Try duotone in design

Duotone is a vibrant design trend that is regaining popularity, and there are many ways to incorporate it into your next design.

Duotone is the use of two colors.

The technique comes from the days of printing presses. Duotone prints are made in two shades of the same color or with black and one tint. The process uses two color plates made with the screen set at different angles.

The two-color concept is big. Pantone named a pair as Color of the Year, and minimalism is making a huge comeback amongst designers.

The technique that was once a print staple has found new life online, and is a trend that we are likely to see a lot more of in the months to come.

As a Dominant Image

Using color, even just two colors, is a great way to create something that demands attention with plenty of contrast. This allows tons of opportunities to play with color and going outside of some comfort zones. It’s fine to pair colors that might not usually match. 

Some tips for using duotone to create a dominant image are to use two contrasting colors, selecting a photo with a focused image area to draw the area, play up the contrast, and pick colors that reflect the mood of the image.

As a Simple Color Palette

Duotone does not have to be complicated. Sometimes the most striking two-color projects are simple in nature.

Using two colors that are in the same family, such as different shades of red, can give a more formal look without being overwhelming.


As an Accent

While duotone effects lend themselves to large images, they can work in smaller places as well.

Consider duotone elements as an overlay for links for video or to emphasize calls to action. Duotone accents can also be effective tools for use in a minimal or black and white color scheme because of the color contrast they create.

As a Background

There’s nothing like a subtle duotone effect to create an interesting background image or pattern. This is an ideal use for brand colors or as a way to incorporate a trendy hue or technique into your design without a full-scale overhaul.

Essentially, duotone effects can spice up an overused image and keep users visually engaged. Designers have a lot of room to play with color options to create countless combinations. Experiment with some choices to see what works for your design.