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11 Examples of Analogous Colors

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Analogous colors are sets of colors that are considered to be similar. This usually means that they extend from a similar spectrum of light. It is also possible for colors to be analogous based on oddities of color perception whereby they are perceived as similar despite being based on very different wavelengths of light. Analogous colors are one approach to developing color schemes because they are thought to "match." The following are common sets of analogous colors.

Red, Orange, Yellow

Red, orange and yellow are the longest wavelengths of visible light. These colors are perceived as warm due to their association with sunlight and fire. Red, orange and yellow are dramatic, loud colors associated with risk. As such, they are considered distracting and difficult to look at for long. Each of these colors have thousands of variations based on different wavelengths of light, shading with black, tinting with white and tinges of other colors.

Blue, Cyan, Green

Blue, cyan, green are middle wavelengths of light that are extremely common in nature due to their presence in the sky, bodies of water and vegetation. They are considered cool and calming.

Red, Purple, Pink

Pink is produced with red+white, red+blue or red+orange. Purple is generally red+blue. As such, both purple and pink are analogous to red and to each other.
Deep Pink

Blue, Purple

Generally speaking, purple is a mix of red+blue and can be considered somewhat analogous to blue. Blues that are close to cyan or green look very different from purple. However, short wavelengths of blue light are close to violet and may appear somewhat purplish without any red.

Green, Yellow

Greens and yellows originate with similar wavelengths of light such that they can be considered analogous.

Brown, Orange

It is often claimed that brown is a dark shade of orange. Some browns originate this way. However, brown is a ubiquitous color similar to grey that often occurs when different colors are mixed. For example, browns can be produced from red+black+yellow or red+yellow+blue. Nevertheless, brown often has an orangish quality such that it can be considered analogous to orange.

Brown, Green

It is common for browns to have a greenish tinge. Brown and green are also commonly found together in nature such that they are perceived as analogous.
Dark Brown
Dark Green

Black, Grey

Grey can be defined as a tint of black as all true greys can be produced from mixes of black and white. It should be noted that greys can also be produced with mixes of complementary colors such as orange and blue.

White, Grey

Just as grey can be defined as a tint of black, it can be defined as a shade of white.

Pink, Violet

Many violet colors have a pinkish quality such that these colors are analogous.
Deep Pink
Dark Violet

Purple, Violet

Violet is a spectral color that results from pure wavelengths of light in the range 380–450 nanometers. Purple is a mix of blue and red. These colors are considered similar. Many technologies and color models simulate violet with purple such that true violet isn't supported. This includes the RGB color model used by HTML/CSS such that the violet you see below isn't really violet.
Overview: Analogous Color
Definition (1)
Colors that have a similar hue.
Definition (2)
Sets of color that are perceived as similar.
A way to navigate color choices with visualizations such as a color wheel that place similar hues side by side.
Analogous colors are a common strategy for a color scheme.
Related Concepts

Color Theory

This is the complete list of articles we have written about color theory.
Analogous Color
Color Combinations
Color Depth
Color Harmony
Color is Real
Color Perception
Color Purity
Color Saturation
Color Scheme
Color Space
Color Symbolism
Color Temperature
Complementary Colors
Corporate Colors
Heat Map
Impossible Colors
Monochromatic Color
Primary Colors
Rainbow Colors
Spectral Color
Tints And Shades
Visible Spectrum
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