One of the most exciting parts in developing a brand identity is defining the color palette. In fact, I’d say it’s as important as developing your logo in the first place because your colors will set an overall vibe for your brand.
Color taps into our emotional psyche. We react strongly to colors and will decide that we like or don’t like something if the color is wrong. True, any individual element has the potential to throw off the success of a design, but colors are huge.
When we take the time to define a set color palette we are defining an overall mood and vibe for your brand.
Is your brand bold and brash? Maybe a bit in your face? If so then high contrast and bright colors will serve you well.
Take another look at the T-Mobile branding since 2012. They started challenging the status quo and think of themselves as the un-carrier. They took a hot pink/fuschia color that once would have been more associated with Barbie and made it badass through their selective use of it in combination with a rebel black palette. Strong message. Strong position. Huge success.
Is it bright and fun? Yes? Then look at how bright colors work together to create a surprisingly fresh feel.
A great example of this is Frooti. They partnered with Sagmeister & Walsh to create a bright and fun campaign for their Mango Drink. They used size and colors to really push the playful feel keeping everything bright and fresh.
Are you concerned about making people feel secure about your company? Consider using a very blue palette.
I could point out a ton of different brand examples to show you this one because not only is blue a color that makes us feel secure and safe, but in general most people love the color. Some examples of blues in branding include: PNC Bank, RideKC Streetcar, Social Security (USA). Since blue is such a popular color, choosing the right tone of blue is going to go a long way in establishing the vibe. Blue can be environmentally friendly, masculine, feminine, serious or even fun.
Your colors are going to be a large part of what pulls the visual identity of your brand together so in some ways they’re even more important than your logo. When developing your brand identity and colors though you don’t want to just look at what they are, but how you want to use them.
When developing your colors consider the vibe of your brand. What kind of presence does it have? Is it a bit rebellious? Is it young and fresh? Down-to-earth? Powerful? Whatever the case, make sure to ask yourself if the proposed color-palette is giving off the right vibe before signing off on it.