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HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST COLORS FOR YOUR BRAND + BLOG

By October 7, 2016BRANDING TIPS
How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

Alright guys, I’m a sucka for a gorgeous color scheme. Still to this day, I have journals and coloring books that I use to experiment with color.

Color plays such a huge role in the way a personal brand comes together. Color gives your brand feeling, function and flavor. Booyah!! That’s why it’s really important to take the time to explore different color schemes to really understand how they will potentially resonate with your perfect fit fans.

In this lesson, I’ll walk you through the steps to choosing your perfect brand palette, one that not only aligns with your brand personality but with your brand message.

Let’s have some fun!

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

WHY CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRAND COLORS IS SO IMPORTANT

The short answer: PEOPLE NEED TO SEE YOU!

The extended answer: People are attracted to the power and essence of a strong brand. And behind every brand is a person with a powerful personality that is driving their ideas and hoping to make an impact through their own personal creativity and connection. The new world of marketing is increasingly visual and the key visual elements every brand needs are color, typography and imagery.

As humans – we experience life in color. Color is what catches your eye, grabs your attention and draws you in. Just as words create voice, color has the power to evoke emotion and enhance someones experience with you. People not only need to see your brand, they need to FEEL your brand and in my opinion, color is easily the most identifiable factor that connects people to YOU and your business. Certain colors can make you feel happy or sad, can be seen as feminine or masculine, be dark and mysterious, or inviting and happy. And when you know how to fit two or more colors together you can create an experience that is as unique and individual as you are.

This image from Coschedule.com illustrates the psychological factors at play with each color on the color wheel.

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

So, with that in mind, it’s important you view your color palette as a way to get people to connect with you on a more emotional level.

HOW TO CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE FOR YOUR BRAND

I’m not the one to tell you that you should be choosing your color palette based solely on color theory and psychology. I think picking the perfect color palette for your personal brand should be based more on your personality, brand theme, message, and what feels right to you, and less on any specific color theory.

HOW MANY COLORS DO YOU NEED?

There’s no etched in stone rule that says you can only have X amount of colors to create the perfect color palette. I’ve seen brands use as few as two colors and as many as six or seven. But from a personal point of view, (and feel free to bend this as you see fit) here are the basic guidelines I follow when choosing a color palette:

  • Stick with 2-4 colors.
  • Pick 1-2 colors for your primary palette – These are your main colors, the ones you will likely use most often.
  • Pick 1-2 colors in your accent palette – These are used for variety and visual interest and can provide support to your primary palette.
  • Bonus colors: 1-2 neutral colors –  Black, browns, greys, and whites that pair well with the entirety of your palette and can be used for backgrounds or text. Don’t worry these don’t really count against your color quota.

Here’s an example of my color palette: 

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

COOL ONLINE TOOLS TO HELP INSPIRE YOUR COLOR PALETTE

Before we talk about the steps you need to take to nail down your palette, I want to introduce you to some color tools that might be fun for you to experiment with.

Color Palette FX: Oh boy! This is such a cool tool. This desktop app allows you to build a color swatch from a photo. So, let’s say you were vacationing in Santorini, Greece and where inspired to build a blog based on your experience there. Well you can take your vacation photo, upload it to the Color Palette FX site and see what this tool spits out. Oh, it’s genius.

Here’s an example of how it works: 

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

DESIGN SEEDS

The next cool tool is Design Seeds, which is a color blog that creates color palettes inspired by images of nature, plants, and country living. Jessica, the creator of Design Seeds has grown an active community of over 1 million followers across all social networks and can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. If you can’t find inspiration from her collection, you just may not have a pulse!

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

COOLORS.CO

Coolors.co is a quick and easy site for finding color inspiration fast. I think it’s really cool how you can hit the space bar and it will generate new color schemes for you. If you have one or two starting colors you can enter the hex code, lock them in and the software will generate a new color scheme for you.

Pro Tip: For those of you who are designers, you may be familiar with the concept of color codes, or “hex codes.” Design newbies: this is an important concept to learn. A hex code is 6-digit code that represents an exact color recognized universally by HTML and CSS. For example, one of my primary color codes is Medium Turquoise, #50cfce. By knowing and using the same hex codes in your marketing, you’ll be able to promote a consistently brand presence people can connect with.

Also, Coolors.co has a similar feature to Color Palette FX, where you can pick colors from images or convert them to palettes automatically. Check out the cool tutorial here.

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST

Instagram and Pinterest are two of my favorite online spots to get color inspiration. I mean really, they have a gazillion images you can draw inspiration from. I like to search [color] or [color inspiration] – I even have Pinterest boards dedicated to color + brand inspiration, so if I come across an interesting color palette while browsing online I can pin it to one place. Online, there are tons of amazing color combos you’d never think of on your own.

Pro Tip: I’ve found it highly convenient to have a virtual brand vision board (aka mood board) on Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to assemble a collection of images and links that you’ve gathered from around the web. You can create brand vision boards for different projects, online courses or products and it is AWESOME for pinning inspiration on the go. I mean seriously, who needs Photoshop templates when you have Pinterest boards!

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog
How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

FINALIZING YOUR BRAND COLOR PALETTE

STEP 01: CHOOSE ONE (1) PRIMARY COLOR 

Start with ONE primary color. Pull the ONE color from your inspiration image, mood board, or software generated color palette that most resonates with you. Remember, you want your brand color palette to be authentic, personality-driven and something you really, really love!

STEP 02: PLAY WITH THE TONE

Find the hex code of your primary color, if you don’t already have it, and play around with the saturation, brightness and opacity until you get the overall tone you are looking for.

STEP 03: ADD YOUR 2ND PRIMARY COLOR

You want to start with one color and then look for a second one to balance out or complement the first. Now complement is not the same as “complementary” where you choose a color that’s on the opposite side of the color wheel. It just means you want to find a color that adds a new layer to your brand palette. To find your 2nd primary color you can pull from your image color palette or mood board.
STEP 04: ADD YOUR NEUTRAL
Think about a color that you might use for your text color or potentially a background. This includes grays, browns, whites, navy, or black.
STEP 05: ADD YOUR ACCENT COLORS (OPTIONAL)
Alrighty guys, we are getting there!! Now that you have your primary colors on lock, this is when you want to consider adding one or two additional accent colors. Now this is totally optional. If you think you’re “THERE” with your color palette, roll with what you got, but if you feel your palette needs more, I suggest pulling one or two more colors using the inspiration tools mentioned above, going back to your mood board or image or adding a metallic neutral to the mix. Gold, silver, and copper and other metallic neutrals can add an unexpected pop to your color palette. Metallics won’t work for everyone, but if it is in line with your theme, give it a go to see how it comes together.
How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU GO ALL IN ON YOUR NEW COLOR PALETTE

Now, once you have a brand color palette you feel good about, here are some great questions to ask yourself before you go all in:

  • Does this feel in line with my brand personality? (voice, vision, visual style) The colors you choose should reflect your overall BRAND VISION. For example: If you have a young, hip brand, are you using bright colors?
  • Will this help me stand out in my niche?
  • Do I feel something when I look at these colors?
  • Will my perfect fit fan feel something when they look at these colors?
  • Is there enough variation, depth and character? (Think opacity and saturation)
  • Will my colors have enough contrast on a neutral background?
  • Do I love the colors I’ve chosen?

So there you have it. The best way to choose the perfect colors for your brand and blog.  Got questions? Want help choosing your brand colors? Let’s talk about it! Leave a comment below or post in the For Champions Only Facebook Group so we can see your gorgeous brand colors!

How To Choose The Best Colors For Your Brand + Blog

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