What Color Palette Should You Pick for Your Branding?
Choosing the right color palette for your company is one of the biggest design decisions you’ll probably ever make. Not only does it matter visually, it sets the mood for your entire business! Good color palettes can be the difference between your website getting noticed – or not! It’s no wonder that so many companies are now providing aids to help consumers get that “professional” look.
What You Probably Already Know
Colors make us feel stuff! A quick Google search will give you the rundown on the emotions that each color stirs up in its viewer. While it does get more complicated than this, the basic understanding is as follows:
- Red: aggression, passion, excitement and appetite
- Blue: serenity, trustworthiness, dependability and security
- Yellow: energy, optimism, playfulness and creation
- Green: vitality, growth, nature and harmony
- Purple: imagination, individuality, royalty and luxury
- Orange: warmth, friendliness, affordability and warning
- Black: power, elegance, sophistication and style
- White: purity, relevance, calmness and innovation
In times of old, designing your brand meant picking one of the above colors, hiring someone to make you a logo and calling it a day. Oh, how things have changed! While this no-fuss method may have worked for industrial giants of the past, up-and-coming businesses need to appeal to the modern generation. These kids have grown up with full-color printing, flashy TV advertisements, and (drumroll, please) the internet!
With the birth of the internet came the company website. With this amazing tool, businesses could create a whole aesthetic to represent their mark in the world. Designers were quick to discover that using a few, select colors throughout a site looked a whole lot better than multi-color mayhem. Thus, color palettes were born!
How Colors Work Together
There is an art to grouping and gathering colors! Shades and tones relate to each other, some complementing while others clash. Learning about these different color collaborations can help you start your journey to visual branding bliss.
- Monochromatic Schemes: One of the most popular palette types in recent years uses only one hue. By mixing varying levels of white or black to the color, a whole range of tones can be made that all work together beautifully. The look is clean and simple, most often paired with a bright, white background.
- Complementary Schemes: If you head straight across the color wheel from any shade or hue, you will come to the corresponding complementary color. When paired, these two tones make each other pop! Choose a high saturation for eye-popping contrast or muted shades for a more gentle look.
- Triadic Schemes: Taking it back to grade school days, you probably remember a thing or two about primary colors. What you may not realize is that these three colors are spaced perfectly around the color wheel. This makes them one of the many “triadic” color combinations. Leave it to math to give you a selection of totally different tones that look perfect together!
- Analogous Schemes: Sticking with the rule of threes, you can create a visual masterpiece by using any three colors that happen to be beside each other on the color wheel. By using colors that are close together, you get a similar “temperature” of hues. Warm palettes include reds, oranges and yellows while cool ones feature greens, blues or purples.
A Little Bit More About Color Palettes
We’ve already noted that primary colors fit into “triadic” color schemes, but there is something else that is special about this group of hues. Primary colors are the parents of all other colors. You can make all other colors using red, blue and/or yellow mixed together. The colors that are made by directly mixing two primary colors (think blue + red, yellow + blue) are called secondary colors. These include green, purple and orange. Finally, hues that come from mixing secondary colors together are called tertiary colors.
You can make a punchy color palette by using only primary, secondary or tertiary colors together, so keep that in mind!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, using a monochromatic scheme of just black and white (and the shades of grey in between) can get you a bold, sophisticated look for your brand.
What This Means For You
If you are into the traditional methods of design, you’re going to want to give a lot of thought to what your brand stands for. Are you starting up a law firm? By design standards, you may want to steer away from bright oranges, yellows and greens. Is your brand involved in the environment? If yes, red may not be a good choice for your main color palette. Are you starting to understand the process? Good, because now we are going to switch it up on you.
Throwing Out The Rule Book
In the early days of color advertising, basic color psychology was enough to push a company forward. But the reality is, after over 50 years of color printing being available to businesses and advertisers, the tried-and-true ways just might not cut it anymore.
If you want to get noticed in a world where that morning your average consumer has already browsed through hundreds of vibrant Instagram posts, you’re going to have to switch it up! Look at recent music videos or celebrity photoshoots. Unexpected color combos are trending, with shocking or even clashing colors being used to catch the public’s eye. And it’s working!
So with that being said, it’s time for up-and-comers to think outside the box when it comes to building their brand with color.
Let An Image Be Your Guide
While the surplus of beautiful pictures available on the internet may mean you have to work a little harder to stand out, you can also use these tools to your advantage. There are literally millions of fresh, ready-made ideas at your disposal! You just have to learn how to tap into them.
