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Brown Color Combinations
Color Palettes with CMYK Formulas

These color palettes feature shades of brown. Although I've made a few suggestions here and there about the 'amount' of each color to use, experiment. For best results don't use even amounts of each color in the palette. Choose one or two dominant colors and use the rest for accents. Keep in mind that due to the differences between color in print and on the Web that these colors may not appear the same on paper as they appear here on the screen.

These aren't just random color combinations. Each of these are based on actual historic and modern formulas used in posters, packaging, ads, and other design work over the past century. For a much more comprehensive selection of color combinations refer to The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations by Leslie Cabarga.

colour combinations - earthy brown and a touch of orange
C40M65Y70K50 | C30M90Y100 | C20M13Y13 | C40M40Y70K3 | C40K100
Shades of brown and a touch of gray with a dark earthy orangy red.

colour combinations - earthy brown and green
C40M75Y80 | M10Y35 | C40Y70K10 | C100Y50
Earthy doesn't mean lifeless. These shades of brown and tan are enlivened with a bright teal accent.

colour combinations - earthy orange, brown, and green
C25M80Y90Y25 | C65M3Y65K15 | C5M85Y90 | C5M55Y85 | M20Y40 | C40K100
Here's a wonderfully earthy palette of brown, green, and orange.

colour combinations - neutral brown, tan, and gray
M10Y20K15 | K45 | M40Y40K70 | White
Neutrals combine for an unusual look. Make the gray a splash of metallic silver ink and it's not so dull a combo as you might think.

colour combinations - neutral brown, tan, and black with a splash of orangy red
M90Y100 | C15M35Y60K3 | C30M55Y100K30 | C40K100 | White
Black and brown create a strong neutral background for a splash of orange-red. Use a touch of white to provide light and contrast.

colour combinations - pale pink with light brown
C7M5Y15 | M40Y25 | C30M55Y60K15 | C50K100
A pale pink and light brown work nicely together with a beige and black for this neutral art deco color scheme. Use more of the pink to wake it up a bit.

colour combinations - light brown with earthy orange
M30Y80 | M50Y100 | C15M40Y60K20 | C50K100 | White
A light brown brings out the earthiness of these citrus orange shades. Lighten with a touch of white for accent.

colour combinations - A dark brown with earthy orange and yellow
C80M100Y100K15 | M60Y80K10 | M35Y100 | M15Y35K25 | C40K100
A dark chocolate brown as a background works nicely with this orangey brown and yellow. The gray adds a touch of lightness.

victorian palette in layout
Seven colors in shades of yellow, brown, and green combine for this Victorian era color scheme. [See more Victorian Color Palettes]

Color Meanings and Mixing Colors
Discover the cultural meanings for these colors and more ways to mix and match colors.

More Color Palettes
Explore more color palettes to evoke a certain mood or make a color statement.

Use Swatch Books
Use PANTONE Color Guides to get just the right shades for your color palettes and to find CMYK-PMS color equivalents.

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