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How To Choose Logo Colors & Brand Palette – What To Know For Business Branding
Do you know how many articles I read in my early business days, trying to figure out what colors I should use for my logo and my website and my myspace background?! A lot, that’s how many. And while I found a lot of great information about what colors stand for, and why certain colors are popular, I found zilch about actually DECIDING these colors for my own business. It’s been a few years, *cough* and there’s a bit more info out there now, but it’s not much different. I wanted to write this article to help you actually CHOOSE which colors to use for your logo and color palette so that your business can have a strong identity and powerful branding.
You will click away from this page having chosen your dominant logo color, based on the emotions you want YOUR audience to experience through your specific business, as well as having a full branding palette to use from now on.
This is a HUGE article, with a LOT of actionable information, so I will try and make it as easy to navigate as possible. I’ve listed the key things this article tackles, and you can jump down to those if you’re just here to learn about one of these topics, instead of branding colors as a whole.
That said, it is all kind of important (but hey, I’m biased) so I definitely suggest bookmarking this article in case you need more info later. *wink wink*
The key components of a strong branding color palette:
- 1-2 Dominant Color(s)
- 1-2 Accent Colors
- 1-2 Alternative Colors (usually black and white or slight variations like grey, cream, etc)
- Total of 3-5 colors
By the end of this article, you will have all of these decided, and you will know WHY you’ve chosen each of these colors. Plus, you’ll have a handy branding palette to use for your logo and all of your brand’s design needs going forward, from website colors to advertising colors, to social media post colors.
It’s a big task, so I’ve broken it down into manageable pieces, so you can learn about this in chunks, or skip through to what you need.
What this article covers:
1. How to choose a dominant color (the main color) for your brand. (Go there)
A. The benefits of sticking with industry choices vs setting yourself apart with branding color choices. (Go there)
B. Which colors create the emotions your brand wants its audience to feel and how to choose the right colors for YOUR brand. (Go there)
C. Whether you should choose one dominant color or two/three/seven. Hint: it’s never seven. (Go there)
2. How to choose the most powerful color palette for your specific brand. (Go there)
A. Choosing accent colors that complement each other and look aesthetically appealing. (Go there)
B. Quick tools to make this process easier and streamline your branding. (Go there)
C. Checking that your chosen colors fit with your brand and create the emotions you’re hoping for with your overall look. (Go there)
And lastly, I have all of my resources, if you want even more data thank I’m about to drown you with. *wink wink*
Decision #1 – Choose A Dominant Color For Your Brand
The first and most important thing, before designing a logo or creating your website (or anything else), is to decide on which color your brand is going to use as it’s primary, dominant color.
It’s also the first step of re-branding, if you’re wanting to switch things up.
If you prefer, you can choose two dominant colors, depending on the overall effect you want your logo (and business) to create. As long as you choose two badass colors, like FedEx or Pepsi or Reese’s did, you’ll be fine.
When deciding on the color you want to represent your brand the strongest, you will want to keep in mind the different emotions and symbolism behind each color.
There have been TONS of studies done into color theory and color emotions. Major corporations pay their marketing teams millions and millions of dollars to choose the right ones.
But guess what? A lot of these big brands go through occasional rebranding. They alter their colors- sometimes making big changes, sometimes small. And they fine-tune their overall look. Why? To keep up with current trends. To target a more specific audience. And sometimes even to distract from bad press! My point is, however, that the color you choose is NOT the end-all-be-all… and you’re free to change it if you decide later on that it really doesn’t suit your business.
That being said, you don’t want to be re-branding like you do spring cleaning- a good branding refresh is needed every few years at most. It can be a powerful marketing move when done strategically and sparingly.
Whether you’re deciding on your business’ color palette for the first time or the fifth time, you need to put a lot of thought into it and make sure it will still be a good choice in five or ten years. (Unlike that mullet your mom gave you in the 90’s).
Steps to choosing the right dominant color for your business:
1. Decide whether you want to stay aligned with industry color choices or set yourself apart with unique branding color choices:
First, do some internet research and look up other logos in your industry. You will find that industries have a tendency to stick together. This is because most of these like-minded companies are trying to target the same audience, the same feelings, and/or the same aspects of business culture.
This can work in your favor- you can follow the crowd and trust that their research was thorough. This is usually a safe and reliable move. By making slight changes to the shade and tone of the color(s) you choose, you can still look original and unique without making too many risks with color choice. (I talk more about color tones and shades later.)
