Written by Sonya Harrison
Art Director

Choosing Brand Colors: Getting Started

Choosing brand colors plays a big, big role in how a brand is perceived. It helps make your brand memorable and recognizable, has the potential to attract the right kind of customers and clients, and has the power to evoke certain feelings associated with your brand.

At Nice Branding Agency, we understand that choosing a color palette for your brand is no easy feat.

During the color selection process, you’re likely to come across questions such as these: How many colors should my brand have? How should those colors work together? How do I incorporate my colors into my branding and marketing materials?

More importantly, there is a whole science to color psychology that can’t be ignored, and it entails more than just what meets the eye.

It’s tricky, tricky, tricky.

We recommend that you leave this stuff up to the branding experts, so give us a ring-a-ling at Nice Branding Agency and we will get you going the right way around the color wheel.

If you’re feeling ambitious and you’d rather give it a go yourself, you can start by executing these three steps.

Choosing Brand Colors Step 1: Do Your Color Research

Color is a powerful and compelling communication tool often used to incite action, impact mood, and reach for emotions. Color is what gets your audience to see what you want them to see, feel what you want them to feel, and do what you want them to do. Seems like a lot of “artist” talk, but all paint brushes aside, there’s something to it.

Head over to our blog on color psychology before choosing brand colors for your business to understand the meaning behind the colors.

Research has confirmed that 60% of people will decide whether or not they’re attracted to a message or a brand based on color alone. That’s more than half. Better get on the color train — stat.

How you use color also affects the visibility of your brand and reinforces brand recognition by up to 80%, meaning that color does indeed play a huge role in the success of your business.

So, if you want to choose brand colors that appeal to your ideal audience and successfully represent your brand, you should have have a basic understanding of color psychology.

You’ve got to ask yourself the hard question: What are your colors really saying? There’s an underlying message that your color combo is sending out into the world, which isn’t always super-straightforward. Honestly, we really wish these colors would just quit being so passive aggressive!

Choosing Brand Colors Step 2: Make It A Combo

The combination of the colors you pick is also important to consider. They’ve got to play nice together and provide some sort of harmony. The combination you choose for your brand colors will help reinforce your brand personality, so in addition to the selection of individual colors, be sure to take the combination into account when choosing brand colors for your business.

Here are some technical terms on colors that you should familiarize yourself with before choosing your brand colors.

Monochromatic Color Palettes: Tints and shades of one color; they tend to be rather boring due to lack of contrast but are sometimes necessary for your message.

Monochromatic Colors

Analogous Color Palettes: These guys sit next to each other on the color wheel.

Analogous Colors

Complementary Colors: These are usually opposites on the color wheel.

Complimentary Colors

Choosing Brand Colors Step 3: Choose & Organize Your Colors

Overall Brand Colors

Now that you have a bit of background on color selection, it’s time to get down to it. Throw some confetti and choose those colors!

We suggest picking two to six colors for your brand. It’s important to have both lighter tones and darker tones to provide variety when creating your branding and marketing materials. All light colors will not allow for good visibility and all dark colors could be overwhelming to the viewer.

Be sure to consider how you will use these colors in your marketing materials and other business collateral.

Ideally, you want to identify one to three main brand colors and one to two supporting brand colors. Then consider adding one or two neutral colors, like gray or black, that will typically be used for body copy and other underlying elements.

Main Brand Colors

Main Brand Colors

Supporting Brand Colors

Supporting Brand Colors

Neutral Brand Colors

Neutral Brand Colors

Not only is it crucial that you get your brand colors right, but it’s also uber important to have the color codes for CMYK, RGB, and Web to keep your brand consistent throughout the different advertising avenues and outlets.

No clue as to what color codes are? Head over to our blog breaking down color codes. It’s a quick and easy read. It’s guaranteed to make you smarter.

Whether you’re just starting out creating a logo and brand guidelines, or you’re itching for a logo and brand refresh, choosing brand colors is no joke. Need help? Contact the crew at Nice Branding Agency — colors are kind of our thing!

 


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