What to consider when choosing colours for your brand
Colours over time have come to represent different things...
Some of the most effective logos are the most simple.
Colours, just like words, have meanings
Colours over time have come to represent different things to different cultures, so when choosing colours for your brand you should be aware of how they may make your customer feel, and what they may potentially communicate about your company/product.
As a generic example the majority of fast food chains use red and yellow in their colour palette, due to their association with energy, speed, and high visibility.
However with the media’s influence people have become increasingly more health obsessed over the last decade, and many now associate these colours with ‘unhealthy choices’. To try and combat this Mc Donald’s underwent a partial re-brand, refitting all of it’s restaurants with a more natural looking interior, and introducing a wider range of ‘healthy’ colours into it’s existing palette like vibrant green and brown to subconsciously communicating to customers that their fast food chain is a healthier option than others.
As well as colour psychology use colour theory
To quickly see what colours will sit well together you can apply colour theory to your branding. As a starting point colours that sit on the opposite side of the colour wheel will compliment each other with a clear contrast, whilst 3 colours next to each other on the wheel are known as an analogous colour because of their similar emotional connotations, alternatively put more emphasis into one colour by using a monochromatic palette where you use one colour in many shades, lastly colours which form a triangle from the colour wheel offer more variety than a complimentary scheme, and draw in equal amounts of cool warmth and mid tones.
If your competitor has a certain colour palette don’t outright copy it, perhaps you could re-order the hierarchy of colours, of try something completely different to stand out from the crowd, for example by pairing your main colour with something much less expected so your company / product looks unique.
Some of the most effective logos are the most simple. You will want to make sure your logo can work in Black only /greyscale, or white only as well as full colour, so it can be applied to a variety of mediums. Also the fewer colours you include in your main logo the easier it will be to apply these consistently across your branded elements. As a side-note you can always add secondary / tertiary colours, gradients, or introduce tints from your default logo to different elements of your brand to add more depth to the initial palette. As a guide when starting out I’d suggested using no more than 3-4 colours for your logo.
Trust your gut
Lastly, if something doesn’t feel quite right it probably isn’t. Often you’ll find that your first idea isn’t necessarily the best, so remember to experiment, and explore – looking to other brands you like for inspiration, to help find your perfect colour combination!
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