Below we’ve compiled a list to help kick-start your creative juices and get your palette started! Feel free to use a combination of these methods to finesse your look.
This is an awesome first step, as it can help you discover what colors you are drawn to. With your company goals in mind, compile a Pinterest board full of images that you feel represent your brand. Look it over. Are you starting to notice any themes? Build on these and highlight recurring colors in your Pins!
Build From A Photo
During your searches, have you come across any particular image that really stood out to you? Open up that pic in Photoshop! Using your eyedropper tool, select different areas of the photo. Note each color that you find, and try to hit varying lights, darks and neutrals. Using your brush tool, make blocks of each of the colors you have found. This will give you a broad palette to choose from.
Test It Out
Even if you don’t have an actual logo yet, use the colors you have found to build a mock page or add. This is also a great way to try out any fonts that you’re thinking about using. What are your impressions when you see the color combinations? Try switching up the main colors to come up with the right feel.
So you’ve come up with something you like, but what do the masses think? Even if you are really feeling your creation, success depends on how others perceive you. Join a design community where you can share your mock-ups to the world! It might be hard, but try to keep your emotions out of it. There will no doubt be some harsh critics of your work. But if you can take the feedback and use it to your advantage – you come out ahead!
Don’t be afraid to start over! If you just aren’t happy with what you’re working with, go back to Step 1 and head in a different visual direction. There is no sense working with a palette that you really don’t love.
Study The Pros
While you should stay true to your brand and your vision, remember, the goal is to appeal to the public! Think of the brands you look up to. What are they doing to stay valid? Do they take visual risks? What is the overall feel that they accomplish? Without being a copycat, you can learn a lot from companies that you admire.
It can also be a good idea to keep an eye on trending hashtags related to your services. This way you can see what is raking in the most likes. It is a free way to conduct your own little market analysis! What makes the public go crazy? Aesthetics are a big deal to the youngest generation of consumers, so listen to what they are in to!
At the End of the Day…
Both traditional and modern methods of building your brand’s colors can lead to success. What both methods share is that they require thought, time and creativity to be properly executed. But not all of us have access to a professional designer; they don’t come cheap! So what does a small business do to get that top-dollar look?
Where We Come In
At DesignBold, we know that building a palette can be overwhelming! That is why we have developed tools and templates to keep you organized and make your life easier!
Select from an endless number of colors (all RGB based) until you’ve compiled your favourites. Not only do you get to see the colors themselves, but as you are selecting, they are used in an eye-catching pattern. This helps you to get an idea of this color’s potential when used in a design.
We also have a large selection of ready-to-use palettes that have been created by our professional design team. These are free for all users.
Make Your Brand a Reality
From there, the process gets even better! With DesignBold’s premium subscription, you can customize your palette and apply it to over 4500 templates (not to mention up to 20 stock photos per month at no extra cost to you). Get the look you want on post-worthy infographics, banners, Facebook ads and more! You don’t have to be a Photoshop pro to operate the software. Drag-and-drop composition lets you put images exactly where you want them.
Your color palette can also be easily applied to all of your lettering needs. Make your text pop with a DesignBold palette! And don’t worry, whatever your design style is – we’ve got you covered with over 50 different categories to choose from.
Keeping Things Sharp
Rest assured that your colors will be seen in all of their glory. All projects are available as a high-resolution download. Quality matters in a world of smartphones and hi-def screens! And don’t worry, we are totally compatible with WordPress and other blogging platforms.
The Best Part:
DesignBold gets your beautiful palette into the world! What makes us different from other graphics-providers is that we take things one step further.
We know how hard it is to get yourself seen in a world full of startups. That is why we let our users interact with each other. This means that you will have access to real designers during your brand-building process. What better way to get feedback than to ask the professionals themselves?
And once you’re ready to launch your brand, we’ll help you find your market! Potential clients can access your company VIA our platform. Plus, after you have created all of these beautiful graphics, we are pretty sure you are going to want to show them off!
Why Choose Us
We are committed to helping our customers from the very beginning to the very end of the process. But all of the best brands start with a handful of colors on a screen, which is why we spend so much time assisting our users with their palettes.
Turn your vision into a reality with our award-winning online graphic design platform. You can try creating a design without even registering for an account. See all of the inspiring works other artists have created on the DesignBold stream page.
Make your brand a success, with our preconfigured logo templates to save you valuable time! Visit our site or download the app today and see what we can do for you. We know you won’t be disappointed!