The right brand colors catch attention and inspire an emotional response from your customers, employees, and rivals. Your brand color palette is a crucial element for your business branding. The right choice ties your website, social media avatars, logo, and print collateral together.

How to Choose the Right Brand Colors for Your Product or Service

What Colors Do You Love?

Sometimes the first step is to consider which colors you love. What do those colors mean to you? Do they fit your desired brand image?  The right brand colors reflect your business culture and persona.

Keep in mind, that color preference is fairly individual and influenced by factors including personal experiences and culture. Consumers form an opinion about your brand within 90 seconds, according to a classic study titled Impact of Color in Marketing. Much of that snap judgment is based on colors.

Spend some time looking at your favorite brand's use of color. Also look at famous art prints. Color Lisa is a free website that offers color palette inspiration based on famous works of art. For example, a fan of Vincent Van Gogh's “The Starry Night” can view a palette based on colors featured in this painting including each color's HEX code. Use this resource to let master artists help you discover the right brand colors that also happen to look great together.

Learn Color Theory Basics

How do you create your brand palette? The starting point may involve reaching for a color wheel. Learn the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. No one will quiz you, but knowing the basics makes it easier to evaluate what you like and to talk with designers.

Yes, a color wheel offers fewer alternatives than your computer monitor, but it is a great starting point. Consider the variations of color seen on the wheel:

  • Hue – refers to the color i.e. red
  • Tint – refers to the hue plus white. For example, rose may be a tint of red.
  • Shade – refers to the hue plus black. For example, a deep, dark blood red may be a shade of red.
  • Tone – refers to the hue combined with white and black. This allows for more nuanced variations of red, rose, pink.

These color classes are rooted in the world of painting and design. Colors on an illuminated screen are a little different, but the general categories help you choose attractive and on-brand color combinations.

Also, consider that context matters, the way you combine colors affects the appearance and intensity of each individual color. If you need additional help with color theoryHubSpot offers a primer.

Consider Color Psychology

Color psychology explores how people perceive color, according to Platt College. Color may influence behaviors or emotions. You want to choose colors that reflect how you want your customers to feel about your brand.

Colors are primarily categorized as warm, cool, or sometimes neutral. Warm colors tend to create a positive, passionate, enthusiastic vibe. Cool colors tend to convey a professional, relaxed, or calming feeling. The right color scheme for your brand depends on the mood that suits your business' qualities. For example, a recycling center may choose a cool, lush green to suggest that their service benefits the environment. The right brand colors may inspire trust, enthusiasm, or any other emotion that fits the service or product you offer.

Consider Practical Considerations Like Legibility

Once you find a combination of colors that you enjoy, consider the practical elements. A few questions to ask yourself include the following:

  • How will I promote my business? Online or through print media? If you are using print and digital promotional methods, choose a color palette that works well either way.
  • Is your logo or text legible? High contrast combinations like black and white are easiest to read. Other color combinations also work well, but be aware of contrast and legibility.
  • Be careful not to mimic a rival's color palette. It will be easier to differentiate your business if your branding stands out. Your logo represents your brand in all online and print marketing assets.
  • Ask colleagues, friends, and family for their opinions.

Choosing the right color palette sets the emotional and aesthetic tone for your business branding. Deciding on core color scheme makes it easy to coordinate your logo, header graphics, web design and other branding assets.

Color is just one element of marketing, contact us today so we can help with your digital marketing needs.