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Use this Formula to Choose Your Brand Colours in 5 Minutes Flat

#DidYouKnow … a signature colour can boost brand recognition by 80 percent?

Also, research has shown that people are judgy mcjudgersons. Within 90 seconds of seeing a product or business, they’ll have decided if they like ya or they don’t. Between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.

So, no pressure, but a lot is riding to make a good first impression, and choosing colours that tell a story for your brand is a big part of that!

And this is good news, because colours are so FUNNN!! (well, they are if you’re a design geek like me. *silently counts approximately 80,000 paint palette cards she owns from the hardware store*)

If you aren’t a design geek, I get it that this can be a little paralyzing. So let’s turn that frown upside down, my friend…  here’s a guide to choosing your colours in 5 minutes flat, so you can just get on with your life.

Formula to Choose Your Brand Colours in 5 Mins Flat
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The Secret Brand Colour Formula

Here’s the secret formula. Well, actually it’s more of a venn diagram, and I don’t know if I would call this a secret, per se. But basically, your brand colours should be the crossroads of:


Brand colour formula

Step 1: Choose colours you love

So first of all, you should like your brand colours. Authentic branding is all about feeling incredible ease and confidence in your business because it truly feels like an extension of who you are (which is mega attractive to ideal clients.)

So basically, if you hate purple, don’t use purple. If yellow makes you want to puke, probably not the best choice.

A great place to start is to browse through this website – ColorPalettes.net – and save a few that really draw your attention.

Cool hip color palette
From colorpalette.net

Another way to do it is to choose two or three photos you absolutely love and feel represent your brand. Then upload them to this site and it will generate some colour palettes for you from the image.

Step 2 – Does it fit your brand’s personality?

Then, look at your choices and ask yourself which of these colour palettes suit your brand’s personality best.

For example, if your brand’s personality is high energy, funny, sassy, and bold… are these colours that?

bold sassy brand palette
From colorpalettes.net

When doing this part, note that it’s the shades of colours are more important than the actual colours themselves.

So in the example above, you’d probably want to choose bright, bold shades of colour to match your bold brand personality.

If your brand’s personality is soft, kind, and feminine, you may want to go with light, pastel colours.

If your brand’s personality is all about luxury and exclusivity, then deep, dark shades will suit your brand’s personality.

Step 3. Ask yourself if your ideal client would like these colours

Hot pink donut color palette
From colorpalettes.net

Okay so we’ve established that you LOVE hot pink. But if your audience and clients are stuffy corporate man bosses, maybe hot pink isn’t the way to go.

But if you’re a business coach for woman, YES! Using hot pink is a great way to differentiate yourself and show off your personality.

In the first case, if your fave colour doesn’t quite work with your intended audience… ask yourself what colours you love that they would too? Is there a different colour palette you saved from step 1 that would work for everyone?

Got it? Great! You’ve done it! You’ve picked your colours! Go you!

But what about colour psychology?

If you’ve ever googled anything about brand colours, you’ve probably heard of colour psychology (or seen a million infographics about it).

Are you getting hung up on that right now?

My advice? Fuggedaboutit.

I think it has some merit, but also is WAY too blanketed to actually mean anything.

If you’re not familiar with this, it basically boils down to saying that each colour is meant to evoke a certain emotion or association.

For example:

Red = Exciting, Stimulating
Orange = Friendly, Accessible
Yellow = Optimistic, Happy
Green = Fresh, Growth, Peaceful
Blue = Dependable, Stoic
Purple = Luxury, Creativity

Like, for example, you often see banks using blues in their branding (usually darker blues), because it’s ‘dependable’, which is obviously what you want your bank to be.

But do you think I chose a darkish blue as my main colour because I want to be seen as dependable like a bank?? NO!

I mean, I am dependable… but that’s not my brand’s main jam.

I chose it because I LOVE blue! And it’s a colour that women tend to like, but it’s also not too overly girly or feminine, which isn’t really me.

Colours are just too complex to say that, for example, all blues evoke the same emotion in everybody. Colours exist in context and your perception of it is influenced by the shade of the colour, and overall feel of the brand, not just the colour itself.

So in the context of a bank with a masculine brand personality, yes… blue may evoke a sense of dependability.

But when you look at MY website and MY brand, and you see the blue in the context of the graphics, the other colours, and the copy… you can tell that my brand is fun, feminine, and a wee bit edgy, and the blue doesn’t change that.

So. Step away from the colour psychology infographic and just follow my formula.

Got it? Good. ?

Still confused AF?

Hopefully you’ve got your brand colours dialled now, but if not, I got you. Get in touch for a branding package and we’ll get your colours sorted right out.

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Picture of Tracy Raftl - Brand Strategist and Web Designer for Purpose-Driven Women

Hi! I'm Tracy

My team and I do custom, strategic brand & web design for women with purpose. ​Click here to learn more about us!

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