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2024’s Palette Unveiled: 5 Color Trends and How to Use Them 

3 Mins read

It’s no secret that the colors we surround ourselves with have the power to influence our moods and mindsets; they can be a balm during moments of crisis or energize us to tackle a challenge head-on. As we enter 2024, the color palettes being embraced by designers and brands reflect a desire for tones that exude confidence, boldness, and self-assurance during a time when societal shifts have left many people apprehensive of the future.

Vibrant citrus tones like lemon and lime capture a craving for positivity, joy, and fearlessness in the face of change. These zesty hues symbolize embracing the future with optimism. On the opposite end of the spectrum, darker industrial colors like gunmetal gray and blackened emerald green reflect a grittier approach, one of strength and resilience.

Whether brands are seeking to motivate consumers with vivacious brightness or connect through a sense of brooding soulfulness, the 2024 color trends identified by the global community of professional designers at 99designs by Vista offer inspiration to businesses of all shapes and sizes. .

Bubblegum brilliance

Embark on a chromatic journey that goes way beyond the now ubiquitous Millennial pink. The fervor surrounding Barbiecore branding in 2023 encouraged brands to amp up the volume when it comes to pink, resulting in a palette for 2024 that stands out with sharp hues and intense saturation. 

Building on last year’s prevalence of acidic hues, this trend embodies a spirit that is exuberant, youthful, and inherently charismatic. Beyond aesthetics, embracing this lively and attention-grabbing palette offers small businesses a unique opportunity to align themselves with an optimistic narrative that communicates a vibrant and engaging presence and appeals to younger hard-to-reach demographics.  

As consumers seek moments of escape, this trend uses a visual language that taps into a carefully balanced sense of nostalgia alongside a vibrant celebration of positivity.  

Bubblegum brilliance: web design by Arthean on 99designs by Vista

Industrial after-dark 

When it comes to this very urban design trend, think dark, blood reds and oranges with black, silver or yellow accent shades, contrasting with glowing highlights. Industrial after-dark color palettes capture a gritty, dystopian energy, creating a sense reminiscent of walking through dark, neon-bathed streets of a futuristic sci-fi city. 

For small businesses looking to inject some bold grittiness into their branding, embracing the industrial after-dark aesthetic sends a message of being a disruptor while still exuding raw confidence. Consider an urban gym incorporating exposed brick and metallic accents in its interior design, contrasted with fiery red spotlights to convey passion and energy.

This particular color trend often allows a newer or smaller brand to communicate the idea that it is punching far above its weight: a dynamic and visionary David among corporate Goliaths.

Book design by kostis Pavlou on 99designs by Vista

Injecting vitality with citrus tones 

If you’re looking for a fresh, upbeat update for your branding in 2024, look no further than a zesty citrus color palette as a great place to start. The brilliance of lime and lemon shades isn’t confined to specific industries; these hues find unexpected yet impactful applications in many different sectors. 

This captivating color scheme has been steadily rising in popularity, with both Fanta and 7UP tapping into the sharp citrus color trend effectively in their recent rebrands.  

Often paired with black or neutral tones, these bright shades can inject fresh appeal into even the most conventional of sectors, with examples in everything from insurance to banking showing how successfully these brand colors are in embodying a bold, playful visual identity. 

Packaging design by goopanic on 99designs by Vista

Regally radiant brands

In nature, the majestic plumes of a peacock or iridescent wings of a morpho butterfly command awe and attention. Similarly, in 2024, many designers are embracing a modernized palette of shades traditionally associated with royalty, like dark reds and deep purples. This trend is perfect for brands and small businesses looking to unleash a confident luxury and move towards a form of self-expression that connects with consumers looking for glamor, exclusivity, and an overall elevated experience.  

Brand and app design by DSKY on 99designs by Vista

Rethinking the power of muted tones in 2024

It’s not all vibrant and striking color trends making waves in 2024. There’s an alternative quiet but effective aesthetic building momentum, with shades that are often relegated to the background taking center stage. Brands and designers alike are leaning into the understated reputation of off-white, eggshell, beige, greys and oatmeal.  

In harmony with the revived enthusiasm for minimalism seen in fashion, beauty, and interior design, there is a golden opportunity for small business owners to meet the demand for clean, simple design in our chaotic world. These muted and subtle tones are perfect for confidently asserting a luxurious and expensive looking brand aesthetic that is often complemented by textured packaging and minimalist design to create a sense of effortless sophistication and elegance.  

Brand and app design by Bojana on 99designs by Vista

Embrace chromatic bravery in an evolving brand landscape

Whether it’s a full brand refresh that leans into sharp, acidic citrus tones or bold purples to grab consumer attention, or social posts that tap into a broader trending “clean girl” aesthetic to offer moments of quiet luxury amongst the noise, the language of color is a powerful tool for creating connections across channels and audiences. As the tides of change continue to swell around us, 2024 offers small business brands the opportunity to use color in new and compelling ways, with endless creative possibilities.    

Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99designs by Vista

Photo from Alexander Grey

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