Color Branding: How to Effectively Choose Your Brand Colors
Colors. They are what differentiate every object in our daily lives - creating value, meaning, interest, and fun; but when it comes to choosing colors for your brand, how do you know what to choose?
Did you know most logo colors are intentionally chosen based off of business values and target audiences? For example, Nike chooses to advertise in orange because orange is a sporty color and symbolizes stimulation, creativity, and health. It also appeals to a younger age group, drawing in their ideal customers. With that in mind, try to choose colors that will convey what you need them to, instead of just picking your favorite colors.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when choosing your color palette, but don’t worry… I’ve created a guide to help you decide on the perfect colors for your branding and marketing.
A few things to keep in mind when choosing colors:
1. Steer away from tacky colors.
Choose colors that are aesthetically pleasing. Unless your audience is young, try to steer away from bright tacky colors. Look at the photos below and judge for yourself who you would buy from. Chances are you’ll buy the one on the right as it seems more sophisticated and better quality. Keeping in mind current trends will help your brand gain traction. For example, right now minimalism is in; if you want to bring in Gen Z or Millennial clients, choose a more minimalistic branding scheme.
(Sources: Walmart.com and Aliexpress.com)
2. Choose colors that will stand out.
You have less than 90 seconds to impress your audience. That means you need to pick colors that are eye catching and that will make you stand out. Try to research your competition to see which colors they are using… then pick a palette that uses different shades or tints from the
norm. Think about your target audience and choose colors that are more favorable among that group. Joe Hallock conducted a study among various demographics in
2003 to find out which colors were the most popular. After some research, it seems this study still holds true today! Hallock found that the older people get, the less appealing brighter colors are. Blue appears to be the most popular among all age groups - green and purple come in second.
3. Be careful when choosing multiple colors.
Want to use multiple colors? You can use two colors to add a little interest, however, you may want to consider the power of using one color in large doses. 95% of top brands use only 1, or at most, 2 colors. Using only 1 color portrays confidence and professionalism. If you choose to go with more than one color, try to stick with complimentary colors (colors directly across from each other on the color wheel) to create some contrast. Contrast is visually pleasing and will be beneficial for marketing tactics (see below).
When marketing, do not use two colors at a 1:1 ratio. That can be overwhelming and hard to look at. Instead, choose to use one color for a majority of the image, and use the brighter color to make the more important/ action items pop. Below, the action button “Yes, Let’s Do it!” pops in our yellow color. Highlighting the action items will create more of a response because it will be the first thing that sticks out to customers.
Once you’ve narrowed down your target audience and company mission, it becomes easier to choose the right color(s) for your brand. If you’re struggling between a couple different options, don’t forget to test! There’s no way to know how your audience will respond until you’ve sent out an A/B test to see which colors work the best together. Don't forget to reach out to us if you have questions about which colors are right for you. Good luck!