Besides your logo, color is one of the most recognizable pieces of your brand. Have you seen those games where you have to guess the brand based just on the color? It sounds difficult until you try it and realize it's easier than you think.
Color sticks out in our minds and, when used strategically and consistently, can be an incredible tool to use in your brand.
If you're looking to create a new brand palette, or maybe strengthen the one you already have, keep these three things in mind and you'll be golden!
Keep it limited.
I love color. So much. Maybe you do too. But trust me on this one—no one wants their brand to end up looking like a bag of Skittles. If you look around at some of the brand you admire I bet you'll start to notice a trend. Chances are they're only using somewhere between 1-3 colors in their brand palette. keeping a limited color palette builds brand recognition a lot faster with your audience. The more they see you using that particular shade of blue, the more they're going to think of you every time they see that shade of blue, even if it's unrelated to your business.
TIP! Does your rainbow-loving self feel SUPER restricted by such a limited palette? Try utilizing tints and shades of your brand colors (by mixing them with black and white) to help extend the range of your brand palette!
Make sure it has good contrast.
Contrast is a key design principle, which includes your color palette. Keeping good contrast within your color palette makes it really versatile as well as makes it easier on your audience. Contrast allows you to create hierarchy within your designs which will help your audience more easily decipher your important message.
TIP! I like to include a set of neutrals within my color palettes. Typically an off-white and an off-black. Not only do they help to polish up your palette when used in place of pure black and white, but they instantly add a range of contrast.
Consider color psychology & theory.
Depending on the strategy behind your color palette. You may want to take color psychology and theory into account. Color theory relates to how the colors are used in conjunction with one another. For example, knowing type of feeling you want your brand to evoke and then using color relationships to underscore that feeling. Contrasting colors (those that are opposite on the color wheel) are very eye catching and have a high point of contrast between each other. An analogous palette on the other hand (colors that fall next to each other on the color wheel) may have a more subtle feel. Choosing to use warm or cool colors within your palette will also affect the overall vibe and tone of your brand.
Color psychology is understanding the potential human perception of color and how it may (or may) not influence behavior. For example, it's said that red can be a color of anger, love, and also make people more hungry. Blue is said to be the most trustworthy color, which may be why it's one of the most commonly used colors in branding. Orange is said to evoke feelings of energy and happiness, however it's also generally one of the least liked colors. You may feel like some of those traits contradict one another—which they do. Color psychology is nice to consider, but I wouldn't build an entire palette based solely on it. While there's something to be said for color psychology, context matters A LOT in the perception of a color within your brand.
TIP! If you love the meaning or general perception of a particular color, use it as the anchor color within your brand and build the rest of your palette entirely around that color.
There you have it! Keep these things in mind and you'll be creating and editing color palettes like a pro in no time!