For example, there is an astronomical number of tech companies that use blue as their dominant color. Look at the logos in the image above. Even though all of these logos do, in fact, look different and unique, they are all variations of blue!
And then you have a company that comes along, ready to disrupt the entire industry and flip it on its head like Google. There’s no way Google would have settled for a blue logo. Google went all in with a rainbow, baby! Every color, no settling, no narrowing down choices. They went full primary, with gusto, and they lived up to it, too.
Like Google, you can choose something different and deviate from the norm. This is a scarier move, of course, which could really set you apart from your competitors. OR it could appeal to the entirely wrong crowd. (Remember that risk, and keep reading to the end of this section before deciding anything.)
Either way, whether you want a bold, crazy choice, a stable, reliable choice, or something in between, you’re not quite ready to pick your dominant color just yet. There’s a little bit more to consider.
This is where the next step comes in, and it’s a doozy.
2. Figure out which colors create the emotions YOUR brand wants its audience to feel:
Next, you will need to decide on which EMOTIONS you want your audience (your customers, your clients, your partners or financiers, etc) to feel when they see your logo or explore your website, and choose the right colors to fit.
This is, perhaps, the biggest and most important piece of developing your brand identity.
Sometimes, this will match up with what others in your industry have chosen. Sometimes, if you’re a disruptor to your industry, like Google, Tesla, or even AirBnB, for example- you’ll be looking for entirely different emotions.
But how do you know WHICH emotions you want to get from your audience?
This is where your core values, mission and vision statement come in. (Oh yeah… those things that most small businesses skip over…crap…) If you haven’t gotten to those yet, click the words in my last sentence to learn how to create each one. If you have, let’s move forward.
Your core values and mission statement are HUGE in branding, and should give you a pretty solid starting point in regards to emotions.
What are your core values? What is your business’ overall mission? You will want to find emotions to match these.
For example, if your core values are ‘Loyalty, Trust, and Security.’ then you will want colors that stir up those emotions. If your business’ mission is to ‘get every family organized, one house at a time,’ then you’ll probably be looking for colors that fit with organization, comfort, and family.
You’re going to want to use colors that align with your goals and sense of purpose as a business. This is why a lot of businesses in the same industry tend to use the same colors. They all have similar missions and core values. Plus, their overall goals are usually not that different from one another as competitors.
How to decide WHICH emotions you want your brand to create for your audience:
- What are your core values? Choose 2 emotions that symbolize these values best.
- What is your business’ overall mission? Pick 1 emotion that represents this mission.
- Which emotions do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your business? Write down two or three.
- Now look at all of the emotions you just wrote down, and summarize these down to two or three of the strongest, biggest emotions that fit your brand.
Once you figure out what emotions match up with your mission, values and desired customer experience, you can go over the colors and find one(s) that suit your business best.
Power tip: Sometimes, we have a color that just speaks to our core. We might already just KNOW which color we want to use for our dominant color. That is totally ok! This is YOUR business, after all. If that’s the case, then you can use the accent and alternate colors to help bolster the emotions you’re hoping to give your audience, and solidify your brand’s look.
BUT!! (Big but…) This doesn’t mean ignoring sound branding advice and rolling with your instincts 3 feet deep.
I’m not saying to just do whatever you want to do because of ‘gut feeling.’ But it does mean that you should take in all of this branding advice, all of the color information, your gut feelings, AND your intended audience experience. THEN you can make educated choices based on all of these factors.
Keywords here: Make educated choices. There’s a reason big companies fork over millions of dollars to branding experts: because it works. Color theory is powerful.
Let’s look at what emotions are attached to the different colors, and what that can mean for your branding:
Black – Logos which feature black as their dominant color tend to be bold, powerful and classic. They can also be strong, dramatic or mysterious as well.
A lot of high-end brands use black logos, such as Channel, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vitton. Black elicits a sense of class and prestige. On the flip side, Nike, Adidas and Puma also use black as their dominant color, because black shows power and strength.
Black is a safe choice for branding, but also a strong choice. Most large companies also tend to have a black alternative logo that they can use in their marketing or in cases where visibility and aesthetics might require less color.
Purple – Using purple in company logos can show royalty and luxury, but it can also be fun, whimsical and creative.
