Sick and Tired of a Boring Brand? Color It Vibrant

by 15 04/26/2013

Color matters a lot. It creates energy and excitement around your brand.

Or completely detracts from it.

So how do you know which colors are right for your brand?

Your brand colors should have the right emotional association and match your brand’s unique style. Two infographics can show you how to do that.

The color of emotions

First, pick the emotion you want people to feel when they think about your brand. Then pick a color that expresses that emotion. This infographic can serve as as a simple guide.

Color Emotion Guide22 Psychology Of Color In Logo Design

An infographic by the team at The Logo Company

Decide on the range of colors you’ll use

Once you know what emotion you want to convey, you need to decide whether you’ll build your brand with that one color or blend it with others.

Some common choices include:

  • Monochromatic: stick with colors that belong to one color family (such as brown or blue)
  • Analogous: use two or three colors that appear next to one another on the color wheel
  • Complementary: Chose two colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel
  • Triadic: Chose three colors, equally spaced around the color wheel

Color your brand’s personality

Now you can create a “palette” or color combination that communicates your style.

For example, take a look at these four brand, each using a different color combination to convey their  style.

 Warm and comforting browns

brown - cupcakes

crumbs bake shop

Browns evoke home and hearth, comfort and warmth. As you can see here, you can combine different shades of brown or mix them with grays, blues or other colors.

Playful greens

grouponplayful greenIf your brand is playful or energetic, consider a mix of greens, blues and oranges. This color combination takes you outside, where colors are warm and vibrant.

Serious blues

hslda

serious blueBlue, especially deep blues such as these, are calming and serious. It blends well with gray, tan, or orange, but you’ll want to keep secondary colors toned down so you don’t mimic the playful color combination above.

Energetic reds

guerra creative

energetic redWant more energy? Create a powerful combination of reds. Just be careful not to overpower your visitors. Offer plenty of white space to give their eyes a break.

Express yourself

Whatever the style of your brand, select colors that wordlessly reflect that personality. Use the infographics above to get you started, then play around with different color combinations until you find one that resonates.

What’s your take on colors and branding? Are there certain color combinations that you love — or hate?

About 

Kathryn Aragon is editor of The Daily Egg and publisher of the C4 Report. She is committed to helping businesses communicate, connect, convert... and capture their market. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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15 COMMENTS

Nate Shivar

Such a fun post – and I absolutely love the leading infographic. I had never considered how color literally speaks emotion in design.

April 28, 2013 Reply

Emma Siemasko

I love these posts on color. I’ve seen a ton of cool infographics on the web about how to color your site. It was a really hard choice when creating Frog2Prince. Thanks, Kathryn.

April 29, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    How did you finally decide, Emma?

    April 29, 2013 Reply

      Emma Siemasko

      I went with green because of our frog, and because I wanted a color that was a nice balance between masculine and feminine. If I redesigned, I’m not sure I’d make the same choice. I might pick blue, which makes people feel safe and secure.

      April 30, 2013 Reply

        Kathryn Aragon

        That makes sense. With blue as an accent, it works, but it could work in blue too. Thanks for sharing, Emma!

        April 30, 2013 Reply

Designer Rob Russo

Nice round up of color theories and examples. I, too, agree that “color matters a lot.”

I’ve stuck with orange to brand me, myself and I for years now, and it works well for me. If orange didn’t exist, I’d be okay in my masculinity to go with a pink or purple or some bright color in between.

I like how bold and bright some of the colors can be … Which plays to one’s advantage when you want to, as you say, “express yourself.”

May 7, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Thanks, Rob! Orange seems to work for you, but I applaud your willingness to consider some other bright colors. By the way, I love your article on pink as a brand color.

    May 7, 2013 Reply

Bo

Love the infographic explaining color/emotions. Had some vagueish notions about how color affects mood, but this clarified it.
I’m working with dark blue, I thought intuitively, and now see that it relates well. I was looking for a brighter secondar color, and like the muted orange.
Thanks.

May 10, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Great choice! Blue with orange gives you a strong color combo. Thanks for sharing, Bo.

    May 10, 2013 Reply

Tola

am totally fascinated with the infographic explaining color/emotions. very simple, informative and intelligent. my view before now was quite shallow. thanks a million. The kind of business i do requires a level of trust . am definitely going for blue, i hope it works with a pinch of yellow. is it workable?

November 8, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Your welcome, Tola. Blue with yellow accents should work well together. Try to pick a yellow that shows up on a web page, though. It can be hard to see if it isn’t the right color. Good luck!

    November 8, 2013 Reply

Jacqueline Fairbrass

Great infographic. I’ve just worked through the process to come up with new branding colors and his totally reinforces my choices. Great article too.

January 11, 2014 Reply


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