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Bright Colors: a List of Ideas and Examples!

As I was compiling my list of unique colors, I realized that we’re due for a more specific round-up: It’s time to put together examples of super loud, fun, and bright colors! These are hues that help fashion, art, decor, and graphic design POP with neon excitement.

First, some background about the person creating this article. My name is Lillie, and I’m an artist and teacher who has written numerous articles about colors — from how to spell fuchsia, to the meaning of the mysterious color, Viridian.

Bright Colors
We love bright colors!

All illustrations in these lessons are hand-drawn by me, and the ideas come from personal, hands-on research — as well as study. Ready to dive into the list… starting with what green and yellow make when mixed together? Let’s go!

Bright Colors

Ready for a round-up of delightfully bright colors to add vibrant neon zest and flair to your next art, fashion, decor, or graphic design project? Of course, the primary colors, red and yellow fit the bill -- but what about more complex options made by mixing colors together? Let's find out!

What Makes a Color “Pop?”

Did you notice a pattern in our list? That’s right: Most “bright colors” are WARM colors, meaning that they are in the red, orange, and yellow side of the color wheel (as we found out in “Is Pink a Warm Color?”).

That said, cooler colors like greens CAN be bright as long as they have enough yellow in them (like chartreuse), and blues can seem bright if they’re saturated and clear enough (like azure color). Meanwhile, purples can read as vibrant when they have lots of red in them, as with fuchsia.

The Secret to Brightness

The key with creating brightness is high saturation (lots of pigment and less white or black added), and low “muddiness” or “dustiness.” What do I mean by “muddy” or “dusty?” I mean colors that look brownish or grayish, such as what orange and blue make.

Since we know that the answer to “What colors make brown or black?” is: “Brown and black are created by mixing all three primary colors in the RYB color model: Red, Yellow, and Blue,” here’s the trick to avoiding dustiness: Make sure there’s zero of ONE of the primary colors in your combo. In other words, create your color from just TWO primary colors.

Here’s an easy way to do that: Look to “Intermediate Colors” (sometimes called “Tertiary Colors“) which are created from the combination of one primary color with the secondary color next to it. This works to produce a vibrantly bright, clear color because by definition, the third primary color is excluded — and thus brown or black results don’t happen.

Bright Colors, in Sum

I hope this round-up of bright colors has made you smile, and given ideas for ways to add pizzaz and flair to your next project. I’m particularly partial to vermilion (what red and orange make), myself. Which is your favorite entry in this list? Do share!