A Design Kit

how to choose a color
palette for your design

By: Mara Dockery (maradawn)

You’re ready to design, but you’re not sure where to start when choosing colors. If you’re feeling intimidated by a blank screen, here are a few tips to find your color palette.


start with your color story

Although it’s easy to jump right in and create designs, start with the big picture. Colors can help communicate the story you want to tell. First, think about what your Instagram feed currently looks like and the vibe you ultimately want to give off. Choosing a color theme will make the decision process so much simpler when you begin each individual design.

For example, if the photos in your grid have a rich and vibrant feel, you may choose to focus on using accents of jewel tones like teal, cranberry, purple, etc. for your designs.


Find inspiration elsewhere

Look around to other sources, like nature, photography, books, etc. One of my favorite things to do is to look at saved Pinterest photos. Take notes on why you find color combinations in your favorite photos, etc. visually appealing. Experiment with those colors in your designs.


review the color wheel

Do you want to create a lot of contrast? Choose complementary colors, which are colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel, like oranges and blues.

Do you want your designs to feel bright, young, and happy? Choose colors that are primary or secondary like yellow, blue, green, green, orange or purple.

Do you want your designs to feel more offbeat? Choose colors that are intermediate and less used like red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green, etc.


Use the color picker in the app

If you’re designing with a photo, using the Color Picker tool is an easy way to find color inspiration. Take your design and sample any color from the photo to match.

A Design Kit is now available to download for free in the App Store!

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