When thinking of creating a brand, we cannot limit ourselves to think only about the logo. A brand is an identity comprising many layers. One of them is color. Brand colors should maintain consistency throughout all visuals of your business beyond the logo, such as packaging, websites, social media, ads, mobile apps, and more.
Colors evoke a lot of emotion, but these emotions are usually attached to culture and personal references or experiences, which is why your audience is the most important factor when deciding what colors to use for your brand.
The general thought of warms vs. cool colors is not enough anymore. Sticking to primary and secondary colors is not enough, either. We have moved into a more complex era where brands can be represented with gradients, movement, and much more.
So, what do your brand colors say about your business? Do they represent your company culture? Do they evoke the right emotion in your audience? Do they inspire your employees?
We know you’ve seen the color charts that tell you what each color represents, but we want to give you a different perspective.
Is your business about expressing love? Although red jumps to mind at first, pink might be more suited. It really depends on what kind of love. Are we talking about passion or compassion? Red will always be associated with romance and passion, as it is a color that represents strength and excitement. However, pink is a non-threatening color, which is why it’s better at representing love of oneself and others. Here’s an example from a beauty brand:
Is your business about being kind to the environment or humanity? Don’t you want your audience to feel good about it? We are used to green being the go-to color for all eco-friendly material, and although you can never go wrong with that, have you thought about orange or yellow? Both are warm colors that stimulate mental activity and entice action. Both colors also represent joy, happiness, and energy:
Is your business about elegance or luxury? Is it expensive? Is your audience sophisticated? Black, yes, we know it’s very elegant, mysterious, and formal, but what about metallic colors? Metals like gold, silver, and bronze have always been associated with currency and social status. These colors could also impact the perception of how affordable your brand’s products or services can be:
Some might argue that strong brands usually have one predominant color, but there are so many successful brands using multiple colors that it has made that point obsolete, like Google, Ebay, Skittles, Windows, NBC, and Crayola, just to name a few. Many of Fortune’s 2017 breakthrough brands have really changed the landscaped for branding, expanding the possibilities for creativity, and we love it!
To really convey the right message and capture your brand’s identity we cannot be afraid to explore multiple combinations or even use of color gradients, like Instagram. So, whether you are thinking of developing a new brand, rebranding your business, or just doing a quick brand refresh, ask yourself those questions—or even better, ask your audience!