The Power of Color in Your Brand
Color has immense power. It's probably the quickest way to influence someone. Certain colors can influence certain emotions, and correct use of color can even increase memory.
Think of the last time you looked at a stop sign. What color is it? How did it make you FEEL?
To get the most impact with your brand, it's important to use color methodically. There’s been extensive study done on the psychology of color, and to ignore these when building your visual brand elements is potentially leaving money on the table.
Never fear, Sassy Sidekick is here! *insert heroic theme music here*
I’ll break down the method to the madness for you:
EVERY brand message starts with your core values. Everything you do or say or design is meant to support them. It’s important that you have those clearly defined, or else your messaging (both visual and spoken) will be muddled and inconsistent.
Once you have those decided on, you can begin to look at the colors that portray those the best. For example... red can convey passion and power, which is why it’s my main color. Of course, be aware of the shade variations available. I use a slightly deeper red, but a brighter red could convey danger or anger. When putting brands together for clients, I tend to pick one or two MAIN colors that work in harmony to portray those, and then pick other colors to support them.
When deciding on supporting colors for a brand palette, there’s a method for that as well! Sir Isaac Newton invented the color wheel, which shows the relationships between colors. Without being too dorky about it - you have primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Basically, the theory is that the primary colors are red, yellow and blue. All other colors are made up of a combination of those.
Based on the color wheel, you have several color schemes available. Most people have heard of monochromatic (where you have different shades of the same hue); but there’s also complimentary, triad, compound and analogous. I like to use the Color Wheel by Adobe to develop color palettes so you can know you’ve developed colors that are in harmony.
Another reason I like to use Adobe’s color wheel is that it gives you the actual HEX # (the universal identification number for that specific color). You should take note of this number and use it consistently throughout your visual elements so you can avoid the guesswork and be sure everything matches!
I hope that’s given you some insight on picking your brand colors like the “Big Brands” do so you can ensure that your colors are speaking FOR your brand and not against it. If you’d like some additional help, I am offering my Passion Projecting Color Selecting Guide for FREE as a special gift for Introcreative readers. All you have to do is enter the coupon code INTROCREATIVE at checkout.
Marcie Masters is the founder of Sassy Sidekick. She started helping local small businesses develop their brand in 2008. She has since transitioned to working with female entrepreneurs online teaching them how to use design principles and software to get great graphics and build a brilliant brand. You can connect with her in her group on facebook, The Sassy Superhero Society.