Analogous Colors – Create Color Harmony

What are analogous colors and how are they best used? Analogous colors are simply colors that are naturally situated next to each other on the color wheel, which creates a natural color harmony.

Analogous Meaning

The definition of analogous is, something similar or comparable in such a way that makes obvious a transition, connection or evolution between two or more things.  

Analogous colors are usually made up from one primary, one secondary and one tertiary color and often found in nature. An example of analogous colors, you can have, yellow, yellow green and green. Analogous color combinations can also be made up from more than just three colors.

Analogous Color Examples

Choosing an analogous color scheme creates instant color harmony for a particular design or project.

Analogous colors are often found in the natural world, for example, varying shades of yellow (flowers) and green (grass) is common place. The changing shades of tree leaves in autumn would be another example of analogous colors in nature.

Analogous color schemes are often used in fashion, interior design, website design and often used in business logos.

Using Analogous Colors

Using analogous colors for a particular design creates an instant and natural color harmony. However there are still different and more effective ways of using those colors.

Getting the right balance between the colors is important, get the balance wrong and it can look confused and perhaps a little boring.

One recommended way of using analogous colors is to focus on one color. For example a primary color as the main color, and then using the secondary and tertiary colors in smaller amounts with the intention of creating a natural blend or harmony.

Primary, secondary, tertiary analogous colors.

Of course you are not just restricted to the primary, secondary and tertiary colors of the color wheel. You can also get an analogous color effect with warm and cool neutral colors. You can achieve color harmony with varying shades of beige, taupe and brown, or black and varying shades of gray with great results with interior design.

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