How To Choose Brand Color Palette Guide

How To Choose Brand Color Palette and Increase Brand Recognition Graphic Design Guide

Color is a key part in Graphic Design and it’s a very important element for a brand’s identity as all the graphic elements related to your company need to have a cohesive color palette to associate with your brand. To make more emphasis on the importance of color for a brand different researches show that 85% of the consumer’s actions are motivated by color and 92% of them say that visual appearance is the most persuasive marketing element.

I already have made a post talking about color theory and some ideas for color palettes but knowing how important is color for a brand I decided to make this post focused on how to choose your brand colors correctly.

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Why Are Important Brand Colors?

Colors are powerful elements to transmit different emotions as every color have their own meaning and are associated with different feelings, unconsciously when we are looking to a certain image we create the first emotions by the prominent color before looking at the design itself, for example, it can be a red color and we can associate it with love or blue with trustworthiness.

Knowing how important are the first impressions specially when we are talking about marketing and branding when we have only some seconds to grab the possible customer attention is important to transmit the most information in less time, and we can do it using colors to convey messages and transmit unconsciously emotions to the viewer to create the initial impression of the possible customers and engage them.

And answering the question on why brand colors are important, the answer is simple, for a company it’s important to have a cohesive and clear brand and identity design project to transmit their message and values with graphic elements and their brand design, as their logo design transmits the company’s message and what they do, it’s also important to use the colors as a way of message to create cohesive branding and increase brand recognition.

Why Brand Colors Are Important In Graphic Design and Marketing Guide

Where You Will Use Your Brand Colors

As we already know through this post, colors evoke certain emotions that is why your brand colors have the ability to impact directly on your sales or brand performance. Your brand color combination will create your brand message and philosophy and the repetition of these elements can strengthen brand awareness and reinforce the brand message.

Once we already knew how brand colors work and the impact we will use the brand colors in the logo design, web design, storefront, in-store design, staff uniforms, advertisements, brand stationery and every graphic element related to your company, and the incorporation of your brand colors in all these elements will help to reinforce your brand message.

Where Use branding colors, Logo Design, Stationery, Packaging, Web Design Graphic Design Guide

How Customers Will Respond to Color

As mentioned previously on this post color are associated with different feelings as red is associated with danger or passion, at the same time that colors can be associated with real-life elements as green is associated with nature and blue with water, knowing how colors affect your perception and behaviour we can use it in our advantage to transmit brand identity and philosophy.

According to different studies, the 85% of the customer behaviour is directly related to product color so it’s important to choose you brand color palette right to encourage the client decision to buy your product through unconscious emotions generated by your brand color scheme.

How Customers Will React To Brand Colors with Color Psychology Increase Brand Recognition

Color Meaning in Graphic Design

As I mention through all the post colors have different emotions and now I will show you what feeling is associated with every color.

    • Red: The red meaning in graphic design is used as a warm color and tends to evoke passion, excitement and anger emotions and it’s more commonly used in graphic design to transmit importance and command attention.
    • Orange: Usually the orange color is a very vibrant and bright color that can transmit energetic feelings at the same time that orange color means playfulness, vitality and friendliness, but if we use more muted tones of this color can be used in graphic design to transmit a warm feeling and create  “cozy” effect.
    • Yellow: Yellow color in graphic design is considered as a warm color and one of the brightest and most energetic colors, that is why it’s commonly used in design projects to create a bright pop of energy and focus viewer’s attention due to the brightness. The feelings that evoke a yellow color in Graphic Design are happiness, youth, energy and optimism.
    • Green: Commonly the green color is associated with earth and nature, it’s a cool-toned color and usually has been used in graphic design to create an association with earth and evoke images of nature. The color psychology meaning of green is to evoke stability, prosperity, growth and nature connection and in some countries where the currency is green, it can be perceived as a symbol of abundance and wellness.
    • Blue: Blue meaning in graphic design strongly relies on the shade of blue we use, for example, light blues are often connected with calm and tranquillity at the same time that evoke trustworthiness to the viewer, bright blues are seeing as refreshing colors and very energetic and there have been used a very often fro technological brand that wants to transmit fresh ideas, and lastly dark blues are more stronger and reliable and there are used to express professionalism and security, that is why many banks use blue color as corporate brand colors.
    • Pink:  Pink Color in Graphic design can evoke feelings of youth and innocence and due to the bright anatomy of this color it’s very common to associate with modernity and some shades of pink can be associated with luxury. Commonly the bright pink is used for modern graphic design projects.
    • Purple: Purple color in graphic design is the combination of red and blue and takes some qualities from both colors, and usually it’s associated with creativity and can transmit imagination, that is why it’s has been used in modern graphic design projects to evoke creativity.Purple Color also can be related with luxury and wealth and light shades of it with spring and romance.
    • Brown: Brown color in graphic design has been used very often to represent designs that evoke earth and natural products or to give an old-fashioned and vintage look to the design, that is because brown color can evoke feelings of rugged, earth, vintage look or mood and can be perceived as an honest color.
    • White: White color in graphic design is the pure light and that is why is commonly related with pure feelings and can evoke cleanliness, virtue, health and simplicity and it’s used for minimalist graphic design projects and depending on the use of it you can relate white color with affordable or high-end products.
    • Gray: Gray is a neutral color and many times used in graphic design as background, due to this neutrality it can evoke feelings of neutrality and feelings of subdued, classic, serious, mysterious or mature.
    • Black: Black in graphic design is the absence of light and it has been used for many fashion and high-end brands due to the fact that this color can evoke feelings of sophistication and elegance, that makes this color the perfect choice to represent formality and luxury.
Color Meaning For Branding Colors in Graphic Design Color Theory Infographic

