14 shades of gray + how to use them

Not everything is either black or white. In design, this is not any different. There’s a whole range of different shades in between. Let’s talk about gray. A color which is often underrated but can be very useful in design.

 

The meaning of gray

 

When you think about the meaning of gray you probably come up with … nothing. Gray is mostly known for being neutral. But this doesn’t mean that it’s bland and doesn’t have any symbolic meaning at all.

 

You could say that gray is boring and not even a color. It’s not white but it’s not black either. And it definitely has a couple of negative associations we attribute to gray. Some negative meanings are fear, depression, lack of energy or pessimism.

 

But it also has a lot of positive attributes. It can stand for elegance, sophistication, intelligence, and efficiency. Further, gray is said to have a calming effect on us.

 

Related post: Colors meaning and symbolism

 

Not everything is either black or white. In design, this is not any different. There’s a whole range of different shades in between. Let’s talk about gray. A color which is often underrated but can be very useful in design | thatistheday.com #gray #palette #graphicdesign

When you think about the meaning of gray you probably come up with nothing. Gray is mostly known for being neutral. But this doesn’t mean that it’s bland and doesn’t have any symbolic meaning at all. Learn more about gray and how to use it in design | thatistheday.com #gray #branding #colorpalette
Gray is neutral. This makes the color very versatile. You can mix and match with any color you want. But mostly it’s the perfect color to replace black or white. Learn how to use gray in your design | thatistheday.com #gray #brandstyling #colorideas

 

The usage of gray

 

As said above, gray is neutral. This makes the color very versatile. You can mix and match with any color you want. But mostly it’s the perfect color to replace black or white. Pure black or pure white can often be too harsh, so gray is a great alternative to create more balance.

 

Because of its subtlety gray is very popular in minimal design. It’s perfect for backgrounds and any bigger spaces of solid color. Gray can step back and let other elements shine. It doesn’t distract the eye. Use softer grays as a background to make your photos stand out. Create contrast with dark grays e.g. you can use it for long-form text. It’s said to be easier on the eye than black and better readable.

 

Related post: 8 colors to use instead of white | 6 colors to use instead of black

 

What are the different shades

 

First, let’s start with the shades of white. You can add more or less black to white and get lighter or darker shades of gray. These are called achromatic because they only consist of black and white. Or you could say “no color”. But gray doesn’t stop here. You can actually add color to gray and give it a completely different touch. To create cool grays you can add blue or green. If you need a warmer tone, add red, orange or purple.

 

14 shades of gray

 

Let’s look at a couple of different shades. You’ll see that each shade has a different touch. By adding color you can create something unique and adjust the color to your design needs.

 

Not everything is either black or white. In design, this is not any different. There’s a whole range of different shades in between. Let’s talk about gray. A color which is often underrated but can be very useful in design | thatistheday.com #gray #palette #graphicdesign

 

Achromatic grays, the same amount of Red, Green, and Blue

 

Smoke | #F5F5F5

 

Gainsboro | #DCDCDC

 

Light gray | #D3D3D3

 

Silver | #C0C0C0

 

Gray | #808080

 

Jet | #343434

 

Spanish Gray | #989898

 

Add a touch of color

 

Platinum | #E5E4E2

 

Steel | #777B7E

 

Gunmetal | #2A3439

 

Charcoal | #35454F

 

Slate | #708090

 

Taupe | #483C32

 

Ash | #B2BEB5

 

What do you think? Will you use more gray in your designs?

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Posted March 11, 2019 by Sandra @thatistheday in brand styling / 0 Comments


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