Finding the right colors for your brand or design can be a challenge. Which shade of orange goes perfectly with the teal you’ve chosen? How can you avoid choosing a palette that will make your vector file look dated? What can you do to make your vector graphics stand out in the Storyblocks marketplace? One of the best ways to choose timeless color palettes is to steal from nature—seriously, what’s more natural than nature itself?
Stealing from nature is actually fairly easy. We used Photoshop’s Eyedropper Tool to create the color palettes below, then used one of those palettes to update a vector design in our Member Library.
1. Muted Tones
Minimalist designs paired with muted tones have long been popular—but why is that? One reason may be that these designs often take their cues from nature. Some of the most awe-inspiring (yet calming) scenes in nature are vast, open landscapes and seascapes. Combined with neutral color palettes, these scenes evoke feelings of clarity and openness that designers strive for again and again. If you want to create crisp designs that feel like a breath of fresh air, clean lines and muted tones won’t fail you. If you want to download this image, you can find it here.
2. Exotic Shades
Sometimes brands aren’t looking to make their audience feel cool as a cucumber—sometimes, a little excitement is in order. When you want to cater to adrenaline junkies and help other designers create heart-stopping pieces, nature is still a great place to turn to. While open scenery with muted colors can evoke serenity, the bold and contrasting colors of tropical habitats will inject excitement and energy into any piece. If you’re looking for this image, it’s actually a screenshot from this video.
3. Happy Hues
For many people the phrase, “Go to your happy place,” takes them directly to an ocean view. Even if you’ve never seen the ocean in real life, it plays such a large role in pop culture that the sea takes on a life of its own. To appeal to potential customers looking for a happy-go-lucky design, nothing beats a beach color palette. By simply “stealing” these colors from nature, you can create an immersive experience that reminds audiences of the sound, smell, feel, and taste of the ocean. In case you’re looking for this photo, here it is!
4. Breathtaking Blends
No matter how many sunsets you see in your life, there always comes another that will take your breath away. Seriously, we just can’t get enough of them, so maybe nature is onto something. While you may not be able to convey an overwhelming sense of awe in a vector, using a sunset-inspired color palette will ensure that your design is both eye-catching and eye-pleasing. If you’re looking for this image, it’s actually a screenshot from this video.
Let’s Switch It Up!
These icons already have an eye-catching color palette, but we wanted to show you just how easy it is to customize vectors to fit a new theme. We took a color palette from the examples above (the “Breathtaking Blends” seascape) and simply used those colors to update our vectors. The results below show that nature’s hues won’t let you down!
So go ahead and steal some inspiration from nature. Just don’t steal anything else—we want to preserve these beautiful landscapes.