How to choose the right brand colors

Last edited:
April 2, 2018
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Most bloggers or business owners don't select the colors for their website based on their Brand Style Guide, but mostly they make decisions which are based on their personal preference.

Before we go any further, I must tell you that is a big no-no!A color palette is part of your Brand Style Guide and serves as a basis for choosing the colors of your website, social media banners, email signature and everything brand-related. While branding is a must for online businesses, even professional bloggers are aware of the benefits of having a color palette for their blog.

How to choose the right color palette for your business?

You must understand that defining the color palette for your business is part of the branding process. Which is why step 1 is to define your brand mission and know your target audience. You should do this before you even start thinking about colors.

Step 1: Define a target audience

Every self-respecting online business owner knows her ideal customers. If you are just starting out with your (business) blog, then as a first step, you need to craft an ideal client avatar. This avatar should represent the majority of your ideal customer. In order to create a simple dream client avatar, as yourself the following questions:

  1. How old are they? 35-50? Under 24? Over 36?
  2. What's their gender? Are you possibly targeting only females?
  3. Where does my ideal client live? Big cities? Countryside?
  4. What's the #1 problem they have?
  5. What are their dreams, goals, and wishes?

This is important because your target audience might have a preference for a specific color. It's your job to do a research and find out what these are. You can't just pick colors based on what YOU like. It's about what your CLIENTS like. Makes sense? Cool.

Step 2: Build an inspiration board (also known as a Mood Board)

Once you have defined your target audience, it's time to do some pinning! This is my favorite part of the process.

Selecting images for your mood board

Sit down in a quiet place and open Pinterest- Create a private Board and name it "My Brand". You can also use the name of your business.- Open your file, notebook, or just look at the piece of paper where you drafted your target audience- Having this in mind, imagine that you are your target client and think about how you would want to feel when interacting with your brand. This step is super important. Don't just start pinning pretty pictures you like, this is not the idea here.-  After you are tuned in, start pinning to your private board. You don't need to limit yourself to pictures, you can also use patterns, icons and pretty much everything that supports your "brand feel".

Putting your mood board together

Once you have 20-30 images in your private Pinterest board, it's time to put those together. You can use any software you want for this. I personally use either Illustrator or Canva. Here's an example layout of how to arrange your mood board:

how to choose brand colors

Curious to see how I create a Mood Board? Click here to read the blog post.

Step 3: Extract the colors from your mood board

As a next step, you need to extract some colors from your mood board. There are several tools that can hell you do that.I recommend using Coolors or Canva's Color Palette Generator. All you need to do is upload your mood board and the software will detect the colors automatically.

Step 4: Refine your color palette

This is the final step in the process. If you have no prior design experience and want to create something really professional, I suggest that you stick to the color rules.

Make use of the Color Psychology chart

If you feel completely lost and are not sure if your target audience has a color preference, then it's always a good idea to look at the Color Psychology chart.Certain colors are associated with certain emotions and depending on what feeling you are trying to communicate, you can start with the corresponding color in the chart.

Look at what's being used in your niche as a reference

Another approach would be to just have a look at what colors other brands, that are similar to yours are using. Of course, under no circumstances should you just go and copy their colors! You don't want to be a copy of someone else's brand. So go ahead and do the work!

Color Rules

If you don't have any prior design knowledge, creating a color scheme can prove itself to be a really hard task! You could be like: But OMG I have so many colors, I can't pick. Or something like " No, I don't think combining pink and green is a good idea".After all, we don't want your website to turn out like this:

how to choose brand colors

Image Source: 99 designs

Well, you don't need to make a guess, because there is something called Color Theory. It teaches you how to best mix and match colors.

Generally speaking, you can have a complementary, analogous or triadic colors. If you've picked the main color for your palette and not sure about how to produce the rest, use Adobe Kuler. It generates color palettes based on the color theory rules. Quick and easy!

Take action now

I hope you found this post helpful! You now know the basics of color theory and know how to choose the right color palette for your business! If you want to learn how to brand your business in 2 days using Canva, then check out Zero to Brand Hero.

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