A businesses colour palette is one of the most important elements to take into consideration when building a brand, for one reason. Colour has a psychological impact.
Trying to create a colour palette for your business can be a stressful process. While it might seem easiest to pick your favourite colours and be done with it, a lot more work has to be done to ensure a steady foundation for your brand in the future.
Know Your Demographic
Utilising certain colours allows you accurately portray and control a specific tone and feeling of your brand to your targeted demographic. Knowing your demographic is a crucial step in choosing a colour palette for your business as different age groups, genders, etc will react in different ways to different colours and evoke individual responses.
Using this information, you should research what attracts your demographic best. Find out what your competitors are using, if there is a theme run with that – or even try something different and do the opposite. Something like that is sure to make you stand out from the crowd.
The human mind works wonders at all times, which is why it is helpful to know the sort of responses it will evoke when seeing specific colours. Colours have a general mood and tone that the brain associates with meaning on a conscious and sub-conscious level.
Check out some of the psychology of colours below to enhance your knowledge and aid you in the colour picking process.
Pink – Seen as a gender defining colour, it represents a feeling of femininity and flirtation. Because of the female connotations it is often avoided if the product or brand is not aimed specifically at women.
Red – Often associated with emergency, danger, passion and romance. It can create a sense of urgency depending on its shade. Many fast-food and drinks chains use red within their brand to heighten that feeling of a quick meal or drink.
Orange – Creates a feeling of warmth, friendliness and positivity. It also has links to confidence – but its high visibility means it can be used for direction or order.
Yellow – Again linked to a feeling of warmth, happiness and sunshine. Also has a connotation of youth. But be yellow can also be used within warning signs and as a colour of alertness.
Green – Evokes nature, wealth, affluence, greed and jealousy. Depending on what shade of green is used it can alter its perception dramatically. Particularly good for relaxation or wanting a clear message of nature running through your brand.
Blue – Often associated with strength, dependence, trust and professionalism. Although this is seen as another gender defining colour, it generally isn’t avoided due to this. Many social networks use blue to represents some of the connotations it carries – blue also happens to be the world’s favourite colour.
Purple – Creates a feeling of royalty, status, dignity and wisdom. Also has links to relaxation and maturity.
Black – Using black cleverly ensures that it presents a feeling of sophistication and professionalism that it offers. Used wrong and your brand can end up dark, heavy and moody. Unless of course that’s what you’re going for!
White – Purity, cleanliness and sleek are words that spring to mind for white. Utilising this correctly can make your brand professional and modern but fun and welcoming when paired with a bright accent colour.
Of course there are more colours, shades and tones than this list could hold. And don’t live by these guidelines, they are just that. If you have products targeted at males and want to use pink to convey your brand, go for it. It is your brand and you have to be passionate about what you want to say.
Briefly touched on in the last section, one of my favourite techniques when creating a colour palette is to have a simple muted colour scheme, such as black and white, and accentuate this with a bright pop such as red or yellow. It means that you can present a professional, sleek and modern brand but still keep that element of colour and meaning through the accent colour.
There is a rule within design of 60-30-10. This means you use one colour for 60% of your design, another for 30% and a final for 10%. Personally, I would use 60% white, 30% an accent colour and 10% black or dark grey. But you can mix it up and use any combination of colours that suits you and your brand message.
Don't Rely on Colour Trends
As with everything in design, try not to rely on colours that are in trend right now. Otherwise come next year, you’ll need to redesign your website and logo to match this year’s popular colour. Completely counterproductive and easily alienates your audience.
See Also: So, What is Pantone?
When choosing a colour palette make sure that you use colours you want to be attributed to your business for a long time. Doing this builds a solid foundation for your brand and allows your audience to familiarise themselves with you and your message.
Stay True to You
Finally, this is your business and your brand. Make sure that the colours you pick have a balance between head and heart. Try not to be too influenced by those around you into picking colours that they think will work best for you. Nobody knows your business like you do, so choose what you want. At the end of the day – they won’t be picking up the pieces if it all goes wrong.