How to Monochromatic Design – A Guide to Monochromatic Design (Part 3)

  • by Nikolas Noel
  • January 14, 2023
  • 5 minutes read


We know that monochromatic designs still have a lot of advantages to implement in today’s designs. Monochromatic designs have unique properties which also help in creating a simple environment in the design. In addition to the simplicity created by monochromatic designs, this type of design can also clarify contrasts, clarify logical progressions, and enhance the beauty and style of designs as discussed in the previous article: Why You Should Use Monochromatic Design. Now we will discuss some tips to implement monochromatic designs in your design projects.

Choosing Base Color

Previously we were familiar with monochromatic color lingo (Get to Know with Monochromatic Color). This time you are invited to determine the base color for your monochromatic design. It’s vital to choose a color that is on-brand, on-fleek, or conveys the proper message because the remainder of your color palette will be variations of the base color.

The base color option that you will choose depends on the audience you’re trying to reach and your communication goals. If you’re just experimenting with a creative endeavour for yourself or your own brand, you may choose your favourite color and experiment with its many hues.

Create Color Palette

Within a single-color palette, monochromatic designs often consist of three to seven variants that use the more profound and brighter tones of the base color. Remember when we talked about tints, shades and tones; you can create color variations by arranging them.

Any design project should always be launched with some experimentation. It is quite simple to explore and build a palette using digital graphic design tools like Photoshop or you can also look for some tools from the internet, there are plenty options of tools that may help you create your color palette.

Play around with making different iterations of your basic color and then focus on the handful that you think go best together. To add an additional level of curiosity to your design, you can choose to mix a few monochromatic versions with a second color, possibly even a complementary hue.

See also  Smells Like Teen Spirit? Let's Experiment with The Grunge Design!

Try the few straightforward suggestions below if you’re new to design and want to learn to make a catchy digital color palette using your design software.

Dare going neon

The colors on the color wheel that are neon (or fluorescent) are substantially brighter variations of the standard colors. Consider highlighter yellow, electric blue, bright green, and fuchsia pink. Neon colors are relatively simple to transmit on screen since they emit and reflect more light. Just keep in mind that printing neon colors cost extra, so ask your printer whether they have fluorescent pigments. Be prepared to watch your vibrant digital colors fade if you try printing your neon hues on a conventional printer. But, if the majority of your audience is online, then this could be a great option.

How about black-and-white?

Black-and-white are actually “shades”, not colors, by the rules. You can choose to use a black-and-white or grayscale palette in place of one of the primary colors. A black-and-white palette can also add an elegant and bold impression to the design you are working on. So don’t hesitate to try!

Play around with tints, tones, and shades

As mentioned above, tints, tones and shades play important roles in the monochromatic color palette.

One hue may be used well without becoming constrictive. You are free to express your creativity and include several brand identities.

Designs in monochromatic color may be bold and expressive. Utilizing more white, black, and pure hues from the color wheel can help you achieve this. This method is louder and more lively since it uses a high-contrast layout.

See also  Neo-minimalism in Graphic Design (Part 1)

Additionally, you may lower the loudness by using a more neutral and modest color scheme. For a low-contrast appearance, use more tints, tones and shades. Because of the greater variety of colors and tones, the end result might be serene, subtle, or even artistic.

Pay attention to contrast, dominance and unity

A few features of the design are simpler for viewers to notice when using a monochromatic color scheme since it simplifies the color selection process. Therefore, it is much more crucial to exercise caution regarding contrast, dominance and unity.

What are contrast, dominance and unity? We couldn’t just play around without knowing the terms we are going to arrange right?

Contrast is the rendering of components in such a way as to create drama and visual appeal. Strong contrast indicates focus. It’s not possible to employ contrary colors to generate contrast while utilizing a monochromatic palette. Instead, focus on using size and texture contrast, such as placing large forms adjacent to little ones or rough textures next to flat hues. Utilize current trends in design to set your work apart from others. This is extremely useful if you’re utilizing a neutral, low-contrast palette.

Dominance describes the apparent weight of an element. Give your major element power by positioning it in the composition’s visual forefront, whether you’re utilizing a low-contrast or high-contrast color palette.

Unity helps design and all of its components efficiently communicate with one another. The spectator may more easily understand a design that is cohesive, which makes it simpler to grasp both the medium and the message.

Final Thoughts

So, have you decided which color suits your monochromatic projects? Show us your result!


El is a chemistry teacher and graphic designer, two combinations that some people question. Still, graphic design is a skill he enjoys outside of his career as a chemistry teacher. Through the world of graphics, El finds love and relieves boredom outside of the chemical experiments that many of his students are confused about at school. He wants to continue providing the best work amidst other busyness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *