Branding tips

March 27, 2020

Define your brand tone through color

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Color is the fastest way to build connection between your audience and your brand. Color influences our feelings and can can even direct us to purchase. This excerpt from Verywell speaks to color psychology and how our color preferences can even be an indicator of our personality:

“Color can play an important role in conveying information, creating certain moods, and even influencing the decisions people make. Color preferences also exert an influence on the objects people choose to purchase, the clothes they wear, and the way they adorn their environments. People often select objects in colors that evoke certain moods or feelings… colors can also be used to evoke specific moods, such as painting a bedroom a soft green to create a peaceful mood.”

Color sets a clear tone for your brand

When I’m building brands, color is one of the first things I tackle during the moodboard phase. Here are some of my favorite tips for choosing your own colors:

01/ Start with just two colors. Build your confidence with a main color and an accent color.

It doesn’t have to be complicated! Pick your favorite color (or a shade of  your favorite color) to start. If your favorite color is something bold like teal or turquoise, make the secondary color a complimenting option. Try something softer like a dusty orange or a soft mauve.

Start with two colors

02/ Always have a neutral and an anchor.

After you’ve selected your first  two colors, you’re going to want some neutral colors to mix in. It’s helpful to include a lighter neutral to use, for example, on web backgrounds. You’ll also want an anchor color (think black, navy, or anything darker) to use for things like text.

Always have a neutral and an anchor

03/  Once you’re comfortable, start to add in a few more colors to your palette.

My favorite tool for building out my palettes is Coolors. It helps generate complimentary shades based on your main and accent colors. Consider your tone and the feeling you’re trying to evoke. What colors can help convey that feeling?

Add colors to your palette

04/ For large palettes, the selections should be complimentary shades so as not to cause overwhelm.

The Paragraph palette is based on nature – all colors are muted and exist in the natural world. To build consistency with this, I made sure all my shades worked together. Generally, the Paragraph palette is full of cool tones. When building your own palette, look at the “temperature” of  your colors.  If the bulk of your colors are warm, make sure your whole palette is warm to maintain consistency and be sure your colors are complimentary.

This image shows how the same palette can be manipulated to more cool tones or more warm tones:

How to view colors as temperatures

05/ Build your palette slowly. Enjoy the process.

Building your palette should be a fun process. Pull from images that inspire you, look around your home at the colors of your favorite objects, consider what you’re naturally drawn to. Have fun with it!

For some color inspiration, check out some of my Pinterest boards categorized by color.

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