3 Things to Know About Choosing Your Brand Colors
We all know how big of a deal it can be when choosing the right color scheme for something that means a lot to us. Take the high school prom for example. The dress has to match the tux, the corsage has to match the dress, and the carefully manicured nails and makeup all have to be in tandem with everything at the same time. I mean, they don’t have to be, but we insist. Plus all the posed photographs and carefully planned poses near railings on people’s porches, classic.
So let’s be real, color coordination can be stressful! Think about all the thought that goes into wedding colors, painting a home, picking the color of your first car, choosing colors at the nail salon (why oh why does it always take so long for me to decide on a color?)
Choosing a color scheme is commitment. And sometimes, that commitment can hit us like a ton of bricks. For many of us, that’s what happens when we go to choose our brand colors. Something so simple can sometimes be difficult, so I’m here to help!
Help! I Can’t Decide on My Brand Colors…
If you’re having a hard time with this step in your journey, don’t worry! It’s all good, plenty of people have stumbled here before you, so this is not a lone wolf’s journey. I’m going to take a guess and say that maybe you have the kind of personality where you to second guess yourself on things, tend to let fear or doubt creep in a little too often, or maybe you’re someone with such broad interests that it’s hard to decide on specifics! If this is the case for you, know that I’m preaching to the choir here, because I’m one of those people as well!
I know that experience of indecision very well, but also how to overcome it. So because of this I’m happy to share 3 simple things to know when it comes to choosing brand colors. With these three principles in mind, you’ll be ready to get your color scheme chosen and out the door fast. I’ll also share with you a great tool to use to choose your color scheme at the end of this post.
So now, without further ado, here are 3 great things to keep in mind when choosing a color scheme.
1.) Colors Invoke a Feeling
I believe the most important thing about branding and especially the colors is the feeling. Colors can invoke certain feelings, moods, and tones. So a great thing to do when coming up with branding colors is to think about how you want your brand to feel to you and also to someone who is totally new to it. Is this particular feeling warm, clean, or fresh? Maybe it’s happy, earthy, or minimalist? Those feelings can help discern the right colors for your brand. It’s such a great rule of thumb to start with the feeling, because this can prevent doubtful situations later on if a brand color simply doesn’t feel right, or doesn’t quite fit.
2.) Be Consistent to Establish Recognition
Consistency is key. So keep that brand feeling in the forefront as you use your color scheme in your logo, on your website, in your emails, in your Instagram feed, or wherever else you want to use it. Consistent branding is like a structural support for your brand, something you can lean on and relax into, like kicking back on a sailboat on the ocean. Consistent brand colors allow other people to easily enter your world and recognize you automatically on platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Consistency is so important and is something that pays over time.
3.) It’s Also Not as Big of a Deal as You Might Think
Your brand colors represent the feel of your brand, they can help people recognize your work from platform to platform, and they can also represent the structure and support of your brand - but they’re also not that big of a deal! There are way more important things that your brand represents, such as the work you do and the way you serve your audience. I’ve seen often how much pressure gets put on deciding the simplest branding decisions, such as which brand colors to use, when in all actuality, the first gut instincts are usually correct. It’s important to remember that the grit and substance of your brand is always way more important than the color scheme will ever be. Find colors that feel right to you and let those be the winners.
A Great Tool For Choosing a Color Scheme
So with all that said, my advice on choosing colors is to use this helpful online color generator. Simply hit “generate” and be presented with totally random color schemes. Save colors you like with the lock icon, edit colors with the sliders, and allow the generator to bring forward colors you might not have ever thought of before.
When you’ve found the setup you like, hit “Export” and save as a PDF or a PNG. Keep all of those color hex codes on hand so you can easily copy/paste whenever you need to add some color to business cards, a logo, or your site. Super simple.
Avoid Branding Paralysis
It’s easy to get stuck on this step and experience branding paralysis when choosing colors because there are so many to choose from! But I’ve found that the easiest method to choosing (and sticking with) your brand colors is to:
Start with the feeling of your brand.
Be consistent with whatever colors you choose.
Remember substance over appearance.
The good news? This approach to choosing brand colors can apply to any other branding decisions to be made as well. In this way, we can avoid the pitfalls of analysis paralysis and get to the heart of the matter, starting out doing the work we want to do, the work we love, and above all, having a killer brand setup that we absolutely are crazy about!
I hope these tips are helpful to you! Also, I’d love to know - what areas of branding have you struggled with and how have you dealt with them? I’d love to hear all about it!