– So, what do we mean by Brand Colors?
– Establishing your brand identity
– Exploring the meanings of different colors
– Draw inspiration – the outside approach
– Echo your brand value and personality
– Choose a color palette that suits your brand
– Take the Colorblast Branding Quiz & Consultation to determine your brand colors
01So, what do we mean by Brand Colors?
One of the most crucial parts of branding besides values, personality, and tone are the brand colors that make your brand vision come alive. The color palette plays a vital role across your multiple marketing touchpoints – your logo, website, collaterals, email, communication, store design, and more. Thus, deciding on your brand colors and their consistent usage across platforms presents a cohesive, unified, and synergized look lending recognition and recall for your brand.
Now, chances are you may have decided to start your side hustle or kick the 9-5 to create your own business, or are planning the launch of a new product by your company.
As per research, 85% of consumers think colors to be their biggest motivators while choosing a product or considering it for purchase. Therefore, here is a short but comprehensive guide to help you navigate brand colors with an easy step-by-step process.
02Establishing your Brand Identity
Many times, brand colors seem to be the first elements people ponder about. Contrary to it, your brand colors need to be based upon your brand identity and not vice versa. Your chosen brand color palette should align with your brand personality, core brand values, and brand messaging. Your color palette will be one of the most crucial decisions you make regarding your brand. Hence, the first step should be to define your brand identity.
Draw up your brand’s personality. Imagine if your brand were to be a person what adjectives would you use to describe the personality? Also, list out some of your key competitor brands and see how you can differentiate your brand.
03Exploring meanings of different colours
Look out for colors that echo your values and personality. Refer to color psychology here to understand the meanings of multiple colors. But, remember this is only a direction. Besides choosing the main colors, you’ll need to pick your secondary and accent colors too.
Think of some of the most popular banks in America – Citibank, Barclays, and Bank of America. Most of them use blue as one of their dominant brand colors. Choosing blue for these companies stems from the feeling of trust that they want their consumers to perceive with their brand names. This in no way means all banks only use blue. Now imagine using blue with the accent color gold or black with gold or blue with yellow. The whole perception and meaning will now imply royalty, luxury, and playfulness. But there are definitely emerging trends worth knowing about in various industries.
04Draw inspiration - the outside in approach
The next important step is creating or building a mood board and looking around for inspiration. Study your audience, the desires, motives, and your competition too. Think of your values, and personality and start making your color choices. A lot of online color palette generators also can help get you started. Remember, you’ll need to pick not only one but two to three colors, striking or subtle pairings that differentiate you from your competition.
You can check out our blog on 20 excellent brand colors to take inspiration from, get inspired, and create some beautiful color palettes for your brand.
05Echo your brand value and personality
If you were to ask us the most critical attribute in choosing brand colors, this would be it. Your values and personality do the job for you. Pair it with industry insights, competition analysis, and voila! You should be able to decide your brand color. Consider this example. One of our clients, a gold refinery with HNIs as customers, engaged us for a brand identity development project. Considering their personality, values, and the industry they represent, we decided on their brand colors ‘Black, gold, brown, and white.
06Choose a color palette that suits your brand
Your color palette should have one core color, i.e. the primary brand color.
Imagine Coca-Cola’s red, or Tiffany’s blue. This color needs to represent and echo your business. Go back to the question of how you want your brand to make people feel. Do you want to evoke a warm fuzzy feeling or an adventurous feeling?
Play around with different shades, and tints for the color you want to settle with, and explore the range and variations to decide on the color.
Next, choose two to three colors to complement your primary color choice. This color would help bring out your primary color via accents, fonts, designs, and more ways of representation. There are various types of color schemes that you may want to consider at this stage but do not get overwhelmed too.
Analogous colors: Analogous color schemes consider the colors adjacent to your color on the color wheel. Considering your primary color to be bright red, think of your secondary color as orange, yellow, etc. which belong to the same color family.
Contrasting colors: These colors contrast each other on the color wheel (right across each other). These colors help the brand colors come alive, making it appear fun and playful.
Monochromatic colors: As the name suggests, these are various shades of your primary color. For instance, if your primary color is pink, your secondary colors could be light pink, Fuschia, hot pink, etc. These colors bring out your primary color and strengthen it.
Besides the primary and secondary colors, always choose a few neutrals. Neutrals form the basis of your text, background, etc in most cases. They will come upon each communication of yours. Most brands usually opt for black, white, or gray neutrals depending upon the primary color.
Do not forget to test your chosen colors in different combinations. With plenty of available online resources, you can test out the legibility, color contrasts for fonts, etc. Check out Color Contrast Analyser and Contrast Checker.
07Consultation to determine your brand colors
You can also consult and seek professional help from branding consultancies and agency experts in developing brand identities. At Colorblast Films, one of Los Angeles’s branding studios, we take pride in developing stark branding identities that are strongly aligned with businesses’ core products and services. Check out some of our brand identity projects here. You may check out our brand guidelines to understand why we chose Colorblast’s brand colors.
What colors have you chosen or intend to choose for your brand? Would love to hear your thoughts.