Multiple candy brands use purple, such as Cadbury, Wonka, and Milka, as does Taco Bell, which we all know brings the hot sauce to the playground with their fun advertising and social media presence.
Yahoo and Twitch also capitalize on purple’s fun and creative senses.
But on the flip side, purple also symbolizes ambition and wisdom, which is perhaps what drew NYU and the Minnesota Vikings to choose a purple logo. Crown Royal chose purple to capitalize on that feeling of regalness, because who doesn’t want to be royal? *cue Lorde*
Blue – Have you ever noticed how many companies choose blue logos? That’s because blue is the color of the universe- it has so many possibilities! Humans are drawn to water sources and blue skies for a reason. They create a sense of openness and possibility. Blue is also the most common ‘favorite’ color among humans. That makes blue a power color in branding.
Blue represents loyalty and dependability, but also calm and tranquility. It can also evoke feelings of comfort, trust and love, or in some cases even intelligence and clarity. Blue is a color that speaks to our hearts more than most colors.
A LOT of tech companies use blue for their dominant color. For them, the sense of intelligence and dependability are core emotions they want to give their audiences.
GE, Ford and Boeing also capitalize on these emotions as well- dependability and trust are HUGE for these brands.
Power tip: While blue is a power color for comfort and reliability reasons, red is a power color for action and impulse reasons (see more on this below). Red and blue are the most commonly used colors in logos among all brands in the world for these reasons, and combining blue and red is an especially strong combination in marketing and branding.
Green – Green is a great brand color choice for companies who want to give their audience a feeling of balance, health, freshness, and wealth.
A lot of ‘earthy’ or ‘natural’ brands like John Deere, Land Rover, Animal Planet, Whole Foods, Tropicana and even the Girl Scouts use green to build on these emotions.
But a brighter, more vivid green can create a sense of energy and excitement. This makes it a great choice for BP, Monster Energy Drinks, Spotify and Nvidia. Eco-friendly, farming or agricultural, and landscaping or gardening businesses tend to have great successes with green logos, because of the natural tie-in.
But green is also a calming color, so even businesses outside of these niches can maximize the use of green if they want to evoke feelings of comfort, peace or growth. Green also reminds us of cold, hard, cash. And we all love that.
Yellow – Logos which feature the color yellow tend to be energetic, bright, and exciting. They also symbolize sunshiney warmth, optimism, and friendliness. Best Buy, McDonalds, and Lays use yellow for this sense of friendliness and excitement. No other color can quite scream, ‘I’m loving it!’ the way yellow can.
Yellow is not as popular of a logo color choice as most of the other colors. While it’s great to get your audience to feel happy and energized, these aren’t generally the biggest emotions that companies want to create- they are more of an end result that comes from more specific feelings first. This is because there is a wide variety of things that make people feel happy, so to really target your CORE audience, a company needs to be more specific.
Another reason brands tend to steer away from yellow (or use yellow as an accent color instead) is because it’s a harder color for your eyes to adjust to in print and on screens. We don’t look directly at the sun, we let it brighten everything around us. Yellow is the same way in advertising- it can hurt to look at, but it can be a very powerful choice in smaller doses. Look at the center point of BP’s logo, for example, or the end of Subway’s logo.
Orange – Using orange in logos creates a sense of bravery and success, friendliness and confidence, and also symbolizes fun. Orange capitalizes on all the sunshiney benefits of yellow, but without blinding your audience.
Crush soda, Fanta, Nickelodeon and Dunkin’ Donuts all use orange to create a sense of friendliness, cheerfulness and fun. Harley Davidson and Rockstar Games like orange for it’s sense of bravery and excitement. They want to take you on a wild ride- right from that first point of contact.
Orange is considered the color most likely to get your audience to take ACTION, making it a powerful choice.
(Orange is also the most successful color for clickable buttons on websites or ads, for this same reason, it gets people moving more than any other color.)
Red – Red is the dominant brand color for some of the most powerful companies in the world. CNN, Netflix, Coca Cola, Toyota, Red Cross, Beats, Virgin… the list goes on.
And a lot of big companies also use red as an alternate color (which we will discuss more below), and therefore have alternate logos in red, like Disney, Puma, Canon, and BBC.
Red symbolizes power, passion, hunger, energy and love. Brands that use red as their dominant color tend to be successful because of the activity it invites. Red is a mover and a shaker, it gets customers to ACT.
