One of the most fun parts of building your brand’s visual identity is to select the colors of your brand and logo. It’s just one or two colors and might seem a simple task. But it’s trickier than you might think. Choose the right colors (think Apple, FedEx, and American Express for companies known for their color schemes) and you’ll increase people’s recognition of your brand exponentially. Pick the wrong colors, and you might send a message that completely contradicts the brand message you’ve been trying to send.
Curious to know how?
Here are some basic principles of choosing colors for your brand.
#1 – Choose one dominant color and one accent color
Think of the iconic brands whose logos have endured the test of time. Chances are their logos have one primary color and one accent color. At most they likely only have three colors total. There are some practical considerations in limiting the number of colors you use in your logo. For instance, it’s much less expensive. However a deeper reason to limit the number of colors you use for your brand’s logo is to make sure the message delivered by your logo and its colors is focused and on target.
#2 – Some colors have natural connotations to be aware of
Red is the color of passion, whether it’s love or anger. Red gets your blood pumping and your heart racing – both physiological reactions that are rooted in the psychological and emotional connections to this color.
Green on the other hand suggests fertility, abundance, and wealth. Green is found throughout the natural world. It has connections to health and wellness, as well as to the financial world (think abundance), and the environmental awareness movement.
Blue is a color of loyalty, stability, and endurance. When we want to describe someone who stays fireside what do we say? We call them a “true blue” friend. For many years, blue was used within the insurance and financial industries as a result of this association. Think for a minute of the many insurance companies and banks that you know who primarily use the color blue in their logo.
#3 – Some colors have cultural connotations to be aware of
In an increasingly multicultural world, it’s important to be aware that certain colors mean different things in different cultures. Depending on who you’re marketing to, it may be useful to explore the meaning of your brand’s colors from a variety of cross-cultural perspectives to make sure that the message you’re sending is the message you intend to send.
#4 – If you’re looking at two colors together, make sure they don’t communicate a message bigger than the sum of their parts.
Here’s what I mean about this. The color red as mentioned earlier suggests passion and energy. The color green suggests vibrance, life, fertility and abundance. Now these are concepts that would work well together. However, if you put red and green together, you’re very likely to have someone thinking either of the Christmas holidays or the flags of either Italy or Mexico.
#5 – Don’t forget to check your competitors’ logo and color scheme.
Unless you want to look like a knockoff of your competition, it’s important to make sure that you’re not mimicking the overall look or color scheme of your competitors’ logos. This is easy to mess if you don’t take a second to compoare your proposed logo and color scheme with others.
This is only scratching the surface – there are a ton of issues to be aware of when it comes to choosing a color scheme for your brand.
What are your favorite tips having to do with choosing a color palate for your brand? Leave a comment below!