How to Create a Stunning Summer Colour Palette

Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to infuse your design projects with the vibrant, refreshing hues of the season. Whether you're a graphic designer, a UX/UI designer, or just someone looking to spruce up your personal projects, a well-crafted summer colour palette can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll explore how to create a summer colour palette, including soft summer, light summer, and true summer variations.

7/5/20245 min read

Mikey's Pizza store during daytime
Mikey's Pizza store during daytime

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Summer Colour Palette

Understanding the Essence of a Summer Colour Palette

A summer colour palette typically embodies the warmth, brightness, and energy of the season. Think of sandy beaches, clear blue skies, blooming flowers, and lush greenery. The key is to select colours that evoke these elements while maintaining harmony and balance.

1. Identify Your Theme

First, decide on the theme or mood you want your palette to convey. Are you going for a tropical beach vibe, a serene garden party, or a lively festival atmosphere? Your theme will guide your colour choices and ensure your palette is cohesive.

2. Choose Your Base Colours

Start with a few base colours that represent the core of your summer theme. For a soft summer colour palette, opt for muted, pastel shades like blush pink, lavender, and soft teal. For a light summer colour palette, go for lighter, brighter hues like lemon yellow, sky blue, and mint green. A true summer colour palette can include vibrant, bold colours such as coral, turquoise, and sunflower yellow.

3. Add Complementary and Accent Colours

Next, add complementary and accent colours to your base shades. These colours should enhance and balance your primary choices. For instance:

  • Soft Summer Colour Palette: Add gentle shades like periwinkle, seafoam green, and peach.

  • Light Summer Colour Palette: Incorporate crisp white, pale lilac, and soft gold.

  • True Summer Colour Palette: Include deep blues, rich greens, and pops of magenta.

  • Warm Summer Colour Palette: Include warmer colors, such as red, orange or yellow

We'll cover those palettes in the next section, showing what they would look like.

4. Create Variations and Shades

To make your palette versatile, create variations and shades of your chosen colours. This will give you a range of tones to work with, from the lightest tints to the darkest shades. This step is crucial for adding depth and dimension to your designs.

How to get color from nature in your design ?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to infuse natural beauty into your designs is by using an image color picker. This tool allows you to extract exact hues from nature photographs, ensuring your palette is both authentic and harmonious. Simply upload a photo of a serene beach, a vibrant flower garden, or a lush forest into an image color picker tool. Then, click on various parts of the image to sample the colors. This way, you can capture the exact shade of the ocean, the delicate pink of a rose petal, or the deep green of leaves. Using these naturally derived colors, you can create a palette that truly reflects the beauty of the outdoors, adding a touch of nature’s tranquility and vibrancy to your design projects.

Soft summer colour palette

The Soft Summer colour palette is characterized by muted, gentle, and cool-toned hues. It embodies the subtle, understated beauty of a summer evening or a misty morning. These colours are not overly bright or bold but rather have a calm and soothing effect. This palette works well for creating designs that are elegant, sophisticated, and timeless.

Characteristics of a Soft Summer Colour Palette

  1. Muted Tones: Colours in this palette are softened with a hint of grey, giving them a gentle, dusty appearance. This creates a harmonious and cohesive look.

  2. Cool Undertones: The overall palette leans towards cool undertones, which include shades of blue, grey, and some cooler greens and purples.

  3. Low Contrast: The palette typically features colours that blend seamlessly into one another without harsh contrasts, making it ideal for creating a soft, balanced look.

Soft Summer Colour Palette Examples with Hex Codes

Here are some suggestions for a Soft Summer colour palette, complete with hex codes:

  • Dusty Rose (#C4A7B3)

  • Soft Lavender (#D1C2E0)

  • Pale Blue (#AFCBEB)

  • Muted Teal (#7DA6A5)

  • Light Grey (#D8D8D8)

  • Soft Sage (#B3C2AD)

  • Cool Beige (#CFC1B4)

  • Pale Mauve (#D7B9C2)

Light summer colour palette

The Light Summer colour palette is characterized by light, airy, and cool-toned hues. This palette reflects the gentle, refreshing colours of a summer morning or a delicate summer bloom. It’s perfect for creating designs that feel fresh, youthful, and vibrant without being too overpowering.

Characteristics of a Light Summer Colour Palette

  1. Light and Airy Tones: Colours in this palette are bright and have a soft, pastel quality, giving them a light and breezy appearance.

  2. Cool Undertones: The palette predominantly features cool undertones, including shades of blue, pink, green, and purple.

  3. High Brightness: These colours have a high level of brightness and clarity, making them feel clean and uplifting.

  4. Moderate Contrast: While the contrast in this palette is more noticeable than in a Soft Summer palette, it remains balanced and harmonious.

Light summer colour palette examples with HEX codes

  • Sky Blue (#A3D5FF)

  • Mint Green (#A6EBC9)

  • Lilac (#D8BFE3)

  • Lemon Yellow (#FFFACD)

  • Blush Pink (#FFD1DC)

  • Ice Blue (#D0EFFF)

  • Light Coral (#FFB6C1)

  • Soft Lavender (#E6E6FA)

True summer colour palette

The True Summer colour palette is characterized by cool, muted, and balanced hues. Unlike the Light Summer and Soft Summer palettes, True Summer colors have a stronger, more grounded presence while still maintaining a sense of tranquility and elegance. This palette is perfect for creating designs that are sophisticated, harmonious, and calming.

Characteristics of a True Summer Colour Palette

  1. Cool Undertones: The True Summer palette is dominated by cool undertones, which include blues, greens, and cool purples. There are no warm, golden hues in this palette.

  2. Muted and Soft: While the colours are more intense than those in the Light Summer palette, they are still muted and have a soft quality, often mixed with a touch of grey.

  3. Medium Contrast: The palette has a medium contrast level, allowing for a balanced and harmonious look without being too stark or too blended.

True summer colour palette examples with HEX codes

  • Steel Blue (#4682B4)

  • Dusty Rose (#B48E95)

  • Teal Blue (#669999)

  • Lavender Grey (#C4C3D0)

  • Slate Grey (#708090)

  • Rosy Brown (#C49B94)

  • Cool Mint (#99CCCC)

  • Stormy Sea (#446E75)

Warm summer colour palette

The Warm Summer colour palette is characterized by soft, warm, and muted hues that evoke the golden light of late summer afternoons and the vibrant yet soft colours found in nature during this season. Unlike other summer palettes, Warm Summer includes colors with warm undertones, making it perfect for creating designs that feel cozy, inviting, and sun-kissed.

Characteristics of a Warm Summer Colour Palette

  1. Warm Undertones: Unlike typical summer palettes, Warm Summer colors have warm undertones, incorporating hints of gold, peach, and warm pinks.

  2. Soft and Muted: The colors are softened with a touch of grey or brown, creating a gentle, muted look that is easy on the eyes.

  3. Low to Medium Contrast: This palette has a low to medium contrast, allowing for a harmonious and cohesive look without being too bold.

Warm summer colour palette examples with HEX codes

  • Peach (#FFCBA4)

  • Coral (#FF7F50)

  • Soft Gold (#FFD700)

  • Dusty Pink (#D3A5A1)

  • Warm Beige (#F5F5DC)

  • Sage Green (#B2AC88)

  • Sunset Orange (#FFA07A)

  • Warm Grey (#A09F9C)