How To Create Your Own Brand Colour Palette

Brand Identity

People often think that logos are the most important part of branding, but actually colours are hugely significant. Perhaps even more so than your logo.

Why Colour Palettes Are So Powerful For Branding

“90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.” – University of Winnipeg datapoint.

Colours have a very strong subliminal and emotional impact on people, they create an immediate connection (or aversion) before people even have a chance to think analytically about it. That’s why we often have an “intuitive” response to the different brands we come across.

We tend to like colours that we associate with things that make us feel good and that kind of judgement happens in microseconds.

Even without seeing your logo or business name anywhere, a colour palette points to the brand itself and tells you a lot about its values and its personality. You see this on instagram grids for example, you can usually tell the brand or person behind the post simply because of the filters and colours they tend to use. And that’s probably also why you follow certain accounts, because you like their visual and colour aesthetic.

In practical terms, it’s powerful because if you see a shop in the distance you may not necessarily be able to read the sign, but you can recognise the brand colours immediately. In short, colours can be more powerful than words or logos.

Steps To Create Your Own Brand Colour Palette

  1. Identify your brand values, your ideal client and brand personality. 
  2. Create a Pinterest board for your branding inspiration.
  3. Check out a website like www.design-seeds.com for ideas on colours. Pick lots of your favourite palettes, not just one. Add them all to your Pinterest board.
  4. Check out brands, websites, social media accounts of people in your field who you admire and/or whose style you love. Find any images that you love. Add it all to your board. 
  5. Spend at least 30mins doing this, add lots of content, be intuitive, don’t think about it too much.
  6. Then when you’re done, scroll back over what you’ve collected and notice what colours keep repeating themselves. Blur your eyes a bit to avoid distractions. The law of averages means the more pins you’ve added, the more you will start to see favourite colours emerging.
  7. You can also come back to this exercise every few days and this helps create consistency because we often slightly different preferences according to our mood.
  8. Have a look at a colour meanings and see if the colours you choose reflect your values. For example, most nature themed brands include green but probably not red, because it feels intuitively right that way. Red also tends to mean passion and excitement whereas green is calming.
  9. Shortlist a handful of colours. Prioritise them, the most important colours will get used most often and the rest will to create some variety and interest in your website and marketing materials.
  10. Then you can use Canva to create a branding mood board to create something like this one.

It’s All A Balancing Act

Of course you could just copy an existing branding mood board you find on the internet, but that would be a bit boring. It also means you won’t really think through your own values and tastes. Going through all the steps helps create something slightly unique so you don’t just look like everyone else. 

There is always a balance between choosing colours that speak to your clients and make it clear what you’re about, but also to be unique so you are memorable to them.

There is also a balance between picking your favourite colours for every day life, and colours that suit what your brand is about.

For example, we might love to wear brightly coloured clothing, but we wouldn’t necessarily choose to use it with our businesses because the values don’t match.

So have a go yourself. It’s a fun exercise. And if you still need help with it, we can give you guidance or complete the exercise for you.

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