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Colour Science: How to choose the Right Brand Colour

Right colours

As entrepreneurs, we often think about the normal business metrics such as price, product and marketing – but how about the creative side? People buy emotionally, not logically, and brand colour can have a significant impact on how people feel about your brand. 

Whether you’ve decided to branch out from a company and start your own business, or are launching a game-changing new startup, understanding the impact of colour on consumer behaviour will help your brand become a success.

In fact, research shows that up to 85% of consumers believe colour is the biggest motivator to choose a particular product, while 92% acknowledge visual appearance as the most persuasive marketing factor overall. Try these five creative tips to choose a colour palette that’s relevant, memorable and inspiring for your brand.

1. Know Your Focus

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Brands with great colour schemes didn’t come across them by accident. Richard Branson demonstrated this direct approach when he chose Virgin’s vibrant red colour, encouraging his customers to be bold and confident, mirroring his own distinct business methods. Coca-Cola shares this approach, using red to appear energetic, vibrant, and memorable.

Having a clear idea about what your brand’s goals are and how you want your target audience to feel will help you hone in on the most impressive colours to choose for your brand.

2. Think psychologically

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Have you ever noticed that many tech brands’ logos are blue? Think of Facebook, IBM, Intel and HP, who use this passive color to symbolize freedom, trust, intelligence and progress.

Understanding colour psychology can help you reflect the feelings you want to evoke from your customers.

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For example, if you want someone to be excited or energetic while browsing your website, consider bold colours like red, yellow or orange. Or, for a calming effect try pastels, or nature inspired blues and greens.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment

When Heinz released their ‘Squirt Blastin’ green ketchup bottle, more than 10 million bottles were sold in the the first seven months, and resulted in the highest sales increase in the brand’s history – $23 million.

It’s a known truth that different colours can have very different impacts on consumers. Make sure you experiment with at least three options to ensure you find a powerful colour palette that is most relevant to your brand.

4. Analyse your competition

Researching the logos, websites and colour schemes of other brands in your industry can help you decide if you want to compete, or stand out. This guide lists the hex code palettes of several well known brands, which can be used as a reference to create your own unique combination.

5. Create a mood board

Another way to experiment with different color palettes is to create a mood board using colours extracted from images or other brand’s colour schemes. This can be done by using a color picker tool, and extracting the hex code of a chosen colour. Placing multiple colours together will give you an idea about the mood or emotions that your brand will evoke.

Many designers recommend using the 60-30-10 rule, which suggests you choose a palette of three colours using the ratio of 60%, 30% and 10% for distribution.

Building a new brand image is an exciting time. Whether you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or a new startup – we’d love to hear about how you chose your awesome brand colours!

About Anna Guerrero


Anna Guerrero is an Editor at Canva, which makes graphic design amazingly simple for everyone. She draws on her creative expertise to write about design, social media and branding. You can find her work in magazines, online publications and marketing-savvy blogs. Yoga, coffee and hardback enthusiast.

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