There are so many small details that go into forming a stand-out brand for your business. Often people immediately connect a brand with a logo but it’s so much more than that. A solid brand not only needs strong visuals but it needs to make the viewer feel a connection in order to be memorable. One commercial we love that helps explain this is the Doritos anti-ad commercial (https://www.ispot.tv/ad/oz3Y/doritos-vma-a-chip-so-iconic-featuring-aap-ferg). In this commercial, no logos are shown and no jingles. What is shown then?
Throughout the commercial, the triangle shape is shown along with its colors. The iconic red and blue bags speak for themselves. This is proof that the best brands are built in the details. Doritos have used the two colors repeatedly over their existence to strengthen their brand awareness. A color palette may seem minimal but it’s what can be a prominent factor in making your brand recognizable and be a direct factor to reaching your clients’ hearts.
Choosing a color palette is one of the first details we decide on in our branding projects. It’s one of our favorite parts of the whole process too! A brand color palette evokes a lot of emotion and provides an overall feel for the direction of our client’s brand. A lot of thought goes into choosing the colors for your brand and we’re sharing the steps of how we narrow down the rainbow of colors to capture your brand perfectly.
Our Client’s preferred colors: The first step we take is asking our clients what colors they prefer. A brand should be a representation of the owner and therefore it is important that the brand is built with the client in mind. There are colors that each individual is drawn to for different reasons and it is these preferences that reflect the client’s uniqueness, which we want to shine in the brand. We begin the branding process with a Brand Discovery Questionnaire and the question of the client’s color preferences is on there for this reason.
Business goals and values: Your business goals and values dive deep into the emotional side of your business. It is important to lay a solid foundation of your brand identity and what you want your customers to feel when they work/purchase from you. Do you want them to feel calm and trust? Bold and confident? Color can provide all these feelings for your brand.
Client’s Ideal Client’s preference: The target audience of a brand should always be the main factor when building a brand. It is important to find out the ideal client our client is hoping to reach. In order to define this, research must be done in order to discover the color palettes that the ideal clients are already drawn to.
Client Industry: The industry is an important consideration when choosing a color palette. Many industries have a standard for a color palette such as it wouldn’t be acceptable for an insurance company to have McDonald’s vibrant red and yellow as primary colors. When choosing a color palette the goal is to choose colors that align with others in the field but stand out from the rest while remaining professional.
Blending all these four considerations result in the perfect color palette for your brand that not only you will love but your ideal clients will too. Now on to how to go about putting different colors together. A color palette needs base colors, accent colors, and neutrals to create a balance.
Base colors: A base color is the primary color that is most associated with your brand. Think of the medium green shade of Starbucks or Netflix’s medium shade of red. For these colors it is extremely important to choose a color that embodies your business as they will be the main recognizable colors for your brand. These have a lot of affect on the emotion the brand elicits.
Accent (secondary) color: Secondary colors should be chosen with care as well and should compliment your primary color. A few options can be chosen for these colors: Analogous, monochromatic, or contrasting color. Analogous color scheme means that the colors you choose go along with the same color family such as warm or cool shades. Monochromatic color scheme is where the secondary colors are different shades of the primary color. Contrasting color schemes are when these colors contrast one another.
Neutrals: If you took a peek into our closets, you’d know we’re pretty big fans of this category of colors. Neutral colors are just as important as all of your other colors because they will be used often such as in text on a website or in the background of your graphics. They will be used almost as often as your primary color and that’s why they shouldn’t be overlooked. Think of more than white or black as neutral colors and you’ll quickly see how there are many more color options that can serve as neutrals in your brand’s color palette.
A brand’s color palette takes time to define through all these considerations and shouldn’t be overlooked or rushed to find the right blend for your company.