Looking to refresh your work with the most popular new color combos? Revamp your designs for the new year with these three on-trend neons.
We’ve highlighted the three colors set to make waves in design in 2019 – UFO Green, Plastic Pink, and Proton Purple. This bold and brash trio of neons takes its cues from the fast-paced world of technological innovation, dystopian futures, and the invigorating atmosphere of urban nightlife.
With influencers and tastemakers looking to neon as the next big color trend in fashion, it makes complete sense that analysis of the Shutterstock search data revealed these three energetic hues as the colors that Shutterstock users are most excited about right now.
Discover our complete Color Trends infographic, for more data on the biggest-trending colors of 2019, and see which colors are the most popular in different countries across the world.
Read on to find out how you can use our three most popular colors in your design work, from using dystopian backgrounds to casting your photos in dramatic neon light.
How to Use: UFO Green
This flouro green takes natural influences and exaggerates them, throwing them into a digital sphere. Think The Matrix, Flubber, and the iridescent scales of geckos and chameleons, and you’re on the right track.
UFO Green strikes the perfect balance between nature and technology, making it the perfect color to bridge the gap. Use it to create designs that are at once peaceful and reviving, as well as forward-thinking.
1. Adapt as Part of a Logo Design
These holographic circles are a calming way to channel the tones of UFO Green. Blended into a smooth and swirling gradient, these would make a beautiful backdrop for logos or brand marks.
2. Enhance Green Tones in Nature and Wildlife Photography
UFO Green is the younger, more fun-loving sister of nature-inspired greens like sage and forest. Enhance the natural tropical tendencies of UFO Green by enhancing your photos with flouro green filters.
3. Create a Trippy Poster Layout
UFO Green’s acidic good looks lend it a psychedelic vibe when used in patterns.
These high-contrast posters blend a variety of neon tones to create a trippy effect, which would look fantastic teamed with pared-back, clean typography in palette-cleansing black or white.
4. Enter the Matrix
To channel the digital, futuristic look of UFO Green, why not try using a Matrix-style binary digit image as a backdrop to your web or app designs?
Or, go for a lava lamp, Flubber-inspired background to soften the color and make it friendlier and more youthful. This style would be perfect for environmental posters or exhibition flyers.
If you’re craving something more traditional, tap into a second growing design trend with a marbled background. Inspired by the beautiful swirling patterns of marbled paper, this background would make a beautiful backdrop for stationery or packaging designs.
5. Light Up Your Type
Neon typography is an eye-catching way to evoke a nightlife mood, and works especially well on events flyers and posters. This neon font has a classic, vintage-inspired style that evokes Parisian absinthe bars.
How to Use: Plastic Pink
This pink isn’t a shy and retiring pastel. Instead it’s a vibrant, intense hue that evokes the signage of urban nightlife and the enlivening glow of desert sunrises.
If you want to make your designs more appealing to thrill-seeking, trend-aware audiences, Plastic Pink is the color to use. Use the color to market events and experiences for maximum effect.
1. Craft a Dystopian Future
Plastic Pink has a softening, ethereal effect on dark and moody landscapes and materials like concrete. Cast pink light onto these harsher materials to create an atmospheric, dystopian effect that wouldn’t look out of place in Blade Runner.
“Mirages” series of illustrations by Romain Trystram
2. Incorporate Into Gradients for Impactful Posters
Gradients aren’t going anywhere this year, and the trend continues to develop into more fluid and liquid styles that are full of movement and animation. These gradient poster templates allow you to incorporate a pink neon into a calming, ethereal gradient layout.
Try using this textured background and fading it seamlessly into another color or texture for a subtle gradient background for posters, flyers or stationery.
3. Think Pink for Type
Think more creatively with your type this year and look for images of signage to create a 3D collage effect in your typography. These subtly pink letters make for a trend-forward start.
4. Channel Club Tropicana
Miami is synonymous with neon pink and Eighties glamor (see Scarface for all the stylistic references you’ll need in 2019). Graphics and photos inspired by the kitsch architecture and tropical backdrop of this Floridian city can be infused with a hefty dose of Plastic Pink to bring the images into 2019.
Or, try contrasting neon pink with retro-infused typography for a fresh, Eighties-inspired take on print design.
How to Use: Proton Purple
Purple has calming and therapeutic associations (see lavender and the soft hues of parma violets). But, at the other end of the spectrum it has links to luxury and technology. This polarizing hue is going to experience a resurgence in popularity this year, with its purest, deepest incarnation, Proton Purple, at the forefront of a purple revival.
1. Upgrade Flyers with a Liquid Gradient
Purple is often used in association with imagery about mental health and psychology, and this link can be enhanced through liquid gradient designs that are expressive and musical. Translate this style to music flyers or club posters to make the most of the abstract animation in these sorts of graphics.
2. Experiment with 3D Type and Logos
Enhance the urban flavor of neon purple with three-dimensional lettering and logos that take their inspiration from Japanese manga comics. This trend is also in line with the growing use of 3D type and color fonts in graphic design.
3. Create Optical Illusions
2019 is a year for maximalism, not subtlety, and you can channel the new more-is-more vibe by incorporating optical illusions into your designs. These flat synthwave vectors are a stylish way to tap into the trend.
4. Get Arty
Unite 2019’s upcoming trend for all things craft- and art-inspired with an abstract take on Proton Purple. Use a Jackson Pollock-inspired background on posters, or cast your photos in multi-colored lights for an abstract, arthouse effect.
Want to discover more about trending 2019 colors? Check out our full Color Trends infographic to discover which colors are causing waves in design worldwide.