Just like creating a logo and deciding on a font for your brand, choosing a brand colour is equally as important.
And it can be quite difficult settling on a final colour scheme.
Afterall, choosing the right colours is critical for creating a memorable brand; colours in your logo and marketing materials is what your potential customers and clients will associate you with.
For instance, a Tiffany blue box is enough to make anyone smile just by looking at the packaging as we automatically expect high-end jewellery.
Before we dive into how to choose your brand colours, let me get something out of the way first – don’t decide alone!
Instead, have a brainstorm with your team and if you don’t have a team yet, speak with friends to get their opinion.
Moreover, join groups on LinkedIn or Facebook for market research by simply posting a visual with your colour choices, your brand story and then ask for feedback.
At the end of the day, you want your brand colours to resonate with people and if the majority suggest the colour you’ve chosen doesn’t relate to your business, be conscious of these opinions and try another.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s discuss how you choose colours to fit your brand.
Steps to Choose Colours for Your Brand
Understand Your Brand Identity
Understanding your brand identity is the first step before considering any colours and even fonts or logos for that matter.
Begin by asking yourself, what is the story behind your brand? Why was the business started? What problems do you solve? Who is your target audience?
Answering these types of questions will help to set the foundation for knowing how to spread your message through colour, because colours are linked to emotions and associations.
With that in mind, once you’ve understood your brand identity, create a list of descriptive words that represent your business (you’ll need this for the next steps).
Consider Colour Psychology
Now that your brand identity has been identified, it’s time to start looking at possible colours.
As mentioned briefly, colours have emotions and associations.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Red: stands for passion, excitement and anger as well as signifying importance or commanding attention.
- Orange: is playful and friendly; it evokes energy and feels invigorating.
- Yellow: evokes happiness, optimism and grabs attention.
- Green: is linked to nature but also evokes stability, prosperity and growth.
- Blue: lighter shades signify innocence, trust and openness whereas darker shades are portrayed as more formal, professional and mature.
- Pink: is often linked to femininity, youth and innocence as well as luxury.
- White: is linked to cleanliness, health and simplicity.
- Grey: stands for neutrality and creates mystery.
- Black: feels sophisticated, edgy and powerful.
With that in mind, consider the effect your colours will have on your audience as it will subconsciously create a psychological connection.
Create a Mood Board
Once you have a few colours in mind, it’s a good idea to create a mood board to capture the full essence of your brand.
Here, you should include visuals that help represent your values, story and message – linked to the descriptive words you listed in step 1.
By doing so, you’ll be able to share this with other people and see if they catch the general “vibe” of your brand and how it makes them feel.
As always, think back to your brand’s identity – are you aiming for a laid-back beach vibe? If so, pale blues and greens would make sense, however if you’re building a brand for children, then you’d want bright primary colours.
In fact, if you can’t decide on a colour palette, create several mood boards for different colours and assess which ones work best.
Choose a Primary and Secondary Colour
Every brand must have a primary and secondary colour for contrast and balance.
But it doesn’t have to stop there, you could have a third and fourth colour which will give you more control over brand assets later, such as graphic design and marketing materials.
At this stage, concentrate on choosing at least two as these will create the base for deciding on the rest.
Usually, primary colours are used to help consumers identify your brand and secondary colours compliment these.
Finalise Colour Palette
Now that you have decided on your colour choices, it’s time to put it all together and finalise your colour palette.
For instance, your logo might only be blue, but your website may include purple and yellow – these should be included on your palette.
Also, experiment with different shades and hues to see what works together – your perfect palette could be just a shade away!
The Final Word
Overall, to create a successful brand in today’s competitive global marketplace, it’s more than just having a problem to solve or a product to sell – it’s about connecting with your audience on an emotional level.
Ultimately, colour is an intrinsic part of our day to day experiences, so before randomly choosing a brand colour, stop and think how your audience will respond to it.
Check out our Graphic Design services in the meantime.