I’m going to be honest. When I first started my business, one of the things I was most excited about was picking the freaking colors. It’s such a big step right? You are choosing the colors that represent you and the brand. It’s a big step for a girl who has big dreams. Something tells me you agree.
What I’m finding though, is that there are a lot of secret and subliminal communication that is done with a brand’s color(s). Sometimes it’s not just about what your favorite colors are but what colors will most compliment your business. Of course it depends on how personal your business is but let’s focus on the basics.
1. Do they fit effortlessly with the brand?
Like I mentioned before, picking your “favorite” colors to be your business colors might not be the best way to represent your business. For example if you run a spa but your favorite color is neon orange, it might not be the best idea to incorporate that in your space. A spa with neon colors? No thanks. Maybe if you worked at a night club.
If I owned a spa, I would pick from warm and relaxing palate. Colors like jade green, and a warm cashmere beige can enhance a feeling of relaxation and peace. Isn’t that what you want your customers to feel? And if my favorite color was neon orange, I would save it to use for a nail polish color or maybe as an accessory. Don’t worry. You can still wear those things to the spa.
2. What moods do they stimulate?
Come on. It’s no mistake that McDonald’s chose a very staple yellow and red to represent their brand. Those colors stimulate hunger! Now, some people may view that as an unfair way to manipulate customers but would you rather eat at a restaurant that had “dookie brown” as their main color? I don’t think so.
Classier restaurants usually don’t stem too far from the red and yellow families. Do you know how many french restaurants use an “old paper yellow” for their menus and a sensual burgundy for the font and/or napkins? I’m telling you, there is something to this!
Here’s a list of colors and what moods they enhance:
There is even something called “color therapy“ which is dedicated to the use of colors to heal people.
Another fun fact about colors in brands:
Did you know that the show “American Idol” was started with a lot of help from Coca-cola just to promote….Coca-cola? They recently ended sponsoring them in December of 2014, but they were one of the main reasons why the show existed! Ever notice that the show used the exact and very legally protected “Coca-Cola red” whenever they use red? A lot of people underestimate what these big brands do to push their products!
3. Do they look good together?
Okay so you have some colors you like, but do they look good when they’re next to each other? Below are some tools you can use to create a stunning palette. It’s recommended that when you are working with colors, that you pair them up with colors that either neighbors or that sit directly across from them on the color chart.
If you want a really easy way to pick a color palette, use this amazing color palette generator that can create a complimentary palette in seconds! Not only will it create a stunning palette or you to use but it will give you the HTML color code so that you can pop it in software like photoshop, Picmonkey or Canva to make sure you are being consistent with the exact same colors.
If you are continually guessing, say, the signature turquoise of your brand, it’s noticeable. It also looks pretty unprofessional. Get in the habit of using your HTML codes to create a more squeaky clean effect on your site or branding materials.
If you already have a color you love, you can use this HTML code finder, by uploading an image to generate the code for you, so that you can use it again and again!