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Gray Color Combinations
Color Palettes with CMYK Formulas

These color palettes feature shades of gray. 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 - victorian color palette of orange, yellow, and gray
C30M10Y5K20 | C10M10Y50 | M30Y70 | C10M35Y15K25 | M85Y85K10 | C40K100
Try these orange and yellows against a background of bluish gray.

colour combinations - limited palette of gray and blue
C80M50Y15K15 | C25M15Y5Y5 | White
A grayish blue with a bluish gray on a background of white.

colour combinations - victorian color palette of green, orange, yellow
C65Y35K15 | M90Y100 | M35Y100 | Y70 | C10K35 | C40K100
The orange and yellows of sunflowers with light green are the centerpiece of this palette. Put them all on a backdrop of medium gray.

colour combinations - art deco palette of orange, blue, and grays
C7M5Y10 | C7M90Y100 | C100M85Y10K6 | C40M25Y25K7 | C40K100
Bold blue and orange are tamed by shades of gray from silvery to charcoal.

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 gray
M50Y85K25 | C25M15Y20K9 | M10Y20K17 | C40K100
Another neutral palette with gray, brown, and a dose of black.

colour combinations - shades of gray
M30Y30K90 | M20Y20K75 | M10Y10K40 | M5Y5K20 | White
You could call this monochromatic palette shades of gray or tints of black. All with a dash of white to brighten.

colour combinations - browns, blues, greens, with a pale gray
M40Y100 | C100M65Y10K6 | C80Y40K20 | C10M30Y60K10 | C5M5Y10K5
Where white might overwhelm this bright blue and teal try a pale gray.

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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