Brand colour palette: Beginners Guide

What colour should you associate your business with and why?

What is a colour palette?

A colour palette refers to a selection of colours that are used consistently throughout a brand's visual identity, including its logo, website, packaging, and advertising materials. A well-designed colour palette can help a brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace, evoke specific emotions or associations, and create a cohesive and recognisable brand identity.

In general a colour palette usually includes 6 colours

  1. One signature colour: This is the dominant colour that defines your brand and makes it recognisable. 
  2. Three accent colours: This is a colour that is used e.g. for buttons on your website. It’s supposed to be used in small bursts, rather than on large surfaces. 
  3. Two standard colours: These more muted colours are for texts and backgrounds, and usually include a white(ish), black(ish), and/or grey(ish) colour. 

You might not think a specific colour palette is that important, however, every colour conveys certain values. E.g. you might be aware that pink is sentimental and romantic, whereas yellow conveys optimism and stands out at night (hence why McDonald’s chose that colour). 

Give me the data, why should I care?

Studies have shown that people make subconscious judgments about a brand within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with it, and 62-90% of those judgments are based on colour alone. (Source: Colorcom)

Consistent use of colour across all marketing materials can increase brand recognition by up to 80%. (Source: University of Loyola, Maryland study)

Different colours are associated with different emotions and can influence consumer behaviour. For example, blue is often associated with trust and reliability, while red is associated with excitement and passion. (Source: Entrepreneur & Canva.com)

Free tools to find your colour palette: 

Choosing the right colour palette for your brand can be a challenging task, but there are several free tools available that can help simplify the process:

  1. Coolors.co: This website allows you to generate colour palettes based on a starting colour or random selection. You can save and export your favourite palettes and browse the palettes created by other users.
  1. Canva Color Palette Generator: Canva's colour palette generator allows you to upload an image and automatically generate a colour palette based on the colours in the image. You can then customise and refine the palette as needed.
  1. Adobe Color: Adobe's colour tool lets you generate colour palettes based on a variety of colour rules, such as complementary, analogous, and monochromatic. You can save and share your palettes and even browse palettes created by other users.
  1. Color Hunt: Color Hunt is a curated collection of colour palettes created by designers and artists from around the world. You can browse by colour or by popularity and save your favourite palettes for future reference.

Examples of brands that have strong colour palettes

  1. The iconic red and white colour scheme of Coca-Cola's logo and packaging is instantly recognizable around the world. The colour red is associated with excitement, energy, and passion, making it a perfect fit for a brand that wants to evoke feelings of happiness and enjoyment.
Coca Cola and their colour palette
  1. Apple's clean and minimalist aesthetic is reflected in its colour palette, which features shades of white, grey, and black. This simple colour scheme creates a sense of sophistication and elegance, which is in line with the brand's focus on high-end technology products.
Apple and its colour palette

  1. FedEx's use of purple and orange in its logo and branding is a great example of how colour can be used to create a sense of energy and excitement. The combination of purple and orange is unexpected and eye-catching, which helps the brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
FedEx and its colour palette

  1. McDonald's uses a bright and bold colour palette of red and yellow, which is designed to be eye-catching and stimulate the appetite. Red is associated with excitement and energy, while yellow is associated with optimism and happiness (& it’s easy to spot at night!), making this a perfect colour scheme for a fast-food brand.
McDonald's and its colour palette

  1. Google's playful and colourful logo is instantly recognizable around the world. The use of primary colours in the logo creates a sense of fun and playfulness, which is in line with the brand's focus on innovation and creativity.
Google and its colour palette

In conclusion, a well-designed colour palette is a critical component of a strong brand identity. The right colours can evoke specific emotions and associations, create brand recognition, and help a brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. While choosing the perfect colour palette can be a challenging task, there are several free tools available that can simplify the process. Overall, the impact of colour on a brand's identity and recognition should not be underestimated.

Once you're happy with your new brand identity, we'd recommend that you move on to the next part of your online presence foundation: Your website. Check our article about website essentials to get started!

If the above seems a bit too overwhelming, why not jump on a quick call with us? Schedule it here.

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