Make the Most of Your Business Colors with Tints and Shades

A winding cave that is both dark and light

When you’re picking colors for your business, I recommend you stick to two main colors — not including black or dark grey, which you might use for type.



Because your audience will find it easier to remember two colors and associate them with your business. Two of anything is easier to remember than three, four, or five, right?

There’s a simple way to expand on these two main colors and give yourself more to work with. It’s using tints and shades.

Just a hint of color

Let’s say you’ve chosen two main colors for your business. Here’s an example:

make your brand memorable by choosing two main colors

A tint is a lighter version of your main color. The overall effect is that of adding white to your main colors. Here are tints of the main colors in our example:

make your brand easy to remember by using tints of two main colors

A shade is a darker version of your main color. The overall effect is that of adding black to your main colors. Here are shades of the main colors in our example:

make your brand memorable by choosing tints of two main colors

On the web, tints and shades extend your palette by adding colors for you to work with. You’re not introducing new colors and creating a rainbow of hues that make it more difficult for visitors to grasp your visual identity. Tints and shades give you more flexibility, even within a limited palette.

In search of tints and shades

Finding the right tints and shades to complement your main colors seems difficult, but the Internet has come to the rescue! I found a great tool to share with you that makes finding tints and shades really easy.

It’s called Color Scheme Wizard, and it has a built-in tool you can use to plug in your main web colors and find tints and shades you can use to expand your color range.

make your brand memorable by choosing a palette based on two colors

Using color scheme wizard

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles here: finding your tints and shades is easy if you know where to look. Just plug in your web color here:

make your brand memorable by using online tools to create your business colors

Click the “Set” button, and a list of tints and shades will appear.

make your brand memorable by using online tools to create your color palette

When setting up your web site, tints can be used as background color behind your sidebars. If you use a subscription box, this is a place to put tints to work, too.

Shades can be used as your site background on either side of your content area (which should be white or very light for maximum readability). You could also put them to work as headline or subhead colors.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson coaches people to build profitable online businesses. She's an online educator, author, and keynote speaker. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business. Have you taken the free Focus Finder quiz yet?

Explore my Ultimate Guide for How to Build Your Business Online ➡️

13 thoughts on “Make the Most of Your Business Colors with Tints and Shades”

  1. I’m pretty bad about color schemes. I went with lots of white for my main/personal blog and black/dark grey (and red) for my company blog (the text was on a white background of course as in this blog).

    But thanks for the write-up on how to make use of shades and tints!

  2. This colour scheme wizard tool is not only fun but super easy to use!. You instantly get other colours to use that compliment the base colour. I love designs that use a range of tints to make them look interesting without being garish.

    • You’re welcome, Joel. You were the guy who brought to my attention. That has been one of my favorite new sites to visit this year, and I’ve recommended it many times. It’s a great resource.

  3. Hi Pamela!

    That color tool looks awesome – thank you so much for sharing it! I’m definitely going to check it out and put it to work for myself.

    LOVE this strategy of only using two colors. It sure simplifies the whole process of designing something! 😉

  4. I’m not an expert in color tints and shades. At least now I am familiar with the difference between the two because of your post. Thanks for sharing that awesome tool really makes things easier for me when it comes to colors. At least with that tool my color options are wider, and I wouldn’t have to worry about matching them because that tool will match it for me.

Comments are closed.

Find Your Focus in 5

Build your online business faster. Discover the key milestones to focus on right now — for free!