How To Choose Your Brand Colours

April 26, 2024
5 min read

One of the key elements in building a brand with authenticity is choosing the right colours. Brand colours play a significant role in shaping how people perceive and connect with your business. Studies have shown that up to 80% of snap judgments about products are based on colour alone.

Branding Colour Palette

When choosing colours for your brand, it's essential to consider the impact they have on your customers. 

Different colours evoke specific emotions and associations, and understanding the psychology of colour can help you strategically select the right colours for your brand. 

The Importance of Brand Colours

Brand colours go beyond aesthetics; they are a powerful tool for conveying your brand's identity and values. Consistent use of brand colours helps establish brand recognition and identity in a crowded market. 

Think of Coca-Cola and its immediate association with its signature red and white colours. These colours have become synonymous with the brand and are instantly recognisable worldwide.

Different colours have different meanings and can influence how consumers perceive your brand. For instance, green can symbolise growth and nature, while red can evoke excitement and urgency. 

Consistency in using brand colours across different touchpoints is crucial for increasing brand recognition. 

When customers repeatedly see your brand colours in various contexts, their brains associate those colours with your brand, leading to increased recognition and recall.

How to Choose Brand Colours Strategically

Choosing brand colours requires careful consideration and a thorough understanding of your brand's identity and target audience. Here are some steps to help you choose brand colours strategically:

Step 1: Define Your Brand Identity

Before selecting colours, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your brand's identity. Think about your brand's personality traits, values, and target market. What emotions and associations do you want to evoke in your audience? This will set the foundation for choosing colours that align with your brand's identity.

Step 2: Research Color Meanings and Associations

Each colour has its meanings and associations, and understanding these can help you make informed choices. Research the psychology of colour and explore how various colours are perceived in different cultures and contexts. This knowledge will guide you in selecting colours that convey the desired message and resonate with your target audience.

Step 3: Create a Brand Colour Palette

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand's identity and the meanings behind different colours, it's time to create a brand colour palette. A brand colour palette typically consists of a primary colour, secondary colours, and accent colours. The primary colour is the dominant colour that represents your brand, while the secondary and accent colours complement and enhance the primary colour.

Aim for a cohesive and harmonious palette that reflects your brand's personality and values. Tools like Canvas Color Palette Generator can help you create a visually appealing and balanced colour palette.

Step 4: Test and Refine

Once you have a brand colour palette, it's important to test how the colours work in different contexts. Have you thought about how they appear in print, on digital platforms, and across various marketing formats and materials? Test their legibility and visibility, especially when used as text on different backgrounds.

Gather feedback from your target audience and stakeholders to see how the colours resonate with them. Make adjustments if necessary to ensure your brand colours effectively communicate your brand's identity.

Colour Psychology Tips

When choosing brand colours, think about the following colour psychology tips:

Red: Passion, Excitement, Urgency

Red is a powerful colour that signifies importance and commands attention. It evokes feelings of passion, excitement, and urgency. Brands like Coca-Cola and Netflix use red to create a sense of energy and impulse.

Blue: Trust, Security, Calm

Blue is often associated with trust, security, and reliability. It has a calming effect and can make people feel safe and relaxed. Brands like Facebook and IBM use blue to convey a sense of trustworthiness and professionalism.

Green: Growth, Nature, Health

Green is commonly associated with growth, nature, and health. It has a connection to the environment and can make people feel optimistic and refreshed. Brands like Starbucks and Whole Foods use green to convey their commitment to sustainability and natural products.

Yellow: Happiness, Optimism, Attention-Grabbing

Yellow is a vibrant colour that symbolises happiness, optimism, and spontaneity. It can be attention-grabbing and associated with laughter and sunshine. Brands like McDonald's and IKEA use yellow to create a sense of playfulness and affordability.

Purple: Royalty, Creativity, Luxury

Purple is often associated with royalty, creativity, and luxury. It is a colour that evokes imagination and can make people feel creative. Brands like Cadbury and Hallmark use purple to convey a sense of elegance and sophistication.

Other Colours

Other colours like orange, pink, brown, and black also have their unique meanings and associations. Orange is associated with playfulness and vitality, pink represents femininity and romance, brown conveys stability and earthiness, and black signifies power and sophistication.

These associations can vary based on cultural, gender, and age differences. It's important to consider your target audience and their preferences when choosing brand colours.

Brand Colour Best Practices

When incorporating brand colours into your visual identity, it's important to follow these best practices:

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial in building a strong brand identity. Ensure that your brand colours are consistently used across all touchpoints, including your logo, website, marketing materials, packaging, and physical spaces. This consistency helps reinforce brand recognition and establish a cohesive brand image.

Accessibility and Legibility

Consider accessibility and legibility when using brand colours. Ensure that your colours have sufficient contrast to be easily readable, especially for text on different backgrounds. This is essential for ensuring inclusivity and making your brand accessible to everyone.

Flexibility for Different Platforms

Different platforms may have different colour limitations or requirements. When adapting your brand colours for different platforms, such as social media profiles or print materials, make sure they remain visually consistent and maintain their impact across various mediums.

Inspiration From Effective Brand Colour Palettes

Looking for inspiration? Here are some examples of effective brand colour palettes:

Luxury Brand Colour Palette

Luxury brands often use sophisticated and elegant colour palettes. A classic combination is black, gold, and white. This colour palette exudes a sense of luxury, timelessness, and sophistication. Brands like Chanel and Dior use this palette to create a premium and exclusive.

Vibrant and Playful Brand Colour Palette

Brands targeting a younger audience or aiming for a vibrant and playful image often use bold and bright colours. A vibrant colour palette may include combinations of bright blue, magenta, yellow, and green. Brands like Nickelodeon and Lego use this palette to create a fun and energetic brand image.

Minimalist and Clean Brand Color Palette

For brands that prioritise simplicity and minimalism, a clean colour palette can be effective. This may include shades of grey, white, and a single accent colour. Brands like Apple and Google use this palette to convey a sense of sophistication, simplicity, and modernity.

These are just examples, and it's important to choose colours that align with your brand's identity and resonate with your target audience.

Remember to be consistent, consider accessibility, and adapt your colours for different platforms. With the right brand colours, you can create a strong and memorable brand identity that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.

If you would like help defining your brand and colour palette, let's talk

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