5 Instagram Color Trends You Need Know About

With over 700 million monthly active users, Instagram is here to stay, and it’s more profitable than ever. But let’s face it: If your grid is badly composed, sporadic and over-filtered, you can bet that your followers’ wallets will stay closed.

Your Instagram feed is an extension of your brand. I have a saying I used to tell my marketing interns: “Keep it cute and relevant.” A relevant feed will make me interested. And if it’s cute? I’m sold.

If you’re wondering where to begin, start with color. If you can control your color palette, you can control a user’s first impression of your feed. Here are the top five Instagram color trends you need to know about.

(Please note: None of these examples include memes. A meme is neither cute nor relevant. Save those for your group chat.)

Chic Natural:

This trend includes a perfectly lit, white background with touches of brown hues and banana leaf greens. You see this palette associated with lifestyle bloggers as well as interior decorators.

When Pantone announced their color of the year for 2017, Greenery, Instagrammers took advantage by incorporating heavy doses of nature into their feeds. Pro tip: You can buy a lone banana leaf from IKEA for just $5.99. Cute and relevant? Check.

The reality of having neighbours is that they tend to ruin your shots 🌿 #ourhomeinmexico

A post shared by Susana Ordovás (@susana_ordovas) on

Also hot? Cacti. Desert vegetation never looked so good. Westworld, anyone?

Millennial Pink

2016’s Pantone color of the year was not one but two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Although these light pink and blue shades looked great together, it was the pink color that took off on social media.

Now known in design circles as “millennial pink,” this shade is not so much a color as it is an idea. The term refers to the idea that pink does not have to be an exclusively feminine color. Personally, I love this shade because it can be both loud and quiet, but it never goes unnoticed.

See what I mean about loud, yet quiet?

#Glazed 🍩 📸: @lsmellage

A post shared by Saint Caitlin (@saintcaitlin) on

Let’s split. @stephchaloka in our Love to Splits shirt. #nastygalsdoitbetter

A post shared by Nasty Gal (@nastygal) on

Pastel Luxe

Start with gray, add stark white walls, a splash of pastels and a sprinkling of gold accents, and you’ll get LUXURY. To achieve this look, turn that brightness down and muddy up your shadows. This aesthetic is not saturated with color — just subtle and classic. You’re trying to capture that rainy day vibe that makes you want to curl up and do whatever boring activity that rain makes you want to do.

••🌿🌿••

A post shared by ✖️karly ford photo ✖️ (@karlyfordphoto) on

Neo-Pop

Imagine what Andy Warhol’s Insta game would be like: straight-out-of-the-tube paint, zero shadows and lots of contrast and kitsch. A modern-day still life with LOTS of color. Neo Pop is very punchy and aims to slow your scroll as you cruise through your feed.

🍉🍉🍉 Shop the Sunnylife ‘Watermelon Sipper’☀️ via the link in bio☝🏼 #statuscollective

A post shared by ST▲TUS COLLECTI▼E (@status_collective) on

It’s just a fun scene! You want your followers to feel happy when they’ve taken more than a microsecond out of their day to check out your post.

Black + White in Color

This concept is a little difficult to explain, but it’s achieved when subject of the photo is black and white, but the photo itself is shot in color. If the photo was translated into a black and white photo, it would practically be the same as it is in color. This look is graphic and attention-grabbing and does well when telling a story or a part of a series.

Estelle Yves in #irisvanherpen #betweenthelines for @elleturkiye, shot by @alexeihay

A post shared by Iris van Herpen Official (@irisvanherpen) on

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird. #DuluthPackLiving

A post shared by Duluth Pack – Made In America (@duluthpack) on

Simple pleasures. #HerschelSupply Photo: @dhiptadi

A post shared by Herschel Supply Co (@herschelsupply) on

May these trends inspire you to start a color trend of your own. Just remember: Consider your Instagram feed a part of your or your brand’s personality and let it do the talking. And keep it #CuteAndRelevant!

Caitlin is a Creative Director.