Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example, yellow, green-yellow, and green are categorized as analogous colors. The word ‘analogous’ is defined as two things with a similar function or feature that are comparable to one another.

What Are Analogous Colors?

In this case, the two colors green and yellow are relatable to one another because they are neighbors on the color wheel. If you mix these two colors, you create a new color, yellowgreen, that has attributes of both. Thus, the three colors are analogous because of their close relationship to one another. Interior designers often use analogous colors to decorate a room because it gives it a sense of harmony.

How Do You Use Them?

Whether you are decorating a room, designing a pamphlet, or picking out an outfit, you can incorporate analogous colors to create a balanced and serene look. Analogous colors are pleasing to the human eye and are found abundantly in nature. Just take a walk through the woods, and you will start to notice this natural-occurring trend.

When picking out your analogous color scheme, you want to pick a set of colors that have enough of a tonal contrast that you can easily identify each one. For example, if you have blue, blue-green, and green colors next to each other in a design, your blue-green mix should be an even mix of the two for a balanced look. If your middle color is too blue or too green, it will throw off your harmonious trio of colors.

Analogous Colors Design Layout

Out of your set of analogous colors, it is best to choose one that is more dominant than the others. This way the colors aren’t trying to compete with each other for attention. For example, if you need to create a textile using red, red-orange, and orange, it may look best to choose the red-orange color as your dominant one and use the other two as accents. Typically, a designer will choose the middle color as it’s predominant color for a layout. However, this is a subjective decision and will be dependent on the context for the design.

Example usage of analogous colors in decoration.

Blue shades in a living room.

Deciding Whether To Use Analogous Colors Or Not

If you need a lot of energy in your design, it may be best to go with contrasting colors rather than analogous colors. You would use analogous colors if you are trying to communicate a message of tranquility. Take a look at any advertising for a spa or natural care products, and you will find analogous color schemes to reflect the sense of peace and serenity associated with them.

Dior’s analogous color usage example.

Whether you need to make your bedroom feel more comforting or need to create some design templates for your local yoga studio, remember that analogous colors are your friends.

Tip: Go to your local hardware store and pick out some analogous colors from their paper samples section. Have fun matching the analogous colors and experimenting with color schemes.