When it comes to creating a cohesive brand for your business, you’ve got to have a color palette! It’s such a simple way to convey your values and make anything that you put out into the world more recognizable. Social media posts, your website, product packaging, signage, advertisements – these are all things that can be united by a distinct brand color palette and give your business a strong visual presence.
Think about some big brands and how their color palette sticks in your brain. Target may have a very recognizable logo, but the red that they use can be seen everywhere – shopping carts, advertisements, checkout lanes, EVERYWHERE! It’s a color that you automatically associate with their brand.
Color is a powerful marketing tool, but choosing the right palette for your business can be overwhelming. So I wanted to walk your through how I help my clients choose their brand colors. (Plus a free color quiz for you to download at the end of the post!) Let’s dive in!
Step 01 – Establish your brand values and how you want to make people feel.
In order to choose the perfect brand color palette, we need to think strategically about what your brand stands for and how you want to make people feel. Colors convey different emotions and ideas, so you want to choose a palette that aligns with the ideas and feelings that you want to be associated with your brand. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What are the core values that drive your brand? What ideas matter to your business?
- If your brand were a person, how would you describe them? What is their personality?
- How do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand?
Step 02 – Think about who your audience is, their personality and what they are drawn to.
Anytime you’re making decisions about your brand, it’s extremely important to think about your audience’s perspective as well! You want to connect with them on a deeper level, so your branding should be tailored to convey the things that specifically matter to them. Here are some more questions to think about:
- Who is your audience and what is important to them?
- What types of brands are they drawn to?
Step 03 – Find color that align with those values and emotions.
Now the fun part! There’s a psychology behind colors and what emotions or feelings our brain associates with them. So that’s what needs to guide our color palette search – what colors accurately capture these values and emotions that we’ve established for our business? If you need a little help, below are some examples of what emotions are often connected with different colors:
Red – excitement, focus, strength, love, energy, passionate, bold
Pink – sweet, feminine, warm, caring, intuitive
Purple – royalty, luxury, creativity, respectable, spiritual, mysterious, courageous
Orange – warm, optimistic, motivation, freedom, friendly
Yellow – happiness, joy, inspiration, warm
Green – nature, healing, growth, rest, generous, safe
Blue – calm, trust, confidence, peace
Brown – security, protection, dependable, simple, rugged
Black – sophisticated, dramatic, powerful, professional
Gold – luxury, confidence, abundance, charm
White – pure, light, clean, peace, simple, fresh
I often start my color searches by looking for imagery instead of palettes. With photos, it can be a bit easier to interpret the feeling that is coming across. So I usually collect lots of imagery that I think aligns with the client’s brand values and then pull colors from them. Check out my color palette Pinterest board to see some examples.
Step 04 – Create a color palette that gives your brand some flexibility.
When I put together the final color palette for my clients, I want to make sure that I’m giving them tools that are flexible and can be used really easily. To do this, I follow a simple formula – I choose 2-3 colors that are more neutral and at least 2 colors that are more bold and bright. This gives them a full spectrum and allows some flexibility when using color for their brand. The neutral colors are meant to be used for most basic content, while the brighter colors are meant to be used for really important things like sale announcements. You need that contrast to help your audience differentiate what’s normal, everyday content and what’s urgent, attention-grabbing content. If they can’t differentiate between those, they likely won’t notice the important stuff that you put out. Here’s an example:
So now that you’ve gotten a glimpse at my own process, let’s find your perfect brand color palette! I put together a little color quiz that you can download below. If you need consistent brand colors, but aren’t ready to work with a professional designer yet – this is for you!
In the quiz, you’ll answer some questions that are meant to help you discover the meaning and emotion that you need your brand colors to convey. Then your answers will match you up with a group of 3 pre-made color palettes that I’ve specifically created for a brand like yours. You can choose the one that fits you the best, tweak it a little bit if you want, and you’re all set to start using it! 🙂