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Best Colors For Different Niches And Topics

On the previous point, I mentioned the different emotions colors can evoke according to color psychology, there are certain colors more suitable for different niches or topics due to the fact that these colors can evoke real-life elements and can be associated with them and the combination of brand colors can create a specific message.

    • Fashion and beauty: It’s very common to see fashion brands using black as the main color usually for their logo design to associate the brand with sophistication and glamour, but they tend to pair it with warm colors as red, orange and pink to add passion, confidence or excitement to their brand message.
The Best Brand Colors and Color Palette For Fashion and Beauty Brand Graphic Design Guide
    • Environment and Bio: For environment related companies and bio products want to transmit their connection with earth and nature that is why you can see very often bio products or environmental companies using green and brown colors as their brand colors to make this connection, and if the brand is related with water environment they can use blue to evoke that feeling.
The Best Brand Colors and Color Palette For Environment Bio and Eco Brand Graphic Design Guide
    • Technology: High-tech companies and brands focused on future want to transmit a modern feeling through their brand colors, that is why it’s very common to see these companies using blue as the main color to evoke a feeling of trust, intelligence and efficiency, and it’s usually paired with colors as orange to transmit friendly and optimistic look, purple to evoke quality and creativity and different bright colors to transmit the focus on future and evoke a modern feeling.
The Best Brand Colors and Color Palette For Technology Brand and Modern Company
    • Health and wellness: Health and wellness companies want to transmit clean and trustworthiness feelings and that is why most of these companies choose as brand colors white or blue. Depending on the different visions of the company the complementary colors can vary, as for example, more focused natural wellness company will choose as the complementary color green to connect the brand with it, it’s also very common to see orange as complementary to represent ideas of vitality and energy.
The Best Brand Colors and Color Palette For Health and Wellness Brand Graphic Design Guide
    • Food: It’s very common to see restaurants and food-related companies choosing warm colors as part of the brand color palette to draw attention and evoke appetite on the viewer, these colors can be red, orange and yellow. More bio or vegetarian restaurants opt for green color to connect their brand with nature and for sweets and deserts, you can see bright tones of blue and pink.
The Best Brand Colors and Color Palette For Food and Restaurant Brand Graphic Design Guide

Establish Your Brand Identity

Now that we already know the importance of brand colors, the meaning of different colors and what topics are best suited for some colors, it’s time to start creating our brand color palette, and the first step is to know what is our brand about, you need to establish your brand identity to later align these qualities with colors.

As previously talked colors are a way of transmitting messages, but to use them in that purpose we need to determine what message our brand wants to transmit, to do that we need to compose a list of adjectives that will describe your brand personality and values as we were talking about a person, once we have done this step it will be much easier to determine our brand colors.

Brand Identity and Voice to Choose Branding Colors to Increase Brand Awareness Design Guide

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Identify Your Brand Essence

This point is directly related with the previous one, the brand essence stands for what is your company about, brand goals the main idea of your brand and how you want your target audience feel when looking at your brand colors. To make it more clear, if your product is organic you would like to use brown color to associated this idea with your product, but at the same time you also want to highlight the idea that your product is very energetic and that is how you will feel by using it, so you will opt for a yellow color, that is brand essence.

To create a solid brand essence you need to ask and answer these three questions.

