After a dramatic, tumultuous year, we’re all yearning for some tranquility and peace of mind. Muted color palettes 2021 are going to replace vivid color palettes across the board. In graphic design, this means we’re switching the bold and bright color schemes to something more reserved and harmonious, and in fact, the trend forecasters say, in 2021.
This year we spent a lot of time looking at the screen. It was the year of online lessons and the year of socially distanced celebrations. From this, however, we learned that some colors are more comfortable to look at than others. These six muted color palettes 2021 that are cozy and easy-on-the-eyes colors will be trending.
What are muted color palettes exactly?
Muted colors refer to all colors that have low saturation (or chrome). These are subtle colors that are not bright or have been subdued, dulled, or grayed. The opposite of a soft hue is a bright, vivid, saturated color. Compare the colors you see in the sky on a cloudy day to the colors you see on a bright and sunny day. The tones of color found on a cloudy day are typically less brilliant, duller, and more muted than those of a sunny day.
Why use muted color palettes?
Vivid colors sure have their place. But it is usually far more effective to use vivid colors sporadically, in combination with muted colors.
If you combine two bright colors, it will not the best result. For example, take the red, blue, and green below, surrounded by a vivid yellow. The colors fight each other for attention. You may find this color combination to be jarring and uncomfortable to look at.
If you half the yellow, blue, and green saturation, the color combination is much more pleasing to look at.
How to “Mute” a color
To mute a color, you can mix it with any of the following:
• Black (this will also darken the color);
• White (this will also lighten the color);
• The complement of the color (for example, you can desaturate blue by mixing it with orange); or
• An earthy color such as raw umber or burnt sienna.
Each of these methods will produce slightly different results, but the saturation of the color will decrease.
Muted color palettes in the painting of the past
The artist in their paintings above shows us a wise use of muted colors. While Degas and Klimt use very muted, earthy palettes with low contrast, Veermer uses a high contrast: the bright whites of the eyes, the collar, and the pearl earrings pop against the dark colors bring focus to the feminine features of the girl. Similarly, red is used only of the lips — drawing your eyes into the rich color that contrasts with the muted and cool tones in the rest of the painting.
Muted color palettes in UI Design & Presentation Design
In honor of inspirational design, let’s take a few minutes to see some examples where the different brands use muted colors.
Winc is a wine club that sends wine to your doorstep. The whole structure of the company, born as one of the many wine distribution platforms and then became a real producer in the first person, is based on the customer and its feedback in real-time. , Their site features a minimalist design and simple images punctuated through colorful accents that focus on the product. As we can see, the color palette is muted and elegant — perfect for an elegant wine club.
Illo is a design studio with a focus on motion design, illustration, and set design. The site is clear, characterized by games colors. We have muted colors that combine with brighter colors.
Cédric Pereira is a product design, and this is your website. He uses a muted, pastel color scheme to create a soft and inviting look. It seems to feel a sweet fairytale sensation.
Subtlety is everything with muted color palettes
Subtlety helps give muted colors meaning. Because of the subtlety in the painting,, we can see and feel all beautiful color harmonies happen. If there were a loud, bright red, it would wash everything else out! Imagine if a loud rock band started playing during an adagio movement performed by a string quartet. The rock band would surely drown out the sound of the string quartet, and we would never be able to hear beautiful and subtle harmonies.
How to begin using muted color palettes
The best place to begin using muted color palettes in 2021 is to start color mixing a lot more. Try not to paint from photographs but rather paint from real-life studies. You will not be able to see the richness of color from a picture. Also, steer yourself away from color mixing formulas. Try instead to mix colors from what you see and trust your eyes.
Be sure to grab my free color mixing guide that will help you learn the basics of color mixing. You will have everything you need to know to start mixing muted colors!
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