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Brand and web designer located in Virginia. Enneagram 2, Wedding Photographer, and lover of rainy days. I thrive off of building heartfelt brands for female-led businesses

Meet Andrea

How to Choose Your Brand Color Palette

The best thing to do when first creating a color palette is begin your research. For every client I take on, I create a separate (secret) Pinterest board and pin images based on their questionnaires. Taking images, logos, illustrations, and fonts, I create a mood board where I sample 5 different colors and create their dream brand color palette.

So, before you get started – ask yourself these questions:

  1. What terms do you associate (or want to associate) with your brand?
  2. Describe your ideal client. What do they do? Where do they shop? What’s their home decor style? After you answer, go to those websites – see what colors are in their
  3. What colors do you like? What do you hate? What do you not want to be associated with your future brand?
  1. Choose One Brighter Primary Color
    • This color should be the main color you use throughout your brand. I like to use my primary “dark blue” color for headings and large script words
  2. Choose Two Darker Secondary Colors
  3. Choose Three Neutral Standard Colors

Into brand psychology? Here are some more helpful color associations:

  • Red – bold, active, passionate
  • Pink – feminine, romantic
  • Orange – enthusiastic, playful, fun
  • Yellow – happy, warm, cheerful
  • Green – eco-friendly, fresh
  • Blue – calming, trustworthy, peaceful
  • Purple – royal, creative
  • Black – classic, sophisticated, formal
  • Brown – stable, earthy, rugged

*be warned, there are also some negative connotations with brands that are used. 

Tips when choosing your own color palette:

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Nothing’s set in stone, so just go for it and be creative with your color scheme research.
  • More is not always better. Rather than busy your color palette up, there’s nothing wrong with white space and neutral/lighter tones and textures.

Resources for color palettes:

There is a formula for creating a great color palette. Your brand color palette should be around 5-7 colors. This allows you to have plenty of colors for any situation while still maintaining consistency and brand recognition. 

Creating your brand color palette

2 Main Colors 

I always choose one main bold(ish) color and then a color that compliments it. These will be your two main brand colors that will create brand recognition. I’m a HUGE fan of neutrals and lighter tones, so the “bold” color for me is usually a darker color.

Bold Color – Pick a bold color that you love and that represents your brand’s mission (think back to those three adjectives you thought of that describes your brand). This color will be used for grabbing attention, highlighting important information, and used for calls to action. This color should be memorable so I suggest picking this one first. 

Complimentary Color– Next pick a color that contrasts and compliments the bold color. It can be useful to use the color wheel for picking a complementary color. I like to use Adobe Color

2-3 Neutral Colors
Accent Neutral – Next pick a neutral shade that pairs well with your bold and complimentary color. This will help ground your colors and can be used as an accent color. 

1 Dark Neutral – Pick a dark neutral color that aligns with the rest of your color scheme. This color will be used mostly for paragraph text. 

1 Light Neutral – Pick a light neutral color. This color will be used for background and supporting elements. This color will not take the limelight and will be used to add depth to the brand palette.

If you liked this, then you’ll love:

Things to Know Before DIYing Your Brand

Mistakes I’ve Made as a Brand Designer

Things Your Graphic Designer Wants You To Know

It all starts with good design.

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