience).

Most businesses know who their target audience is or will be. For example, if women make up the majority of your business’s target audience, you’ll certainly want to consider feminine color palettes. Shades of pink, white, and grays for contrast might be a good choice.

Some businesses need a gender-neutral brand that will appeal to all audience types. In this case, a minimalist design approach is ideal.

As you look over the color palettes in this post, take note of the color schemes that stand out. Then, if you need help narrowing them down, consider creating a mood board.

READ MORE: How to Make a Mood Board That Guarantees Amazing Design

How Many Colors Should You Use in Minimalist Design?

In most cases, I’d recommend using minimalist color schemes with no more than three colors. But one or two colors will often be enough. Assign one color in the palette as a base or background color and another for accents (highlights, calls-to-action, links, etc.).

When it comes to accent colors, most people think of bright colors, such as red or green. But dark colors work well, too, depending on the design.

I’ll use an example to illustrate the use of a minimalist color palette in a design concept.

Minimalist monochrome palette example min

I’ve used white for the background, Raven as a base color, and Cod Gray for accents in the first example.

This is an example of a monochrome color palette design.

Using the same palette, this one couples a black background image with white and Oslo Gray text:

Website design example 2 min

You can create a variety of designs with one color palette. Experiment by trying different combinations until you find one you like.

Often, one color will be enough for a minimalist design. And usually, you’ll never need more than three.

I’ve included three colors in each palette to give you more flexibility. Start by selecting the base color, followed by the one you’ll use for accents.

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17 Minimalist Color Palette Examples We Love

Here are some minimalist color palettes we like.

A minimalist color palette with monochrome colors - black , grey, and white.
A minimalist color palette with red, white, and blue colors.
A minimalist color palette with retro colors.
A minimalist color palette with soft neutral tones.
A minimalist color palette with yellow and blue.
A minimalist color palette with cool greys.
A minimalist color palette with shades of peach.
A minimalist color palette with orange as an accent color.
A minimalist color palette with shades of green and yellow.
A minimalist color palette with turquoise and blue.
A minimalist color palette with cool blues.
A minimalist color palette with charcoal and teal.
A minimalist color palette with shades of brown.
A minimalist color palette with a red accent color.
A minimalist color palette with grey and lavender.
A minimalist color palette with greys and blues.
A minimalist color palette with muted purple and grey.

Conclusion

A minimalist color palette gives you enough options to create a clean, professional design.

Spend time experimenting with some of the color palettes we’ve included in this post. Be sure to choose one that aligns with your brand identity. Start with two colors from the palette—a base color and an accent color.

If you have any questions, reach out to me at chris@goldenvineyardbranding.com.

Until next time,

Chris

P.S. Do you need help creating a brand design? Talk with us about how we can help you create a fantastic, professional brand that stands out and sets you apart.

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Chris Fulmer

Director, The Golden Vineyard Branding Company
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