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Blue in the Face? 15 Hues You Should Be Using that Aren't Blue

Blue is everywhere and seems to be favored color across all industries.

Blue

In the world of the psychology of color, blue is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and serene. Within industries, blue is often seen as non-threatening, stable, loyal, and reliable. No wonder it’s so popular! But blue isn’t the only color with these qualities. Branding with a more niche color will help you stand out from the overused blue hues, but also make your brand more uniquely recognizable.

1. Cinnamon

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This earthy hue is warm and inviting. It feels comfortable, yet established. Pair this with black for a sophisticated masculine look, or soften your palette by pairing cinnamon with a soft creamy mauve.

2. Emerald

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Emerald evokes harmony and growth. There’s a feeling of renewal and knowledge that comes with this serene color. Pair this with gold, rose gold, or an extremely light pink.

3. Violet

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Violet isn’t shy, that’s for sure. It brings with it feelings of luxury, power, wisdom, creativity, and magic. Violet pairs nicely with light or dark shades of the same hue, or it can do just fine on its own.

4. Blush

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Blush is almost nude, with a hint of pink. It's velvety, and soft. This color is often seen as mellow, easygoing and pleasant. Pair this with a medium gray, sage green, or a deep maroon.

5. Soft Berry

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This soft berry has a little more punch than a classic blush. It’s got more personality and sass, while also being kind, nurturing, and compassionate. Pair this with black, white, or even teal.

6. Greige

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Greige is a warm gray. Cool grays have blue undertones, while warm grays have earthy undertones. Greige has a tendency to feel lonely and isolated, so pair this with bold, deep hues like rusty browns/reds, or white to brighten up the tone a bit.

7. Golden Yellow

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Yellow often gets dismissed because it can be fatiguing to the eye in large quantities. But with a thoughtful color palette (even just pairing it with white or black), yellow becomes more balanced and less harsh. Yellow is ripe, creative, energetic, and optimistic.

8. Coral Peach

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This coral has muted peachy undertones. Because it’s not a bright or flaming coral, it feels softer, warmer, and enchanting. Intensify this palette by adding black or dark gray, or make it lighter with whites or creams.

9. Orange

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Orange is loud, proud, and has a punch of vigor. It feels both tough, and enthusiastic. Pair this with black for a roaring, dominant color palette. Or, for something less harsh, try pairing this with white or tan.

10. Poppy

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Poppy isn’t as intense as a true red, but it’s not as visually potent or demanding. It’s safe and cozy, rather than evoking moods of danger (which some true reds can feel like). Pair poppy colors with light pinks or peaches, or keep it neutral with tan, black or white.

11. Mint

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Mint is so refreshing! This hue feels new and creative (especially when compared to a true blue). Mint is a frosty hue, so it feels a bit innocent and fresh, and reflects a lot of the same qualities as blue (calm and cool). Pair mint with peach, coral, or a soft green.

12. Burgundy

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Burgundy is a warm combination of red and brown. It’s powerful and mature. Because of the rich intensity of this color, burgundy feels strong-willed, like a conqueror. To soften this palette, pair with blush, gold, tan, or white.

13. Lime

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Because this lime is more yellowy and muted, it feels more charming and lucky, and less envious (like a true green may feel). It also leans more toward light and airy instead of obviously organic and earthy. Pair this with deep black-brown, tan, or cream.

14. Mustard

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Mustard is a dirtier yellow, so it’s not as blaring as a true yellow. This means it feels a little more mature, sensible, and wise rather than youthful and overly cheery. Pair this with white, light pink, or cream, or go darker and pair it with a deep gray or black.

15. Magenta

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Magenta lives between purple and pink. Magenta is an exciting, passionate color. It’s spirited and wild, and won’t back down. Pair this color with other hues of pink/purple, or just stick with the starkly bold black and white.

Maggie Call

Maggie is a Senior Designer at 97th Floor, developing content for print and web by creating infographics, websites, and interactives.

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