How to Choose a Color Scheme For Your Brand
“What’s your favorite color?” a kid I was babysitting once asked me. “Ohhhh, I like them all! I don’t really have a favorite color,” I answered. Which was an immediate buzzkill to her because of course she already had a favorite color in mind and couldn’t wait to share it with me, “Well mine’s purple!”
Ahhh the decisiveness. The certainty. Purple.
I envied that ability to make a quick, sure, decisive choice. That’s what I was missing. Pleasssseee would the heavens just open up and plop out the perfect color scheme for my brand for me. I didn’t know how to just make a simple choice. But a helpful point I’ve learned since then is that if you’re focusing only on the branding as a means to carry out your brand’s mission into the world, you’re going about it the wrong way. Allow me to offer some help in this arena..
First thing’s first, this is an opportunity to get started off on the right foot from the get go. It’s about choosing what the priority of your brand/blog/business is going to be. Is this priority going to be just about the way something looks? The superficial stuff? Or will it be the real work you’ll be doing through it? The brand is essentially just a container. It’s a box that you can then work out of. So what’s more important, the box or the work?
The easiest way to get in the best frame of mind to sign off on your brand styling quickly, easily, and without any doubts or back-peddling is to have a sense of direction with where you’re going. Not that you need all the pieces laid out for the next five years, but it’s about making your work and what you do for others more important than what the wrapping paper looks like.
Allow your perspective to shift gently without guilt tripping yourself so you can easily turn your focus toward what really matters. So often we put the emphasis on pretty brand = sure success, but that’s just not how it works.
To choose great colors, let’s take a look at who you are as a person and also what your brand represents.
Look For Colors that Match Your Personality
If you have a blog or you’re a service provider where people will either be hearing your voice through the page or working with you one on one, you’ll want them to already have a sense for who you are. Your messaging and tone are one thing, but colors carry a unique psychological thumbprint that’s hard to ignore.
In fact, color psychology is present in every major brand, and it’s the whole reason McDonalds and BurgerKing use warm colors in their logos! Warm colors invoke feelings of happiness, energy, and fulfillment, while cool colors tend promote feelings of health, peace, and calm.
If you have trouble with this, ask your friends! What colors make them think of you? Are you always the friend with advice and wisdom to share? Or are you the friend who never forgets a warm smile and loves to surprise others with Starbucks? Take a look at your personality, what colors vibe with you, and what colors you naturally feel drawn to to help you pick the colors that are so you.
Choose Three Words to Describe Your Brand
In this exercise, pull out a pen and paper and write down three adjectives or words that describe your brand. These could be: helpful, modern, trustworthy. Or: warm, funny, happy.
Hopefully from what I’ve already mentioned about color psychology you can already begin to see what colors will probably work well for those descriptions. The first set of words would probably do really well with blues, greens, or some sleek neutrals. The second set of words makes me think of oranges, reds, or yellow tones right away.
So the goal here is to weave your personality with the personality of your brand, and find where those two places intersect. From there, use that to help you choose your colors!
To bring in a little color pun here, this isn’t a black and white process (lol) but this can totally help you narrow in and choose the right color scheme for your brand with total decisiveness.
Get Inspiration from Color Palettes
Just like painting your living room or designing a wall canvas, it’s so much fun to collect color samples or sort of just mentally try on these colors before you put them into action. So if you love colors like I do, you may love looking at and browsing different color palettes on places like Pinterest or ColorMind to see what you feel drawn to.
I’ve even create a few to help get you started!
I Love Them All! How Do I Pick?
I totally get it! Even with brainstorming and planning, sometimes it can still be overwhelming to choose from all of the amazing colors out there. So I do have some more helpful tips.
Take a look at your home or closet: You may be surprised to find a few similar colors that make repeat appearances.
Take a look at the photography you use: With any images you’ve selected to use on your site or Instagram feed, chances are that the photographs feature similar tones and colors in the photos themselves.
Check out your Pinterest boards: If you have a brand mood board on Pinterest, take a look at the photos you’ve most recently pinned. Do they feature similar tones, hues, or themes? Are they clean and editorial or warm and cozy?
Use these clues that appear in your daily life and interests to help you land on the perfect color scheme. And as they say, when you find “the one,” you’ll just know, and you won’t feel the need to keep on looking!
So now I want to know, did these tips and color boards help you understand more clearly what your ideal colors are? Do you feel ready to tackle the world of branding with your most perfect colors in tow? I want to hear all about it. Drop a comment below, I’d love to connect with you!