How to choose a color palette to create a powerful brand

Written BY

Alessandra

The art of being creative in all its forms, has always fascinated me. I have a passion for beautiful things and at the same time I also have years of experience in the technical field.

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January 9th, 2020

Finally ready to put up that business of yours out to the public? Finished programming that app and ready to launch? Well, as exciting as the feeling is, you need something noteworthy to create a sense of appeal in the minds of your intended customers; an attractive and colorful brand! 

Color is a powerful tool. It is like music; appealing to everyone and invoking in us such feelings like we never even knew we had. Choosing the right color combination or color palette for your brand, may just be the beginning of your success story. 

This is a very exciting step in creating your brand and you should focus on choosing the right color palette. The one that speaks out to your customers in a language that they will understand. What, in itself, is a color palette?

A color palette is a combination of colors that can be displayed on a screen or interface, or a set of colors used for illustration or painting. 

Your logo, which is part of your brand, for example is a powerful tool in illustrating your business, and the colors you choose is a determining factor whether or not your brand will be remembered by your customers. 

Following the essential steps in choosing the right color palette to create a powerful brand:

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1. Having a focus

“Colors have meaning”

Do you know of a brand that stands out among the billions of brands out there? Remember how the color and logo pops in your head whenever you hear the brand name? These brands didn’t just stumble upon their colors by mistake. Colors have meaning! 

Knowing the concept, purpose or goals of your intended company, app, etc, will help you in determining a color palette that will send that message across to the public. Richard Branson demonstrated this technique by using a vibrant red for Virgin, depicting boldness and confidence. Coca-cola used this same red to resonate energy and vibrancy. Ask yourself what is the purpose of your business? What are the emotions you want your brand to evoke?

2. Keeping it simple for maximum impact

You may be like, wow, why don’t I combine all my favorite colors like blue, purple and deep red; or grey, yellow, white and lemon green? NO! Not a good idea!

While this feels so exciting, it is usually not the best idea to use too many colors in creating a powerful brand. Using too many colors may appear confusing to the customers, or even childish in a way. Selecting one primary color or two will strongly engraven that brand logo in the minds of the public. Think about Zuckerberg’s Facebook blue, think about Coca-cola’s red. The uniqueness and simplicity of these colors stands the test of time, as well as it stands out from the crowd.

3. Experimenting

This is fun as much as it is enlightening. You may be totally at a loss as to what single color to use, or what set of colors to combine. There are apps and websites called color tools, from which you can randomly select various color combinations. Consider using tools like Coolors, Adobe Color, or Color Mind. These websites/apps would randomly generate color palettes at the click of a mouse. 

But every time you randomly generate a color palette, ask yourself: Does the color palette speak the same language as my brand? Does the color palette reflect my brand?

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4. Research

Are you a very practical or psychological person? Do you want your color choice to have the same meaning or concept as your brand? Then you should go on Google and start searching for colors that would represent the concept of your company. You could use sky blue for an airline company, green for an agriculture-related firm, etc. 

Or head on to Instagram or Pinterest as these two digital platforms will give you a visual idea of what you might just be looking for. Surfing these media apps may unearth interesting color combinations you may never have given thought to. Colors of nature and the likes, you may just come across what’s trending in the market.

Also, do some research on what’s already trending among other brands in the same industry as you, i.e your competition. What colors are they already using for their brands? Maybe red and yellow? Orange and cyan, perhaps?

As much as you want to stand out and be unique, you have to consider using the right colors that suits that particular kind of industry.

5. Applying the 60-30-10 Principle

This is a well trusted technique used by professional designers. This applies when you’re using a three-color palette. These are your primary, secondary and accent colors. 

The first two colors are what you’ll use everyday to market your brand, whereas the accent color is a distinct color from the rest. This accent color should be one that inspires inspiration, or a call for action. Imagine having a web page or blog decorated in your primary and secondary colors. The accent color should be such that will pop out from all others, gripping the reader’s or customer’s attention. It is either lighter, deeper or darker than the other colors. There could be a text in the page about a product. The action button such as “get started”, “sign up”, “purchase”, or “register” should be in a stand-out accent color in order to draw the reader’s attention. 

Ensure to use the primary, secondary and accent colors in the ratio 60:30:10. This gives your brand an overall unified design theme, with a professional and more focused outlook to generate that visual appeal in the minds of the public, leaving a lasting impression. 

Are you struggling with your current website? Would you like a new website that makes your business stand out?

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