The color red creates a sense of urgency and importance. It increases your heart rate and gets you moving. Red cars have higher cost for car insurance for this exact reason. It spurs you into action FASTER, gets you moving MORE, and really capitalizes on that blood-pumping energy. Rawr!!
Power tip: Red, Orange and Yellow are all action colors. They are warm colors on the color wheel, and prompt people to DO or to ACT.
This makes red and orange the most powerful choices for call-to-action advertising, like lead magnets or website buttons (as I mentioned above). They are statistically most likely to get subscribers, purchases, or other tangible results from viewers. It’s why we put sales prices in red, and why we use orange in places where we want to encourage impulse shopping. Does Amazon jump to mind, anyone? They use orange for all of their buy buttons.
So even if you don’t choose orange or red as logo colors (they don’t suit everyone, after all), make sure to take this color advice into consideration with your advertising for powerful results.
Brown – On the flip side, brown logo colors symbolize more long lasting, earthy, and conservative brands. Brown also gives people friendly, all-natural, and outdoorsy feelings.
Logos with brown can help viewers to envision rich foods like chocolate and coffee, making it the natural color choice for brands like Nespresso, M&Ms, Dreyer’s and Godiva.
Cotton and EcoTools also uses brown to symbolize their all-natural materials and down-to-earth values. Cracker Barrel uses a combination of brown and yellow to get that homey but welcoming and friendly country vibe.
Brown is also a comfort color, which makes it a fairly safe choice for most brands.
Gold – Gold is a color used sparingly and strategically in branding. As a dominant color, it is not a very popular choice, partially because it can be difficult to see clearly in advertising copy, but also because it has a very specialized set of emotions. Gold symbolizes wealth, class, and luxury. It is most commonly used by high-end designer brands, such as Versace and Louis Vitton. Brands who want to create a sense of glitz and glamour, such as Caesar’s Palace and Circus Circus, both of which are Las Vegas Casino Hotels, also use gold as their main logo color.
That being said, a lot of brands who do utilize gold as their dominant color also have black versions of their logo so that they can maximize their visibility. For some brands, using gold as an accent color is a smarter choice, such as Rolex, who maximizes the sense of luxury and wealth by combining money colors gold and green together.
If your brand provides high-ticket items or services, gold might be a smart color choice, however in most cases it is more powerful as an accent color choice.
Silver or Grey – Silver and grey are colors that are also used sparingly as dominant colors, but which make powerful accent colors. These colors create feelings of grace and reliability, structure, and remind us of things that are sleek and shiny, or high-tech. That makes grey and silver popular color choices for car brands, such as Lexus and Mercedes, as well as higher-end electronics companies like Bosch and Asus.
Like Gold, many companies that choose silver logos also have a black (or sometimes grey) alternative logo to avoid limitations with their advertising and marketing.
Because grey and silver tend to blend into their surroundings more than the other colors, it is not a popular color choice for logos. When used as an accent color, it is often combined with a power color such as red or blue.
Now that you’re suffering from color overload, let’s move on.
3. How to decide whether you should choose one dominant color or more:
There is honestly no right or wrong choice here. For most brands it boils down to what feels best for your company. Does one color feel more powerful, or more limiting? Does two colors feel complicated, or seem like too much?
To maximize the impact of your branding, I suggest choosing one or two colors, MAX.
You’ll still have accent colors, but the main parts of your branding should be one to two colors. (We’ll talk more about accent colors below.)
Choosing too many dominant colors can complicate your brand and limit your impact.
It can cause confusion or create different emotions than what you intended. Just because you perceive your color combinations in a certain way doesn’t mean that others will have the same reactions.
Why? Because we’re all looking at life through our own lenses. This means that the more colors you introduce, the more emotions you introduce, and the easier it will be to interpret the colors in our own ways. Unless you’re Picasso, you probably don’t want your audience to apply their own meanings. You want to GIVE them specific feelings- you want to CREATE those feelings for them.
The feelings we wanted to evoke with OWLLytics were dependability, wisdom, and passion, because we help people learn, grow, and succeed in their businesses.
With Smoochies, however, we chose a dark, rich red, complemented with black and white, to create feelings of passion, mystery, fun and excitement. We want our Smoochies customers to feel excited about our wine glasses, from buying them or gifting them to using them, and entwine mystery and fun into our customer journey.
