Color Palettes with CMYK Formulas
These color palettes feature shades of red. 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.
C10Y100K15 | C50Y100K20 | C10M100Y80 | C40K100 | White
This isn't a Christmas red and green.
C10M100Y100 | C100M5Y100 | M10Y100 | C40K100
Another red and green combo. Use lots of black and a bit of yellow to create an eye-popping look.
C100M40K30 | C85Y70K45 | M15Y70 | M70Y65 | C30M100Y70K30
Rich maroon, teal, and green team up for this palette.
M65Y25 | M30Y10 | C65M10 | M50Y45 | White | C40K100
Your pastels won't be washed out with a judicial dose of black to make those pinks pop.
C13Y12 | M15Y100K11 | M50Y10K25 | C15M100Y30 | C40K100 | White
Medium and dark pinks with a mustard yellow, with a little bit of black and white.
C4M65Y100 | C80M10Y40 | M90Y50 | C30M100Y80K20 | C20M40Y85K5 | C45
Shades of pink with a burst of orange. Placing the blue between the orange and pink helps avoid visual vibrations.
C10M15Y25K2 | C30M20Y40K13 | C8M90Y100K3 | C40K100
Using the gray and beige colors in place of white with black and red softens this color scheme. (Ummm... I mixed that black wrong, it should be black not the gray it appears on screen)
M100Y100 | M20Y100 | C40K100 | White
Use the yellow sparingly against red or use a touch of red against a background of yellow for two entirely different eye-popping looks. (same as above, that should be black not dark gray)
Keep it simple with just two colors plus white - in this case a deep maroon red and a peachy pink. [See more Limited Color Palettes]
Color Meanings and Mixing Colors
Discover the cultural meanings for these colors and more ways to mix and match colors.
- Color Meanings and Colors That Go Together
- Red Color Symbolism and Colors That Go with Red
- Pink Color Symbolism and Colors That Go with Pink
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.