Choosing colors: less is more

Choosing the right colors for your custom roller derby poster is a tough job. Some of you have been blessed with artist abilities, but the majority of us are making it up as we go along. It is very tempting and very easy to pick ALL of your favorite colors or ALL of your team colors and try to work them into your custom design. Some of the most brilliant designs I have seen have been made by choosing a very small color palette and sticking to it. Let’s take a look at our Girl Next Door design and see some examples. Hopefully we’ll be able to see why some things work and why some thing’s don’t work.


We’re all familiar with this design and these colors. This design has 8 color choices (disregard the skin color, that rarely changes). If you count, there are only 4 different colors being used – dark grey (background), white (socks, text line 2, border), orange (inner stripe, text line 1) and green (outer stripes, skates). Let’s see what happens when we try to use 8 different colors….


I made a good attempt to choose colors that worked well together and, truth be told, this design is passable, but would you really say it is better than the original? To me it seems a little busy and nothing really gels together well. Scroll up and compare this to the original.. what do you think?

That example might be a little extreme (who is going to make EVERY color different?), but let’s look at extreme in the other direction. This design came from a recent order and I was very impressed with how they were able to do so much with so little… only 3 colors!



This design just FEELS tight. Everything is so well balanced. Here are three examples side by side for you to compare and make up your own opinion..


It’s important to mention that the Derby Girl Posters website makes it VERY easy for you to reuse colors in your design. When you bring up the color chooser all of your palette colors are listed at the top (I’ve put a red circle around it to help identify the right area). Simply clicking on one of those options chooses the colors.


It’s nothing groundbreaking, but some people can easily miss it when designing their poster.

So get out there and start designing! Don’t be afraid to work with less color… you’ll be surprised with the results! “Like” this story if you found it helpful and comment below with any thoughts!