A guide to creating a beautiful color palette for your brand.
Selecting a color palette for your brand should be insanely fun considering the millions of color options in the world; however, many entrepreneurs find it challenging because, well, there are too many options!
Which colors should I choose?
Do these colors even match?
How many colors should be in a "color palette"?
How do I make my palette unique and memorable?
Have you asked yourself one or all of the above questions? If you're not working with a designer or marketing agency, don't worry as you can do this on your own with my three tips below.
Hues, Tones, Tints, and Shades
If you're a graphic or interior designer or artist, you already know the difference between hues, tones, tints, and shades, but most of us are either confused or clueless when it comes to these terms.
Hues, tones, tints, and shades should play a role in which color pairings and combos you select for your palette. For more information, check out this article which makes it less confusing!
>> People make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone (Source)
What a powerful statistic, right?
Brand architects have been utilizing color psychology for ages, and it's such a powerful tool that most of us aren't even aware of its effects on our mood, emotions, and buying behaviors. The lesson here is to not pick a color just because you "like it." I'm not a graphic designer by trade like the awesome designers on the Halcon team, but my basic understanding of color psychology gives me the tools to identify colors that are on-brand for my clients.
Check out this article on color psychology for more information on common color associations.
Remember, your color palette should reflect your business, but ultimately, it's all about which colors will attract your ideal audience, so think of them first!
After you learn about basic color terminology and color psychology, it's time to dive in and select a color palette for your brand.
Pretend you just purchased a brand new, stunning house that you need to paint and decorate. This process should be exciting and enjoyable! My three tips below will give you guidance and structure making the task less daunting and way more fun!
Tip One: Look Around & Get Some Inspo
I love flipping through interior design and fashion magazines or scroll through Pinterest for design and color inspiration. Magazines and Pinterest are great sources of inspiration for color pairings and you can get an idea of the ideal person(s) who would live in the featured space or wear the outfit. Is this person your ideal client? If so, explore these color options. Remember, this is just a starting point to get your creative juices flowing!
Heads up! You also don't need to find any inspiration from magazines at all! You may already have an idea of the colors you want to select. I recommend creating a secret board on Pinterest and collecting images that feature your chosen colors or encompass the vibe you're going for with your brand.
For example, if I own a dog walking company, I might gravitate towards the colors pink and yellow, but I want a more modern feel. I typed in some keywords on Pinterest and came up with the below results.
From these results, you can get an idea of additional colors that pair well with pink and yellow. Find the common thread and select 4-6 colors for your color palette. Grab the appropriate hex codes through Adobe Color CC or upload the image on a color code extractor website.
Tip Two: Select Your Color Combos
Review your 4 - 6 colors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Is your palette too monochromatic?
Monochromatic color palettes include many tints and shades of the same color. Going the monochromatic route might make your palette lack contrast. Try adding some more BAM! and WOO! to your palette by selecting another color from the color wheel. If your vibe is a more monochromatic look, just make sure you use a good mix of light and dark tones to spice it up a bit.
Do you have a mix of light, medium, and dark tones?
If not, replace one of your existing colors with a darker or lighter color depending on how your palette is leaning. It is important to add some contrast to your palette and incorporating an array of dark and light colors can 100% accomplish this.
Some Key Things To Keep In Mind:
I talked about monochromatic palettes above, but there are also analogous and complementary palettes as well.
Analogous color palettes involve colors that are next to each other on the color wheel and these palettes usually include all cool or warm colors.
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, so complementary palettes often include both warm and cool colors.
Tip Three: Select Primary and Secondary Colors
Now, select a set of dominant colors and a set of secondary colors.
You don't want your website, flyers, business cards, logo, etc. to look like the inside of a Skittles bag, so select a set of colors that will be your go-to a majority of the time, and a set that will serve as your accent colors.
Before You Go
Remember, you don't have to use every color and there really isn't a magic number. Just make sure you keep it consistent on all your platforms and follow the tips above.
Enjoy the process!
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