Nothing annoys me more than when someone says, “Ugh, that is such an ugly color.” I truly believe that there are no ugly colors. However, if you mix the wrong colors together you can create an ugly color palette.
There is a science to creating the perfect brand color palette to your brand and the process can be a little bit overwhelming to some. So I wanted to start off with some questions that I ask my branding clients to get to the heart of their brand to determine what their colors should be.
If you had to describe your brand in three words what would they be?
Is your brand timeless, energetic, romantic, calming, relaxed, upbeat, playful, serious, sophisticated?
Choosing the right colors can evoke these adjectives in the mind. For example, a romantic brand may choose dark reds, a calming brand may choose light blues, an energetic brand may choose oranges. Having a basic understanding of color theory can be very helpful when picking out a color palette for your brand.
Tips for picking your brand color palette
Timeless over Trendy
If you are in business for a while it is inevitable that you will need to update your brand throughout the years. But it is important to choose colors that will remain timeless instead of colors that are currently trendy. When you choose timeless colors, your brand will need fewer updates to stay current. This leads to stronger brand recognition. Brand recognition helps consumers easily identify your product or brand and builds trust and awareness.
It’s important to pick colors that are relevant to your brand’s values, mission, and industry. Your brand colors should be a unique reflection of your business and your services. If you are an event planner that focuses on creating upbeat, celebratory, and fun experiences your brand colors probably shouldn’t be muted, earthy, or dark. They should be bright and colorful so they are relevant to your brand’s mission.
Stay true to yourself
While your brand should appeal to your audience it is also a direct reflection of you. It’s important that your brand colors are something that you love and can live with.
Create your brand color palette
There is a formula for creating a great color palette. Your brand color palette should be around 5 colors. This allows you to have plenty of colors for any situation while still maintaining consistency and brand recognition.
2 Main Colors
I always choose one main bold color and then a color that compliments it. These will be your two main brand colors that will create brand recognition.
Bold Color – Pick a bold color that you love and that represents your brand’s mission (think back to those three adjectives you thought of that describes your brand). This color will be used for grabbing attention, highlighting important information, and used for calls to action. This color should be memorable so I suggest picking this one first.
Complimentary Color– Next pick a color that contrasts and compliments the bold color. It can be useful to use the color wheel for picking a complementary color. I like to use Adobe Color.
2-3 Neutral Colors Accent Neutral – Next pick a neutral shade that pairs well with your bold and complimentary color. This will help ground your colors and can be used as an accent color.
1 Dark Neutral – Pick a dark neutral color that aligns with the rest of your color scheme. This color will be used mostly for paragraph text.
1 Light Neutral – Pick a light neutral color. This color will be used for background and supporting elements. This color will not take the limelight and will be used to add depth to the brand palette.
Narrowing down and refinining your brand color palette so that is aligns with your brand’s adjectives and values can be a daunting task but I can’t stress how important it is. Having a strong brand color palette plays such an important role in your brand’s recognition.
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