Colour theory for your brand

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Picking a colour scheme for your brand can either happen naturally or be a process where the possibilities seem endless.

It’s no surprise if you fall into the latter group as there’s so much psychology around colour that makes selecting colour scheme difficult.

Just think of how much colour influences your day. Colours affects your perception of food and how it tastes. We’re typically branded in pink or blue from birth. Different cultures apply different meanings to colours - red is danger, death, love and romance.

Like everything, graphic design has its own trend, and I see a lot of brands ending up with similar looking logos. These logos I’m thinking of are beautiful and soft but they will date very easily and I imagine they would not look impactful when printed. So avoid jumping on the bandwagon with a trend, as tempting as it may be.

Where to begin?

For starters, you should have an idea of the ‘persona’ you’re wanting to target for your business. Do some research into what will resonate with them. Is your brand a bit risky and can lean towards something more ‘out there’ - hot pink for a men’s brand, for example.

For your logo, you can fundamentally select as many colours as you want; there are no rules. But pick at least one or two main colours that will be your brand identity. 

Select another two or so complimentary (or clashing!) colours that will support your brand’s colours in places such as copy and website buttons. If you’re setting up an eCommerce website, it can be worthwhile researching what colour buttons resonate with your niche to create sales conversions. Orange buttons are thought to be good for fashion eCommerce. There’s a lot of studies online that you can read through on the topic.

If your brand will be doing a lot of printing, you may want to pick Pantone colours over CMYK colours. Soft pastels can be challenging to print. What looks good on screen may not translate well on paper, especially if you’re going to be printing on your home computer.

Researching colour forecasts and Pantone’s colours of the year or season can also help you avoid anything that is too bang-on trend.

Before finalising your colours

Ask yourself:

  1. What am I trying to say with these colours and will they resonate with my target audience?

  2. Is this colour on trend now and will it seem dated in a few years?

  3. Is it a colour that will translate from screen to print well if I need it to?

Reach out to me if you need help strategising your colours for your brand.