How To Choose Colors For Your Brand

The psychology of color is a huge topic and an important one when thinking about your brand. Colors play a vital role in shaping your identity and conveying your message to the world. Before choosing a color palette, it’s important to take a deep dive into determining what you want your brand to say about you. This involves thinking about what you want to be known for, how you want others to see you and your brand, and what feeling you want people to have when they interact with your brand. The right color palette can make your brand memorable, evoke emotions, and even influence consumer behavior


Choosing your brand colors goes beyond just choosing a color palette that you like. Although that’s important, you need to think about what colors will be attractive to your audience and what they will like.

Ensuring that the outward expression of your brand is communicating what you want your brand to convey is key. This part starts with inner work, going back to determining the values and beliefs you stand for and the emotions that you want people to feel when they come in contact with your brand.

Another way to think about it is, what would be the overall personality of your brand?

Understanding Color Psychology

Before diving into the specifics of selecting colors, it's essential to understand color psychology. Different colors can evoke various emotions and associations. Here's a quick overview:

  1. Red: Passion, excitement, and urgency.
  2. Blue: Trust, calmness, and professionalism.
  3. Yellow: Happiness, optimism, and youthfulness.
  4. Green: Nature, health, and growth.
  5. Purple: Luxury, creativity, and royalty.
  6. Orange: Energy, enthusiasm, and friendliness.

Color Harmonies
To create a visually pleasing and balanced color scheme, consider using color harmonies. Some popular harmonies include:

  • Complementary: Using colors opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g., blue and orange) for a striking contrast.
  • Analogous: Choosing colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel (e.g., blue, green, and teal) for a harmonious look.
  • Triadic: Selecting three evenly spaced colors on the color wheel (e.g., red, blue, and yellow) for a balanced and dynamic palette.


Where do you get started when choosing your brand colors?  You can start by looking at other businesses online and noticing what colors they are using and what feeling you get when you look at their brand. You’ll start to see trends and patterns in the colors that you end up being attracted to.

Consider Your Target Audience

Your brand's colors should resonate with your target audience. Consider the demographics, preferences, and cultural backgrounds of your potential customers. For instance, if your audience is predominantly young and trendy, vibrant and bold colors might work well. However, if you're targeting a more mature and conservative demographic, a subdued and classic color scheme may be more appropriate.

Competitive Analysis

It's also essential to research your competitors' branding. While you don't want to copy them, understanding their color choices can help you stand out. If everyone in your industry is using blue and white, opting for a unique color palette can help you differentiate your brand.

Brand Personality

Define your brand's personality and values. Are you a fun and playful brand, or do you aim for sophistication and elegance? Your colors should align with these attributes. For example, a children's toy company might opt for bright and cheerful colors, while a high-end fashion brand may choose a more minimalist and elegant palette.

Find Descriptive Words

Colors elicit emotions and so do words. Make a list of words that resonate with how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand. What words would people use to describe you and your business?

Below are some examples of words that you can start with. Each adjective has it's opposite next to it:

Affordable / Luxurious
Bold / Soft
Calm / Excited
Moody / Cheerful

Carefree / Reserved
Daring / Safe
Retro / Modern
Disruptive / Steady

Country / Cosmopolitan
Vintage / Modern
Rustic / Elegant
Whimsical / Serious

Use Pinterest For Inspiration

Now it’s time to find inspiration!  You can use Pinterest, the most widely known tool for sourcing imagery for inspiration.  Pinterest is its own search engine and you can use your brand words to find imagery that resonates with you. Just type a word into the search and see what comes up.  Pinterest has a variety of images styles, textures, color palettes, and patterns. Choose 5 or 6 of your favorite images and put them into your favorite design program.

color palette as part of a moodboard

Color Tools

Colorzilla - a free chrome browser extension where you can use a color picker to choose colors from your browser. Colorzilla will get the hex code for you.

Canva's Color Wheel - add a hex code or choose a color to start with and Canva provides color palettes to play around with. - Color Palette Generator - tap the spacebar on your keyboard for new color palettes.

Ultimately you’ll want to choose 5 colors that align with what appeals most to the peoole that your trying to reach. It’s not a science though, there’s plenty of room for creatiivity in this process.

Why 5 colors?
One color should be a dark neutral, like a black, charcoal, or navy. This would be used for some backgrounds, but mostly as your font color. A second color would be your white, or off white color that would be used the white space in your design or as a background to your text. The third color would be your primary brand color. The fourth color would be an accent color, often in the same color family as your brand color. The 5th color would be your “pop” of color, the color that stands out and can be used for buttons and links.

Test Your Colors

Before finalizing your brand's colors, it's crucial to test them in various contexts. Consider how they appear on different backgrounds, in both print and digital formats. Ensure that your colors are easily distinguishable and accessible to individuals with visual impairments.

Choosing the right colors for your brand is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your business's success. By understanding color psychology, considering your target audience, and aligning with your brand's personality, you can create a memorable and effective color palette.

Once you decide on your colors, you'll want to stick your color palette for consistency. That means using the same colors on your website, social media, and printed materials, like your business cards and stationary. Spending some time to do some research will help you to feel confident that you've chosen the right color palette for your brand. With a well-thought-out color scheme, your brand can leave a lasting impression and stand out in a crowded market.

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