Every brand strives to find that unique color that perfectly defines who they are. They want people to see their specific color and immediately correlate it to their brand. Brands like Starbucks or Target have achieved this, people instantly can picture green or red when thinking about those brands. And it’s great to establish goals like this for your own brand identity but it’s important to keep in mind brand recognition isn’t built overnight. But don’t worry, we’ve got some useful ideas to share when it comes choosing your colors.
Set the Tone
A great place to start is to consider the tone you want to set for your brand. Thinking about what a color means and what it can convey can be important. If you’re wanting to communicate energy or excitement colors like a vibrant yellow or red might be more successful than colors like soft blues or greens. The idea of color psychology can come into play here too. Color can be very influencing; for example, blue is often associated with relaxation and red can communicate passion or excitement. It is helpful to ask yourself questions like what emotion or feeling does this color convey and how does that relate to my brand?
Consider Your Audience
Your audience is critical to your success so it’s necessary to think about the way they interpret your business. You want the experience they have with your brand to be comfortable and enjoyable; color can influence this experience. For example, if you’re trying to resonate with teenagers or kids in high school, vibrant or neon colors would be more successful than dull, muted colors. That being said, just because you keep your audience in mind doesn’t mean you have to play it safe. Like I said, it’s important to consider how your audience will react to your brand but that doesn’t mean a little change would do them harm. Don’t be afraid to be bold or try new things as long as it makes sense for your business!
Stand Out from the Crowd
You can also use color to help distinguish your business from your competition. If a majority of companies you compete against use the color purple and it makes sense for you to use the color orange consider choosing the more unique color. However, there are two very important words in that sentence, if it makes sense. You don’t have to pick a totally unique or random color in order to allow yourself to stand out. You need to choose one that works best for your audience and the tone of your business. There are different ways to utilize colors and still allow yourself to stand out, for instance how you use the color within your logo can help distinguish you from the competition. It’s great to be open to new colors and innovative ways to use them but it’s critical to consider what’s best for your brand.
Expanding Your Palette
You may have your key color picked for your brand but there’s still work to do. You need to define your color palettes. Most brands have a core color palette and some brands find it useful to define a second, supporting color palette as well.
The core color palette is the foundation of your brand. The core palette can be a variation of your key color or colors that help support it. But usually, it is made up of the colors you use most often, making them the highest in the hierarchy.
You may find it helpful to create a supporting or expanded color palette as well. These are colors that might not be used as often but may come in handing with creating additional pieces, like CTAs, holiday cards, or one sheets, for your business. A second color palette definitely isn’t required but depending on how your brand uses color, it could come in handy down the line!
In closing, color is an important part of your brand identity. Between communicating your company’s emotion or tone, considering your audience and choosing the support colors it’s not always the easiest task. But once your color palette is defined you’re on your way to creating a solid brand experience and establishing brand recognition.