Recently I wrote a blog post about the meaning of colors. How colors subconsciously influence our emotions, feelings and ultimately our decision making.
Subconsciously we probably know which colors are right for our brands but defining them can sometimes be a little difficult. We know when we look at a color if we personally like it or not. But sometimes it is difficult to let go of that personal feeling and decide which color is right for our brand. Or we know a color is not right for our brand but often we can not pin point why.
I also learned that many people have difficulty creating a cohesive color palette for their brands and businesses. Either they match colors that really don’t go together and think it is great or they know it is not good but can’t find a good replacement color.
And this is why I created some color palettes for you as an inspiration!
How to create a color palette
Choosing the right colors for a brand requires a lot of experimentation. You need to try out different colors together and see what feeling they create together.
In order to create a color palette for a brand I create a moodboard with images that reflect the feeling and mood I want to create with that brand first. The moodboard will then guide me to choose the right colors.
To do that I always suggest to create a board on Pinterest and then collecting images that will represent your brand, the feelings and emotions you want to create with your brand. From those images on Pinterest I look for similarities in style, color, form etc. And then I pick a few to create a cohesive moodboard.
From there I can see already what my main color for the brand will be. So if there is a lot of blue in the moodboard, I know the main color for this brand is most likely going to be blue. And then I take it from there and pick 4 to 7 other colors to add to this primary color and create my color palette. I might tweak it over time but I will always stay true to the first moodboard I created for my brand.
Basic techniques for creating a color palette
The basis for color selection is the color wheel. It shows the relationships between the primary, secondary and tertiary colors in a circle.
You can make the following selections which are part of the color theory:
Complementary: colors that are opposite on the color wheel. For example green and red.
Monochromatic: three different values of the same color. For example dark red, medium red and very soft red.
Analogous: colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example blue, green and light green
Triadic: colors that are evenly spaced colors around the color wheel. For example purple, green and orange.
Split complements: In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement. So for example red is the base color and we add light blue and light green.
Rectangle (tetradic) color scheme: this means we are using two complementary pairs on the color wheel so they form a rectangle. So for example light green, light orange, light purple and dark blue.
Square color scheme: this means we are using four colors evenly spaced around the color wheel. For example: red, organge, purple and blue. These work best if you let one color be dominant.
Adjusting the colors: Once you have selected your colors, you can adjust the saturation and and how dark or light a color is.
Or if that sounds too complicated :-) as color theory is a science in itself you can also just follow these rules:
Choose a mix of warm and cool colors
Choose dark and light colors to have a contrast
Add one color that stands out, for example a red for special call to actions or things you want highlight.
Color palette examples
And now I had a lot of fun selecting these color palettes for you. For each color I have chosen three examples of how you can pair them. Of course there are a lot more possibilities but it is just to give you an idea. As a basis for my selection I have always used one image.
Feel free to use the color palettes as they are or change them around. Use them as an inspiration!
Orange color palette
Red color palette
Green color palette
Yellow color palette
Purple color palette
Blue color palette
Brown color palette
Pink color palette
White color palette
Black color palette
Grey color palette
So I hope this gave you some inspiration for your own color palettes!
And if you want to learn more about the power of color and their meanings, go here:
Have a fantastic week
This is a great post by Canva.com which shows which fortune 500 companies use which colors for their logos and brands, it is very interesting!
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