So, you’ve started your own business. You have your name, your market. You’ve got ideas for a logo design. But what brand colors should you use? Do you want to come off sophisticated? Reliable? Exciting and spontaneous? Choosing a proper color palette for your business can help you accomplish the exact brand message you want to portray. If you’re not sure how to choose a color scheme for your branding, maybe we can set you in the right direction.
How To Choose Brand Colors
Brand colors actually matter a LOT. Subconsciously, human beings assign certain feelings and moods to specific colors, and make split-second judgments based on the colors we see – whether we mean to or not. By tapping into the mindset of your ideal customer we can begin to shape a brand that customers would be interested in working with.
Warmer, more saturated tones tend to convey more intense, electric emotions – aggression, optimism, happiness. Cooler tones are more relaxing and calming. So, what brand message are you trying to make public, and what colors should you choose to support that message?
Color Perception – How Do Colors Make Us Feel?
- RED. Red can be an energizing, aggressive, powerful, in-your-face attention grabber. Use it carefully, however. It can come off too aggressive or can be overpowering if used too much.
- YELLOW. Yellow brings optimism, happiness, and can bring out some of the most intense reactions. On the other side, yellow can sometimes pull out feelings of discomfort or anxiety.
- GREEN. Green tends towards balance, nature, calmness. But the phrase isn’t “green with envy” for nothing. Green has connotations towards greed, depending on the tone.
- BLUE. Blue can be mentally soothing, projects dependability, and calmness. Generally, shades of blue are heavily favored by most people. Depending on the saturation, however, it can come across as cold, or even icy.
- PURPLE. Purple projects a sense of luxury and mystery can tend towards the spiritual and the creative. Purple can also be very ambitious, which may turn people away.
- PINK. Pink stands for compassion, love, nurturing. But how many children’s toys are sold in pink packaging? Pink can come off as immature or under-designed if not used carefully.
- BROWN. Brown can show stability, reliability, structure – sturdy and solid as a tree or stone. But brown can also come off as boring as stone, too.
- BLACK- Black is sophisticated. Black is serious. Black is in control. Black can sometimes be TOO controlling, too serious, though.
- WHITE. White gives a feeling of peace and purity, and of cleanliness. As clean as a hospital room – white can come off too sterile and unfeeling if overused.
Leveraging Color Tone in Branding
There are two sides to every color. There are also different TONES of these colors that can accentuate or can tone down the emotions they bring. TONE is a pure color from the color wheel, mixed with a neutral Grey – the color remains the same, it only becomes less vibrant with the more Grey added. Brighter, more saturated versions can be more energizing and evoke a more immediate response, but they can often be overwhelming. Bright and saturated tones are typically recommended for more “physical” branding – exercise and food brands.
Softer and less saturated colors produce more muted versions of the desired emotions, but they can come across as bland if used in the wrong branding. These tones are more conducive to “mental” branding – health and wellness, arts, writing. Be sure to incorporate color tone techniques in your brand color choice.
Are These Concrete Rules of Marketing?
Regardless of the colors chosen, the main goal is that the color choices fit the FEELING of your brand. Observe other branding techniques in your market. Make yourself stand out! Just because another company is using the same suggestions we’ve given, that doesn’t mean that there is only one right answer. Consumers are more likely to remember your brand if it STANDS OUT and is DIFFERENT.
Experiment with color combinations. Take a gander at a color wheel. Or, reach out to a designer if you aren’t comfortable trying to come up with something on your own – you’d be surprised what someone can come up with, with just a little bit of direction from you. A designer will also be able to tell you what sort of things are popular in the industry – and what you can try to avoid in your branding.
Most of all, be COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT in your branding. Be willing to spend the time and the money to nail this aspect of your business – this is your first impression! Make it count!