how to master the 3 essential steps so you can book dreamy clients!
Hi, I'm Marisa, founder of Quill & Co. We work with doers and go-getters ready to do something truly ambitious so that they can stand out and find brand clarity.
At the beginning of the year I was feeling like my branding wasn’t fitting with my style anymore, I realized the colors I was using looked nice and I liked them, but they weren’t a great representation of me and my ‘vibe’. So I decided to rebrand. I picked colors that I gravitate towards. It’s not great for brand recognition to change up your branding too often. BUT it is okay to rebrand for a few reasons including your brand no longer appealing to you and your style. In fact if you are in the same boat in thinking that your brand needs a refresh, read my post on 4 signs you’re ready for a rebrand.
Your brand color palette should feel like a reflection of your values, mission, and industry, and these things tend to change over time. Just look at how much business norms have changed within the last few years, we need to be flexible and adapt to change in order to continue to stand out. This is also why it is so important to create your brand color palette focused on being timeless, relevant, and true to you. Because trends filter through far too quickly and you would need to rebrand every few months to keep up.
When it comes to picking colors 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.
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. A great resource I love to use for a quick lesson on color theory and the significance each color has is the fun website happyhues.co it allows you to change the color palette across the whole website to feel the impact of a color scheme, and the contents of the website tells you everything you need to know about color.
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.
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. Which is why my most recent brand refresh pulled in colors that I personally love and gravitate towards. Though I have loved my past color palettes I was keeping them separated from myself to allow Quill and Co to be it’s own thing, but now that I have grown with my brand and realize now that I am the biggest aspect that makes up my brand it makes sense to have a brand color palette that reflects my style and I know I won’t get bored of.
There is a formula for creating a great color palette. Your brand color palette should be about 5 colors (plus a shade of black/grey and white/cream as these are a staple for just about any brand). 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.
Building a color palette can be difficult. Like I mentioned earlier each individual color is beautiful on it’s own, but pair it with the wrong colors and it can easily begin to look like a hot mess. Which is why I recommend building your palette one color at a time. To get the wheels turning and to get an idea of what colors you’re attracted to, I suggest playing around with coolors.co, generate color palettes at the touch of one button (literally) hit your space bar and a new color palette will generate. Lock in colors that you like, and click again to see different combinations.
Narrowing down and refining your brand color palette so that it 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.
Not sure if you need to rework your brand color palette? Read my post on 4 signs your ready for a rebrand.
Now that you have put together the perfect color palette for your brand, and purchased one of our website templates. It’s time to implement your color palette on your new website! It’s honestly so easy! Which is why I love Showit! You can create such a high-end stunning website without constantly questioning the next step.
Once you have gotten into Showit and claimed your website template. You’ll be greeted by a menu on the right hand side and left hand side, with your desktop and mobile sites in between. Tuning into the top left corner – select design settings.
Upon selecting design settings, the window shown below will open. This window includes the website color palette and type styles. These will be preset with which ever template you purchase. Upon changing any of the settings on this window, will be changed throughout the entire website, so tread carefully.
In order to replace the color palette with your new brand color palette, start with your darkest color – select box one, a popup will appear with a color selection box, type in the new colors HEX code and select OK. Continue this for the remaining colors, from darkest to lightest with your bold main color somewhere in the middle (box 4 or 5).
Switching from the Quill and Co website to our best selling Showit website template – Feather & Friend. Let’s take a look on how much of an impact simply swapping that color palette can have on the template.
Below is the original template with it’s original color palette.
Upon swapping the color palette several times. (This involved me literally just changing the preset colors to new colors, not swapping the use of color or anything else on the website.) You can see the impact that color has on the overall feeling of the website.
The warm brown tones feel earthy, grounded, and honest
The cool purple tones feel content, moody, and luxurious
The bright green tones feel cheerful, organic, and pure