So examine YOUR list of emotions from above, and choose the color(s) that fit best AND feel right for your brand.
Decision #2 – Choose the most powerful color palette for YOUR specific brand.
There are so many things to consider with branding that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s totally okay! I’ve just thrown a crap ton of information at you! If you need to take a breather, grab another cup of coffee, and let your eyes rest a moment, no worries! I’ll wait.
But when you’re ready to move forward, we’re gonna get to my favorite part- creating your color palette.
Oh yeah, baby! We’re gonna be mixing colors like kindergarteners who got into the classroom paints at recess! I’m excited.
And don’t worry, I’ve got some tips, tricks and tools to make this easy! (And, by the end of this article, my personal goal is to spell the word palette correctly without having auto-correct change it 500 more times…)
There are three steps to creating a powerful color palette:
- Choosing accent colors that complement each other and look aesthetically appealing.
- Using quick tools to make this process easier and streamline your branding. (I know this doesn’t sound like a step, but you’ll thank me later.)
- Checking that your chosen color palette fits with your brand and elicits the emotions you are hoping for.
So let’s dive right into step #1:
1. How to choose accent colors that compliment your brand’s dominant color(s):
Most brands will have around 3 to 5 colors in their palette that they can choose from. This helps keep your branding look standard throughout your website, your advertising and all of your social media posts. It also helps your advertising stand out and be different from everyone else’s. This is an especially powerful tool when people are scrolling through social media feeds. You WANT your brand to be recognizable.
Having a set group of colors is the most effective way to achieve this.
As your brand develops and builds audience awareness, people will start to associate the color combination of your particular branding palette with YOUR business.
Think about Google, for example. Google has done an excellent job of putting red, yellow, green, and blue into all of their logos, app icons, etc. We see their brand colors and instantly recognize it as a Google service. We also recognize the black and orange of Amazon. And when we’re driving down the street and see a red and blue For Sale sign in the neighbor’s yard, we know they hired a realtor from Re/Max, even though you gave them the number of your realtor, who’s already awesome.
So FIRST you need to decide on your accent colors.
You will typically have two accent colors if your brand has one dominant color, but shooting for three colors overall is usually a winning strategy. You’ll also have two alternative colors, which will be white and black, or some variation of white and black like grey, cream, navy, etc. These will be necessary for the white space on your website (super important to have plenty of white space), wording, backgrounds, etc. And if you choose an alternative light color (like beige or light grey) you will probably still want to use white for your website background, and sometimes for other backgrounds as well to keep a clean, fresh look.
So how do you decide on your accent colors? By deciding which kind of color theme will best suit your brand.
In order to accomplish this, we’re going to briefly talk about the color wheel and how complementary colors work. Don’t worry though, the tools we talk about in the next step are going to prevent you from needing to remember too much of this.
So let me give you the highlights of branding color themes to help you choose:
1. Complimentary colors are colors that are directly opposite from each other on the color wheel. These are common because it’s fairly easy to draw a straight line and pick two colors.
2. Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors don’t contrast very much, making them an easy, safe choice.
3. Monochromatic colors are different shades, tints or tones of the same color. These are pleasing to the eye and easy to create.
4. Triadic colors are colors that create a balanced triangle on the color wheel. This creates a decent amount of contrast, which allows you to provide a balanced variety of colors that is pleasing to look at if chosen carefully.
5. Split complementary colors is when you use three colors, two colors should be fairly close to each other on the color wheel, and the third color should be the complementary (opposite) against those two, creating a narrow triangle. These are more contrasting than triadic themes but still not as contrasting as complimentary themes.
There’s also combos that include 4 or more colors, but I’m stopping here before I fry all of our brains. We only need three. And while all of this info is great to know, if you’re not a designer you probably don’t need to remember any of it after you’ve chosen colors you like for your brand.
Also, this is a great time to mention THIS article, written by The Branded Solopreneur, which has a really fantastic explanation of the different themes. Since she’s a branding expert, she gives beautiful examples of each theme in action with websites, social media posts and other examples. I definitely recommend scrolling through this article to gather some ideas and see different color combinations in action.
So now that you’ve learned HOW to choose colors that will compliment coordinate with your dominant color(s), let’s move on to the next step, which involves actually CHOOSING your brand colors. And to do that, we’re gonna need some tools.
