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Color Schemes of Bali: A Nomad’s Inspiration

A photo of a rice paddy field, palm trees, and open blue sky.
Photo by Sophie Greenbaum

There isn’t a better way to seek design inspiration than traveling and working in a new destination, and Brevity & Wit’s Visual Design Consultant Sophie Greenbaum had the pleasure of working from Bali this past spring. This Indonesian island is a digital nomad’s paradise — endless cafes, decent WiFi, and an infinite amount of milk and coffee concoctions.

For designers, Bali also offers a unique color palette across its landscapes, wildlife, and food, which makes it easy to seek design inspiration wherever you look, throughout the whole day. From lime-colored geckos to burnt orange rooftops, she breaks down three of the most common color schemes and how you can use them for your organization’s design collateral.

A photo of a rice paddy field, palm trees, and open blue sky. This is paired with three colors – a light blue, a yellow-green, and a rich kelly green (hexcodes #94d7e5, #b5d561, and #2e8e44 respectively).
Photo by Sophie Greenbaum

Color Scheme 1: Rice Paddy Cools

Throughout the island, Balinese rice fields consume the landscape. The rice terraces, which are famous in Ubud, offer a scenic vista with paddies sloping down lush valleys, alongside a canal-like irrigation system. These landscapes date as far back to the 9th century and reflect a philosophy of harmonizing the spheres of the spirit, human world, and nature.

It’s difficult not to spot plumes of green grasses and a cloudless sky. Narrow roads with loose stones wind across the rice terraces, forming obstacles for scooter riders, making it easy to steer and fall a couple of meters into the fields.

This palette is great when you want to induce a calm and trusting state of mind in your audience, but is still playful. Therefore, it makes a great palette for funky brands that want to be different without losing consumer trust. It’s also a great color scheme for any organization that’s holding a relaxed daytime event, such as a fundraising brunch or corporate anniversary.

A photo of a sunset and silhouette of a palm tree. This is paired with three colors – a periwinkle, a pastel pink, and a pastel yellow (hexcodes #707bab, #ebbbc9, and #f2ee83 respectively).
Photo by Sophie Greenbaum

Color Scheme 2: Evening Pastels

Although it may seem cliché, the sunsets over Bali are vivid with gradients of pastels. The sky transforms from a fluorescent orange to a striking pink to a calm, soothing periwinkle. Although sunsets of these shades don’t occur daily, it’s impossible to not think of these colors after spending more than a week on the Indonesian island.

While pink has been over-used to market to women, we recommend this sun-kissed palette for brands working in the more emotional realm, like life coaches. It can also be used for a professional services firm that’s seeking to differentiate itself by having a more human connection. See our Case Study below for a similar example.

A photo of tree with pink flowers and an aerial shot of a poké bowl. This is paired with three colors – a terra cotta, a hot fuchsia, and an apple green (hexcodes #c47c31, #da1a5d, and #99b943 respectively).
Photo by Sophie Greenbaum

Color Scheme 3: Tropical Tints

Whether it be a blossoming tree or the most hipster poké bowl on the island, these colors are everywhere. The dragon fruit shade of magenta can be found as a garnish in most meals, either from dragon fruit itself, cabbage, or a tropical flower.

This color scheme is for those who enjoy a pop of color. We recommend starting with a neutral wood- and grass-colored base before adding the magenta as an accent. This color scheme is great for activity-based brands, like KaBoom! or a meal-prep delivery service Green Chef.