Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Color

Trending: How to Color Block in Graphic Design

In this article, we dive into trendy color block illustrations and templates to show you what color blocking is.

Color blocking is not a new technique—it came around in the 1960s inspired by an even older art movement, De Stijl. Who would've known that this movement would still be inspiring designers to create color block prints that can be applied anywhere from branding to presentations and even packaging? In this article, we show you what color block means and how color blocking graphic design works, with awesome examples. 

If you're looking for amazing color block style templates or color block illustrations, be sure to check out Envato Elements. With an affordable monthly subscription, you have access to thousands of assets like photos, templates, graphics, and much more. 

What Is Color Blocking in Graphic Design?

Color Blocking ExampleColor Blocking ExampleColor Blocking Example
Color Blocking Patterns

Color blocking is defined as mixing two to three bold colors, often contrasting or opposite colors, to create an eye-catching piece.

The trend was popular in the 1960s, when Yves Saint Laurent released a Piet Mondrian-inspired dress at a runway show. Before that, Piet Mondrian was the proponent of the De Stijl movement. This Dutch art movement advocated for pure abstraction and reduction of form and color. While the movement mainly inspired artists and architects, it wasn't long until it took over other areas of design.

The De Stijl movement and YSL dress catapulted the use of colors and the willingness to push boundaries with them. Nowadays, we can see brands like Spotify creating loud and eye-catching campaigns by using the color blocking technique.

How to Color Block in Graphic Design

How to Color Block in Graphic DesignHow to Color Block in Graphic DesignHow to Color Block in Graphic Design
Creative Presentation Template

To create your own color block style, choose two or three colors. There are a couple of techniques for color blocking. Some of these colors are bright, and we've also seen them in pastel combinations:

  • Complementary: Colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, thus creating high contrast. With this option, be careful about colors vibrating next to each other. 
  • Analogous: These are colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. This combination creates harmony. 
  • Mix complementary and analogous: Choose two analogous colors and combine them with their complementary color.

Without a doubt, color blocking is a fun and creative way to design interesting and harmonious designs. 

Trending Pastel Color Blocking Combinations From Envato Elements

Color blocking with pastel color combinations creates a sweet and soft effect. If you're looking to create something soft but with a lot of impact, don't pass on this idea. Here are a few examples that can spark new color block art ideas for you:

Isometric Mosaic Vector Backgrounds (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

Color Blocking Color Blocking Color Blocking
Isometric Mosaic Vector Backgrounds

This stylish and colorful backdrop is a great color blocking art example. Much of the color blocking artwork is simple and minimalist. This abstract pattern lies in the middle of abstract and complicated and spices things up with the color blocking technique. On the color wheel, yellow and the blue-green are close, while pink is on the opposite side.

Foil Paper Snack Bar Packaging Mockups (PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Foil Paper Snack Bar Packaging Mockups

The art of color blocking also includes using shades of the chosen colors. In this example, the peach color is used in a couple of different shades. Yellow is near the salmon on the color wheel, and that leaves the blue on the opposite side. In this example, the blue color is used as an accent.

Soap Dispenser Mockup Rectangle (PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Soap Dispenser Mockup Rectangle

If you're looking for a simpler example of how to color block, this two-color blocking example is easy. Purple and Yellow are directly opposite on the color wheel. In this image, the soap color and the label work well without being too literal on the concept of color blocking.

Pastel Colors Pitch Deck (PPTX)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Pastel Colors Pitch Deck

This awesome pitch deck is full of color blocking style examples. The yellow-orange color falls almost exactly opposite the light blue, and the light red almost directly opposite the latter. Three colors are the sweet spot for the number of variations to use. By just varying the amount of each color used on the pages, you can create plenty of combinations and looks.

Glyph, Colorful Keynote Template (KEY)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Glyph, Colorful Keynote Template

This block color abstract art template is great for keynote presentations. While each page has a different color, the technique is the same. Purple and pink are close on the color wheel, while green is complementary to both. Green and blue are also close on the color wheel, and orange is opposite. This is a great way to apply color block art in a bigger project where repetition can be avoided.

Moretta Instagram Template (PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Moretta, Instagram Template

Here's another simple example of color block art. Purple and orange are directly opposite on the color wheel. If you're looking to create a minimalist design, this is the way to go. Throw in supporting colors like the simple black and white, and you're all set.

Bright Color Blocking Combinations

Bright color blocking combinations are classic and stay true to their nature. These colors are loud, alive, and looking to make an impact. These are great for a brand that identifies with the summer or spring seasons. Let's take a look at how to color block with bright colors:

Anaka, Colorful Keynote Template (KEY)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Anaka, Colorful Keynote Template

Bright color blocking in graphic design has existed for decades. The key to keeping a design contemporary? Use bright colors that are current. This color block style grabs three analogous colors: blue, light blue, and green. All of these colors are opposite orange, and you have a four-color palette, enough to create many variations!

Retro Fashion Sale Instagram Story (AI, PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Retro Fashion Sale Instagram Story

Contemporary retro seems contradictory, but when done right, it can look fresh. This color combination is classic—green and yellow are analogous colors, and pink is their complementary. Add a stylish font and awesome graphics to create an even louder design.

Oregoo, 1990s Instagram Stories (PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Oregoo, 1990s Instagram Stories

This is a slightly different version of the previous example—the colors are more saturated, but the technique is the same. This is real proof that when you have the technique down, all you have to do is change shades or add brightness or darkness, and you have an entirely new result for your art color blocking.

Colours, Keynote Template (KEY)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Colours, Keynote Template

If you're looking for something more minimal for your design, this purple and orange color blocking graphic design is great. While the colors aren't mixed together on one page, they're still making an impact. Page-to-page they're different, impactful, and they still create contrast, which is the point of the color block style.

Startup Business Instagram Stories and Post (AI, EPS, PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Startup Business Instagram Stories and Post

Why not go on full brightness? This Instagram pack uses the brightest colors, but sparingly so as not to overwhelm the eyes. That's the thing about color blocking graphic design—it's all done with taste. The blue and greenish yellow are almost opposite on the color wheel but create enough contrast to catch the eye.

Modern Podcast Instagram Post (AI, PSD)

Color Blocking StyleColor Blocking StyleColor Blocking Style
Modern Podcast Instagram Post

If you want to go loud, go LOUD! This is a scaled-up version of the previous example. Blue and greenish yellow are still applicable, but this time these two colors take over the backgrounds, showing us that there's a way to find balance with block color abstract art and still look good. 

That's It!

In this article, I showed you what color blocking is in graphic design. This technique of block color in abstract art has been around since the De Stijl movement. While it's a technique that can be applied to any color palette, it's one that guarantees a loud and harmonious outcome. Now that you know what color block means, it's your turn to create some of the craziest color combinations for your design projects. Be sure to show us!

If you're looking for awesome color block print templates or other art color blocking, be sure to check out Envato Elements. With an affordable monthly subscription, you have access to thousands of assets like photos, templates, graphics, and much more. 

Advertisement
Did you find this post useful?
One subscription.
Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads