Designing with Art & Photography in Neutral Colors

The four most common neutrals are blackwhitebrown and grey, and are created by mixing two complementary colors. These neutrals don’t have hue undertones, causing them to be considered “pure”.

Neutral colors, when paired with a brighter hue, make the hue appear more vibrant. The human eye is naturally attracted to such colors with a higher intensity.

Since many neutrals appear to be without color, they are easy on the eye. In interior design, this makes them popular as a background: the neutral complements the other colors in an arrangement and allows the eye to easily flow between each focal point.

Black is powerful. It’s visual heft gives it authority and weight. Is black a neutral? Absolutely. When used in a palette, black is a base—allowing other colors to shine. However, when left alone, black can also be a dominant focal point.