The current graphic design trend is not shy about using bright colors. After maximalism and the return of the 90s, the candy theme seems to follow suit. Candies and sweets, in general, offer color schemes and images that resonate with many styles and visual preferences. Using them wisely can be great materials for beautiful, cheerful, and attractive designs.
Why Current Designers Love Candy Theme
The phrase “candy theme” immediately brings bright colors and a sweet or cheerful look. You can see it in various emerging design trends, with influences from the 90s’ nostalgia to Y2K aesthetics. Many emerging and established designers break into colorful designs to build optimism, energize, and soothe the mind with whimsical touch after years of the pandemic.
For example, New York-based Finnish designer Lotta Nieminen is known for using soft but vibrant color schemes in many of her projects. Her designs for book jackets and greeting cards are delightful, thanks to their bright but heartwarming color combinations.
Velvet Spectrum, a Portland-based graphic studio, specializes in vibrant and colorful designs. Designers Luke and Morgan Reid Choice often mix 2D and 3D designs, creating images that look like they are about to jump toward the viewers.
Llew Mejia is a graphic designer who uses bright colors in vibrant yet meaningful ways. Inspired by his colorful Mexican culture, his design is vibrant and lively, even incorporating candy-like colors.
Ideas for Candy Theme Color Combinations
There are several ideas you can try to incorporate a candy theme into your design. Some of them are:
Cotton Candy Palette
Cotton candy is perhaps the most iconic sweet, a perfect palette inspiration for designs. There is no fixed palette, but most cotton candy colors are associated with shades of pink. Pastel blue and purple can be additions to complement the pink colors.
Hard Candy Patterns
Many popular candies, especially the hard ones, have recognizable patterns you can adopt for your designs. Colorful stripes, white stripes against darker colors, and lollipop patterns are great to be paired with bright color schemes.
Popular Candy Color Schemes
Many popular candies and sweets have iconic color schemes that most people recognize. Halloween’s candy corns, for example, have distinctive color gradients and patterns. Sweets with iconic wrapping like KitKats can also be your inspiration.
Candy Theme in Graphic Design Mood Boards
Still, think that the “candy theme” is too broad for your inspiration?
Try creating mood boards based on colorful candies. A mood board is useful for graphic designers to communicate their ideas and concepts. To communicate ideas, you can combine candies with other images with related color palettes or concepts.
For example, you can pick a handful of Halloween candies (candy corn, peanut butter cups, Tootsie Rolls) and combine them with Halloween images. You can combine cotton candy and pastel-colored sweets with images of sprinkles, pastel flowers, or other bright-colored desserts.
A mood board does not need to be straightforward since it communicates concepts and a color palette. However, creating a consistent and well-composed board will help you develop candy-themed designs.
Tips to Better Utilize Candy Theme
Since the candy theme is full of bright, rich colors and cheerful design elements, utilizing it can be complicated. However, you should not limit your creativity because there are many great ways to apply candy themes to your designs.
Here are several tips to make your candy theme look good without being visually overwhelming.
Be Creative, but Don’t Go Overboard
Three to four colors should be the maximum limit of your main palette, plus one for neutral elements. While the candy theme is not afraid to look playful and bright, excessive colors can overwhelm your audience.
Go for Pastel or Oversaturated
There are different ways to combine candy colors in your designs. You can go with pastel or muted versions for a slightly subdued look. However, if you want everything to look bold, pick oversaturated versions of your palette. Oversaturated colors look super bright and bold, a perfect embodiment of the candy theme.
Don’t Restrict Your Design Direction
Like other new graphic design trends, the candy theme should not look stiff and lifeless. Allow your creativity to direct your design steps. Don’t be afraid to embrace maximalism, asymmetrical pieces, and 90s kitschy elements.
Candy is a perfect theme to apply to the current graphic design trend. Try these tips to make your candy theme more attractive, regardless of the customers.