Have you ever found a design or pattern somewhere that you loved but the colors weren't right? My absolute favorite thing to do as a designer is changing the colors of a design! You can take a fall floral design with warm colors and brighten it up for your spring or summer baby. Even a few subtle changes like font or background color can really change the look and feel of a design. The possibilities are endless and that makes it so much fun!

We've put together a quick little guide to help you get the best results when working with a designer.


One of the most important things to consider when changing colors is contrast. Contrast is the difference in light and tone between any two colors. The most drastic example of contrast is black and white. The more contrast there is, the easier it will be for items to show up.

In the image below, I've taken all the colors from our color chart and had a computer program sort the colors from light to dark. An easy way to remember contrast is the more distance there is between two colors on the scale, the more contrast they will have.

In the pictures below, you can see different examples of contrast. Pictures 1-3 used colors very close together on the color scale, so the design elements are either hard to see or nearly invisible. In Picture 4, you can see that the two colors used were very far apart from the scale, so everything is very easy to see.

Font & Background Colors

The most important time to remember the rules of contrast is when you're choosing your font and background colors. The names we pick for our little ones are so special and we want them to stand out the best that they can! This is when you'll want to use the light and dark scale the most. If you're wanting something with a lighter background, you'll want to be sure to pick a font color that is nice and dark. If you're wanting a darker background, you'll want to be sure to pick a color that's lighter.

If you are ever wanting to use a background color and a font color that are closer together on the scale, your best bet is to use a thicker font so that the name shows up well.

If you're ever unsure about the colors you chose, you can ask your designer for help. One thing to keep in mind is that the proof you're viewing on the bright screen doesn't have any texture. But when the design is printed on fabric, there will be some texture there that can have a small effect on how the final results look. So if it's hard to see on the proof, it will not be easier to see when printed.

Recoloring Artwork

I love adjusting the colors of design elements! However, depending on the art style of the design you're working with, the color changes can come out differently. The three flowers below are all in different art styles, but they have all been recolored with the same color (Magenta). Because the flower on the right is in a watercolor style, the Magenta color is much more light and more subtle than the other two colors.

Pairing Colors Together

There are so many different color choices and combinations! People can also have very strong opinions about the colors they like and dislike. I think that as long as the colors bring you joy, there is no wrong combination. Here are some of our personal designer's favorite color combinations.

1 comment

  • Thanks for this article! As someone with very little talent in matching up colors, I found it very helpful and easy to understand. This made me wonder, would it be an idea to add a color patch when sending proofs? For example, under the proof there is a line of all the colors in that customization? I think that would help me know better which color to change when I work with a designer.
    Michelle Feb 11, 2023

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