2. Five quick and easy tools to make this process easier and streamline your branding palette creation:
The good news is that actually choosing a winning color palette is fairly easy because some awesome designers have spent the time and energy to create some easy to use tools for the rest of the non-designer world to benefit from.
The first tool I want to talk about is Canva’s photo-based palette generator. This is a unique way to create a color palette, as it pulls the colors from a photo you upload. It’s a great tool if you have an example photo that fits with the vibe you are looking for.
Canva also has a color palette resource gallery, with examples of various color combinations. There’s also a palette generator that allows you to choose your dominant color and then generates two more colors based on the color theme you choose (monochromatic, complimentary, etc).
The downside is that this generator only gives you two to four colors and is a bit limited with tones, shading, etc.
But it does get 4 stars for easy use.
Color Drop is basically a huge, scrolling database of 4-color palettes for you to browse through. While it does have other features, like scanning an image or creating gradients, the reason this tool made my list is because of the voting ability.
You can see which palettes are popular based on how many likes (hearts) they have. This a good way to rule out themes that may not resonate with very many people.
While this isn’t a palette generator, it is a valuable tool to have for brainstorming and gathering ideas of what you like and what others like.
The downside of this app is that it’s not a palette generator, so you have to still do the color matching work.
If you have some time to spare, Khroma is a really cool tool that uses artificial intelligence to generate color palettes from your favorite colors. First, it asks you to choose 50 colors that you like from their long list of color swatches.
This sounds time-consuming, but it took me about a minute and a half to click on 50 colors that I liked. Next, it analyzes those colors to generate color combinations. Once it’s done, you just click on the palette icon in the top left menu, and it will generate palettes for you. Pretty smart, right?
The downside of this tool is that you’re not actually choosing the dominant color(s). You need to have your dominant color in mind when you use this tool and scroll through the options until you find yours.
Color Tool #4
This next tool is my all-time fave. Coolors is what I use every time I create a branding palette. It’s not as easy as some of the above generators but it’s worth it, and it has a quick little tutorial to show you how to get started.
Coolors allows you to hit the space bar until the palette includes your dominant color. (Or, you can just enter the html code of your dominant color.) Then you can click the little lock icon and keep hitting the space bar to switch up the rest of the colors. You keep locking the colors you like, and hitting the space bar until you get the final look you want and then save it to your computer. The best part of this tool is that you KNOW the colors will fit together, but you also have a pretty decent amount of control over your palette creation.
The only downside to this app is that it is bit more complicated to use than most of the others.
Color Tool #5
ColorMind is the last tool, and it’s essentially like a simplified version of Coolors. It’s still in it’s beta phase, but it is a bit easier to use than Coolors, if you found yourself getting overwhelmed with that one. You can still lock the colors and generate palettes in a sequential lock, search, lock, search pattern.
The reason this tool made the cut, however, is that it gives you some simple examples of your palette in action. Just click on Website Colors at the top and then scroll down the page to see light and dark examples. Note: your dominant color should be the middle color in the palette, the first color should be your white or alt white color, and the last color your black or alt black color to get the full effect of the examples further down the page.
The downside to this app is that (in my opinion) the palette suggestions are pretty limited. They don’t go as out-of-the-box as I would like, leaving most of their suggestions on the blander side.
3. How to check that your final palette colors fit with your brand and create the desired emotions:
Okay, this is the last step. The final frontier.
This is, as teachers say, where we go back and check our answers before submitting our test.
It is easy to get lost in the insane amount of options during this process (hello, decision overload) and find ourselves off track.
So how do we check ourselves? We need to create some practice content!
The fastest and easiest way to do this is to jump into Canva (a free account is totally fine). Open up one of their templates. (I suggest this one, this one, or this one.) Now change the colors to YOUR brand palette colors by clicking each little icon or element.
You can change the wording to your business name and tagline. Or choose different wording of your choice that fits your business’ mission or products or whatever. Your choice.
Then mix up your brand colors until you like the way they look, and save it.
Don’t spend a ton of time on this. These are just examples to see YOUR palette in action and make any necessary color adjustments.
Now how does it make you feel? Do you think your colors are still on point?
When you look back up at your list of core values and desired emotions, do they still fit the colors you’ve chosen?
If so, great job! If not, adjust. Remember, this is YOUR brand and you can change whatever you want as much as you need to.
