How to make tan color palettes that pop.

From neutrals to earth tones to bold statements, tan can be an integral part of any palette.

A light shade of brown, the color tan is a central part of any palette. Tan derives its name from the tanning process. Use it to show skin tones, evoke warmth, or complement other colors. Read on to learn more about how to use tan in your designs.

Can’t go wrong with tan.

The hex code for tan is #D2B48C. In RGB, it comprises R: 210, G: 180, and B: 140, and is closely related to beige (hex #F5F5DC), brown (#964B00), and nude (#E3BC9A). Tan is a lighter hue of brown; brown is made by mixing either red, black, and yellow or red and green. Because it’s a mix of several colors, tan can complement nearly every other color — this makes it extremely versatile and important in your designs.

Once you know what mood you’re going for, you can tie your color scheme together with the color tan:

Lush and earthy: Think of clay pots and forest floors — tan pairs perfectly with deep greens, charcoal grays, and rich blues for a natural palette.

Hazy desert: Dusty pinks, muted yellows, sage greens, and, of course, tan, can work together to evoke the colorfully neutral aesthetic of the desert.

A bold pop: Emphasize a bold statement color like bright turquoise or deep magenta by pairing it with some varied, muted shades of tan and other complementary colors. This will enhance the look without overpowering the palette.

Undertones: Since brown, tan’s base color, is a compilation of many colors, you can build any sort of palette off of your tan. Amp up the reds for a more dusty-pink tone, the blacks for a grayer look, or the yellows for a color that’s close to sage.

Create inviting tan palettes.

Discover more about graphic design with helpful tips and resources. Find out what you can make — from logos and icons to illustrations and poster art — with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.