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Forbidden Color Combination

One of the essential elements in graphic design is color combination. You should carefully handle them, for every color has different characteristics, to let your audiences know your reasons behind the coloring.

White, for example, represents sincerity while black represents independence. This definite feature should be considered when creating a design.

Color combination is not an exception to examine. It could produce a splendid view or vice versa. The latter happens when your combination doesn’t work well.

There are several color combinations that should never be allowed in graphic design. What are they? Check out our explanation below.

color combination


5 Forbidden Color Combination that You Should Avoid

It is important to pay close attention to color combinations, for the sake of a nice-looking design and delivers intended meaning. Note the following combinations you should never use:

Neon + Neon

This color combination often confuses your audiences. Don’t use it excessively to attract audiences’ attention or as attention-grabbers.

Neon itself comes from various color combinations, such as white and yellow, producing new color variation. Inappropriate matches would only create a miss-match color.

Combining neon with neon made the attention-grabbers stronger which tend to be confusing. Your audiences would miss the design purpose since it is vague.

Having green neon as your background and white for the text, causing poor readability. Your audiences’ eyes struggle to read them because the neon dazzles their sight.

After all, some designs did combine several neon colors and came out well. However, this color combination doesn’t work in any designs.

Usually, neon-neon combination requires additional color to neutralize the dazzling effects.

If this combination is important to your design, we suggest you carefully use them. Otherwise, it would ruin your design. Since the neon appears in a cheerful vibe and is considered as a spotlight.

For a joyful and vibrant design with neon, apply one color only. Avoid adding more neon in one design.

Dark + Dark

Next color combination that would be tiring to your audiences’ eyes, is dark and dark. Such as black, night blue, gray and other solid or heavy colors.

Those colors spread heavy ambience and lack of visual interest. It is often neglected by the audiences because they aren’t interested in seeing dark colors.

Bright and dark combination is much preferred to grab attention. If you place a black text on a black background, it would just plain hard to read.

Dark colors don’t always serve a mysterious vibe. A haunted house brochure for instance, black on back tends to be highly unreadable.

This combination would significantly harm the design. Audiences would mistreat your design because they aren’t interesting or boring.

Once you missed the combination, the audiences would also miss the design purposes.

Combine those dark colors with contrasting bright colors, such as black and red, gray and silver, and so on.

In certain situations, the dark combination would be able to convey the design meaning. However, it would go for nothing if the audiences aren’t attentive enough to the design.

Vibrant + Vibrant

Similar to neon, vibrant has strong attention-grabber which its combination could ruin the design. It appears too bright and hurts the audiences’ eyes. 

This might sound rude, yet this combination isn’t eye-friendly, making audiences lose their interest. Even vibrant has more visual interest compared to dark colors, it still requires perfect color combination.

Vibrant’s characters are brave, bright, solid and contrasting. It gives dramatic, modern, contemporer, expresif feels as well as strengthening certain vibes to your design.

Combining vibrant and vibrant would only hinder your message, making your design looks vogue and discouraged.

Some vibrant colors are bright yellow, dark green, bright blue and other bright colors. You are suggested to use just one of them.

Vibrants don’t work well with bright backgrounds either. Combine them with one darker shade or fully dark colors to create a contrast effect.

White Background + Light Visual

This is another prohibited color combination. White background is widely used in various designs for its simple and modest features.

White backgrounds also often are paired with dark colored text, improving the visibility. What if whites goes with a light visual? The text would hardly be seen or worse, it is invisible.

Light visual is in charge of focusing audiences to observe certain parts where the lighting is being added. However,  once white background is being featured, the lighting goes for nothing.

White itself is a light color. If you blend it with a light visual, the design visual would barely be spotted. 

While it might be essential to have white as your background, put it together with dark or bright neon colors. At the same time, pair the light visual with dark background for highlight effect.

Light visuals mainly feature brightness which work well with darker colors. Such as silver text with black or gray, instead of white.

Dark Background + Dark Visual

This is the last forbidden color combination on the list. Try to visualize a pile of dark colors in one design, even the highlight doesn’t help much for text readability. 

Your design certainly fails to catch the audiences’ attention, not to mention in delivering its meaning. Even for a moment, observing the design would be tiring.

Dark colors are famous for their elegance, advanced, independence, and mysterious vibes, which designers often use them to reinforce certain vibes in a design.

However, combining dark colors with dark visuals is never a good idea. The ambiguous design would only confuse the audiences.

Since graphics mainly serve audiences’ visual needs, try to avoid these dark and dark combinations. It would be better to use dark-light combinations to grab the audiences’ attention.


Your message would only be conveyed to the audiences once the color selection is perfectly chosen. Otherwise, inappropriate color selection would harm your design.

Always be concerned about the color selections for your design. Stay away from those color combinations and your design would be fine.

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