Another way to check your palette is to ask a family member or friend to take a look at your new piece of practice content and tell you what vibe it has. What feelings do they have?
Or, sometimes you want to keep it a bit closer to the vest. You can also go to a website or app like Thumb, to get opinions from total strangers who have no long-lasting interest or bias!
Once you get your colors how you want them, save your color palette. You can screenshot your color palette, save one of your practice content pieces to keep the colors in your palette handy, etc.
Also, make sure to write down the color codes, so you can use them in whatever app, web creator or design software you need. Write down the HTML codes AND if possible, the RGB numbers, too. You’ll use the RGB numbers if you need to print advertising, or put your logo on clothing, etc.
Oh. My. Edward.
(Sorry, bad habit. Did I ever tell you that my professional writing experience started with a pretty intense fan-fiction Twilight blog? I grew to over 20,000 viewers in 3 months and made like a whole $35 from Adsense! I also grew out of my Twi-Mom phase in like 6 months. So redemption is out there, folks.)
But now you should have your colors set, right? Woohoo!
You’ve got your dominant color, two accent colors, and your alternative light and dark colors.
Thanks for staying with me so far! This article took so much time and energy to write! I’m pretty sure I researched more for this article than I did for my master’s thesis! But honestly, this is a HUGE topic that really does matter when you’re trying to set your business up for success.
I hope that you’ve learned a massive amount and that you refer back to this article like a handbook while you’re going through your business’ branding (or rebranding) phase.
Go ahead, bookmark it now. It will save you some frustration later on, I promise. *wink wink*
If you still have questions, comment below! We’re here to help! (We also do one-on-one strategic consulting if you feel like you’d rather skip all the time and energy of learning this yourself and get straight to it already.)
But no matter what, I hope you come away from this article feeling smarter and more prepared to build an AMAZING brand! You’ve certainly got the drive for it, and now you have more tools to get you there.
Thanks for reading, my awesome business builders! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
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Resources Used During The Creation Of This Article:
Hearing, Remembering, and Branding: Guidelines for Creating Sonic Logos – University of Cincinnati
The Marketers’ Prismatic Palette: A Review of Color Research and Future Directions – Psychology of Marketing Scholarly Journal
Exciting Red and Competent Blue: The Importance of Color in Marketing – Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
What your Logo’s Color Says About Your Company – Fast Company
The Fascinating Reason Why Blue is the World’s (And Brands’) Favorite Color – Inc.
How To Choose The Right Colors For Your Brand – Canva
The Psychology of Color: How To Use Colors To Increase Conversion Rate – Neil Patel
Colour and meaning in corporate logos: An empirical study – Journal of Brand Management
Color and emotion: Effects of hue, saturation, and brightness – Psychological Research
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This is very timely. I love your thoughts about branding logo color palettes. Need to try this out.
There are many posts available on the importance of logo/designing/colors in branding but what sets a few apart from others is the way the complex equation between the 3 (visual elements, psychology and commercial goals) is presented in a friendly language that can be understood by common readers. This is one among those few exceptional posts. And yes if used wisely the information is actionable and beneficial for the businesses and marketers
Thanks for the efforts
I made it easy for myself, I hired a professional for this task.
I am on the process of building my brand and this is truly informative. I believe that color is a huge factor on making your business a success.
What colors did you decide on for your brand? We would love you to share!
Great tips on how to chose color for brands. I guess I Never thought much about colors with branding.
Colors really play an important role in a brands logo. I really love the logo u have made for your blog. Keep up the good work!
Harish, thank you for the kind words!
I definitely needed this. I am planning to come up with one logo soon.
I love this idea about branding logo I’ve learned something to this!
Great post on color palettes! I studied color theory in my youth and I typically use Adobe to help pick my palette. I love these tools you shared. I’m trying Khroma just for fun and it came up with some interesting combos. I typically use an orange hue for my main color because its associated with warmth and enthusiasm.
Wow, these are some really great tips. I am bookmarking this!!
oooh some great tips here – i tend to go with blues because its such an eye catching colour and thanks to social media has been seen as a very sociable colour!
Very useful article thanks for sharing
Very interesting post. I might have to switch up the colors that I use for my business!
Very helpful and detailed information. I love Canva!
These are fantastic tips! It took me a long time to find the perfect logo for my business.
Wow, super informative. Love your analysis on all the different colors. Thanks!