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How To Choose Your Brand Colours

How To Choose Your Brand Colours

Read Time: 3 Minutes

instantprint

15 Jan 2018

Your brand colours are what people will recognise. It’s not the logo, it’s the combination of colours that make a brand distinctive. That’s why it’s so important to work on your brand colours when you create your startup.

We’ve put together some top tips to help you create your brand palette without stressing out.

 

1. Understand What Colours Mean

 

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Image: www.luxdeco.com

 

You’ll need to pick a main colour that reflects your brand vision and style. Every colour has different psychological associations, so it’s important to make sure your colours match what your company does.

For example, studies have shown that red stimulates appetite. That’s why so many fast food restaurants use it! Yellow can be seen as a warning sign, but the right shade can be sunny and happy. Blue is seen as a ‘corporate’ colour to be taken seriously, as it seems to hold more authority in the customer’s mind.

Do your research on the psychology of colour to make sure you’re not picking brand colours that contradict your company ethos or vision. This suggests that certain colours make consumers feel certain ways – so you can target your audience through even the smallest details. For example, warm colours like red, yellow and orange are great for restaurants, whereas blues are perfect for corporate businesses.

Colour Theory

Another way of getting to grips with colour is to look at colour theory. This theory suggests that colours opposite each other on the colour wheel go well together. Here’s a little more about it.

 

2. Keep Colours to a Minimum

 

It’s tempting to have every colour under the sun, but hold up! A few colours will keep the strength of your brand, but too many will dilute it.

Think about famous logos such as McDonald’s, Amazon, and Facebook. Their colour palette is very minimal, and you can tell at a glance that something is from their brand (even without the logo included).

Pick your main colour, and then find up to two complemintary colours to go with it. There are plenty of online tools available that’ll help you to choose shades and tones that act as a highlight to your main colour. If you’re using our free design online tool, here are a few colour palette examples to inspire you.

  

3. Check That Your Competitors Don’t Have Similar Colours

 

When you’ve found a combination that you love and that you feel will reflect your brand identity well, do some more research. Make sure that your colours and your logo isn’t too similar to a competitor. Not only could this land you in hot water in terms of copyright, but your customers might confuse the two businesses (which is never good!).

That isn’t to say that you can’t have the same main or highlight colour. Look at Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter: they’re all blue! However, the logos are different enough to create a clear distinction between the companies. They use different shades of blue, too.

It’s all about the combination of your main colour, accent colours, and your logo design. If it’s different enough from your competitors that it is clearly a separate company, you’ll be fine.

 

4. Include A ‘Call To Action’ Colour

 

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 Image: convertkit.com

 

Aside from your main colour and two accent colours, reserve an additional colour from your brand’s colour palette for anything that requires action. Whether that’s a button on your website to download something, or on an email to show where customers need to click to claim an offer.

The trick to your call to action colour is to only use it when the customer must do something. For example, outline an online form with a border in your call to action colour, to demonstrate that you need information from a customer before they can proceed.

Find your call to action colour by checking a colour wheel. Look at your main brand colour, and pick something that sits on the opposite side of the colour wheel. This will give you a complimentary yet clearly different shade that’ll stick out everywhere you put it.

Choosing your brand colour scheme sounds like a simple task, but it could take a long time! The research involved could take a while, but it’ll make sure your startup has a professional brand look from the first day of launch.

 

Jennie Talbot

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jennie, and I’m the Creative Lead at instantprint. I love using my design knowledge to inspire small businesses to think outside the box when designing their print.