    • Brand Goals: What will the benefit for the customer by using your product? get happier, rich or be more healthy? How you want your brand is perceived?
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    • Target Audience: Who will be the main target of your product and how you want that they feel by using or look at your product, positive, confident or more intelligent?
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    • Personality Traits: Now we need to determine the personality of your brand and how it will interact with the viewer, is your brand fun, serious or inspirational?

Answering this question will make your brand essence more clear and the way your brand is perceived by your customers through brand colors will increase brand recognition and acceptance and the later association of your company with the color attributes.

How Brand Essence Can Help Increase Sales and Brand Recognition Through Branding Colors

Look For Color Palette Inspiration

The next step to set the brand colors for your company is research, now that we already know the meaning of the colors and what is the message our brand wants to transmit it’s important to find some color palette inspiration from different sources to know what color combination work well together and what your competitors are doing.

    • Competitors: The first step by looking for brand color schemes inspiration is to check what are doing the different companies from your niche and create a mood board with their brand colors and classified them by colors, this step is important to learn what is working well for them and how you can differentiate your brand from them using different brand colors related to your company.
    • Well-known Companies Color Palette: Take a look at big companies brand color system to get inspiration and learn how they connected they brand message and attributes that make them unique with their brand color palette.
Netflix Brand Color Idea For Graphic Design Inspiration How To Choose Brand Colors

How To Choose your Brand Color Formula

In this post, we already have seen the color theory, why brand colors are important and set up your brand identity now it’s time to create your company brand colors. There are many ways to pick your branding color scheme and all of them are valid, but it can be hard sometimes you can follow this Formula as guide to make it easier for you.

1. Pick Your Primary Color

The first step is to pick up the first color, the primary color, as the name says this will be the most prominent color from your branding and it needs to reflect the most important quality of your company, think about what is the quality that makes your brand unique and the most dominant personality trait and pair it with one color that evokes that feelings, you also can play with different shades and tints of it to “create” a signature color for your brand as YouTube Red color or Facebook blue.

2. Complementary Color

For a complementary color we will thing about one quality of your company that compliments the first one and makes your company more distinctive, for example if you have a clothing brand and you chose black as primary color to evoke sophistication but your clothes are organic made you can select green as complementary to reinforce that aspect of your brand.

According to color theory, there are three different ways you can choose a complementary color that visually will work with the primary one, and if you want to read more about color theory you can check this post!

    • Analogous color scheme: Analogous colors are close together in the color wheel and for example if you choose a warm color as primary color the complementary will be also a warm color and this color schemes are usually harmonious and pleasant to the viewer.
    • Monochromatic color scheme: If you opt for a monochromatic color scheme this mean that the complementary color will be a different shade or tint from the first one, this color schemes are great to strengthen and enhance your core color and the most important attribute of your brand.
    • Complementary color scheme: Complementary color schemes are the ones that are in the opposite direction of the color wheel from your primary color, this color schemes are great to create big contrast using colors. The complementary color schemes are great to give a modern and fun feel to your brand and really powerful for visual stimulation and drive viewer attention.
Color Theory and Color Wheel Color Palette Combination for Branding Color Graphic Design Guide

3. Neutral Color

Lastly but not least, you need to pick a neutral color that most likely be working as a background color and avoid viewers attention, that is why important to avoid choosing a bright color and instead you can choose different hues of gray, beige, white and off-white as neutral color and focus the viewer attention on the main parts from your brand.

How To Choose Brand Colors Formula Graphic Design Guide About Color in Marketing

Test Your Brand Colors

Now that we already have created our branding color palette it’s time to test it!, you need to make sure that the color combination selected to represent your brand work well together and these colors complement one another and convey the message of your brand perfectly. It also needs to be legible and accessible to different sources as printed images or online platforms as social media or web design.

Test your Brand Colors in Your Products and Marketing Adverting Design, Graphic Design Guide

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Conclusion

On this post, you have learn everything about how to choose your brand colors, why they are so important, the color meaning and how to select your brand colors, and for the conclusion it’s important to make clear that colors are a visual way to communicate messages, and you need to use it to communicate your brand message and the most important elements of your company to convey this message in the less elements possible to make the viewer easy to process all the message in less time possible, this one of the most important qualities for a logo design and if you want to check the 7 qualities that makes a great logo design check this post!

How To Choose Brand Color Palette and Increase Brand Recognition Graphic Design Guide

If you have found this Blog Post useful you might be interested on these other blog post about Color Inspiration and Color Theory in Graphic Design and Branding Design.

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