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Sick and Tired of a Boring Brand? Color It Vibrant

by Kathryn Aragon

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

groupon

Serious blues

hslda serious blue

Energetic reds

guerra creative energetic red

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?

14 Comments

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Kathryn Aragon

Kathryn Aragon is the former editor of The Daily Egg. She’s a content strategist and consultant on mission to help content marketers get measurable results from their content. Learn more at KathrynAragon.com. Follow her on Twitter.

14 COMMENTS

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  1. January 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

    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.

  2. Tola says:
    November 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

    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 at 8:45 am

      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!

  3. Bo says:
    May 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

    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 at 11:24 am

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

  4. May 7, 2013 at 7:55 am

    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 at 8:58 am

      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.

  5. Emma Siemasko says:
    April 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

    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 at 10:46 am

      How did you finally decide, Emma?

      • Emma Siemasko says:
        April 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

        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 at 11:59 am

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

  6. Nate Shivar says:
    April 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

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

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Glad to hear it, Nate! Thanks for commenting.

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