Coke is simply soda, and Levi's are merely jeans, but mentioning these brand names instantly brings their iconic colours to mind. That’s because these brands leverage the power of colours in marketing.
The colour palette you select for your brand can make a strong impact on consumer’s decision-making. From designing logos to establishing an online profile, using the right combination can help create a memorable and lasting impression.
In fact, using colours alone can impact as much as 90% of a consumer’s initial impression.
Finalising the right set of colours isn’t just about selecting a few favourites. Instead, your colour scheme should reflect your brand’s identity.
In this article, we'll explore essential tips to guide you in selecting the perfect colours for your brands.
5 Tips to Choose Your Brand Colours
1. The Colour Psychology
Colour psychology allows brands to understand how they can use colours to tell stories, change perceptions, and alter the moods of their target audience.
Have you ever wondered why banks like Barclays and Halifax have a common blue theme? This is because the colour blue usually evokes feelings of trust and security.
The above-mentioned organisations have done a great job of improving brand image and recognition solely by colour. Once you have a clear understanding of how colours affect consumer behaviour, you can work towards developing a colour palette that resonates with your business.
2. Align Brand Personality and Audience Needs
Personality tests can tell a lot about someone. A brand’s personality works in the same way. It lets consumers understand your brand’s value and how you approach things.
For example, consider the following questions:
- What would be your personality if your brand was a human?
- Is your brand friendly, or does it focus more on professionalism?
- What does your brand care about the most?
- What is the strength of your brand?
Every brand has its unique vibe, and your chosen colours should harmonise with your company's overall feel or character. Brand colours can also help showcase how you handle your audience's needs.
For instance, Tesco’s brand logo mainly consists of red with a slight accent of blue. The more prominent red is a high-energy colour that can create a sense of enthusiasm and excitement. It also evokes urgency to attract customers into making a purchase. On the contrary, blue embodies the idea of reliability and a sense of trustworthiness.
Another example is Dyson. The technology company utilises a sleek combination of black and white to showcase its commitment to sophistication and cutting-edge designs. Additionally, Dyson’s use of an elegant typeface beautifully balances the overall theme of the logo.
3. Create the Perfect Colour Combo
Now that you know your brand’s voice, it’s time to start considering the right colours. With so many options to consider, choosing a colour combination that suits your business comes down to three key elements:
- Base Colour: The base colour is your brand’s most dominant colour. Hence, your primary brand colour should reflect your brand's most important personality trait.
- Accent Colour: It is the second most important colour. Although the accent colour should convey another brand trait, it should also complement your base colour.
- Neutral colour: This refers to colours that don’t demand attention but combine the overall look and hence the name “Neutral”. Gray, beige, or white are some of the most commonly used neutral colours.
The Body Shop, renowned for its ethical beauty products, employs a colour scheme that reflects its commitment to nature. The primary colour is a fresh, leafy green, representing sustainability. Complementing this, the secondary colour is a soothing, earthy brown, creating a warm and grounding effect. These colours, alongside neutral cream, convey their commitment to natural beauty and eco-friendliness.
4. Explore Colour Meanings
Colours can have different meanings depending on the ones they are paired with, and they can also be associated with certain feelings based on the context and culture. Still, there are some colour trends in today’s industries that are correlated with specific emotions.
Let’s break it down for you:
- Food: Businesses that focus on food usually go for warm colours like red, orange and yellow to evoke feelings of appetite and spice. Colours like green are often seen with foods promoting nutritional importance.
- Health: Companies with personality traits like trustworthiness and responsibility often opt for blue. Other brands also use green to connect health and nature with each other.
It’s important to remember that there is no specific science behind choosing colours. In fact, the colours mentioned above aren’t used in these contexts only. Razer — a tech company — uses green as their primary brand colour. The shade signifies youth and energy for the gaming company. Additionally, Razer’s choice of green sets it apart from other tech giants and gives it a unique identity.
5. Be Creative
Now that you have a good enough idea of the connection between colours and emotions, it’s time to start playing around.
When it comes to choosing your brand colours, there aren’t any fixed rules. There’s no equation to calculate how well a colour defines your brand and how well your audience connects with it.
Instead, try to be creative with what colour palette you finalise. Take inspiration from not only brands but also through the beautiful combinations of nature around us.
Additionally, experiment with different colours and put them into your brand’s logo to see what matches your brand’s vision the most. You can also use apps like Colour Hunt, Muzli Colours, and Adobe Colour to help you go through the entire process in a breeze.
Best Resources to Help You Choose Your Brand Colours
If you are looking for creative ways to find inspiration for your colour palette ideas, it’s worth looking into some resources to keep your design game up to the mark.
- Pinterest has always been a go-to choice among designers. It features a ton of group boards like Colour Palettes and Colour Combinations - Inspiring, where other creative individuals pin their artwork and colour combos.
- Pigment by Shapefactory is no doubt one of the best colour palette generators right now. With Pigment, users can generate, modify, and adjust colour palettes according to their tastes and preferences.
- Adobe Colour is another favourite when it comes to generating colour schemes. It has thousands of colour palettes to work with, and you can also explore trending ones and even community-created colour palettes.
Colours can drive several purchasing decisions. You can grab people’s attention from the get-go with the right blend. In short, they can be a powerful tool in your creative endeavours when used properly.
So, go out there and look for inspiration in everything until you find the perfect mix of colours that complement your business. Good Luck!