As designers, understanding colour is integral to what we do and we know how important a colour scheme can be to a company’s image. Getting the colour right can make your brand instantly recognisable, emotive and unique, as well as setting the tone for all your brand communications. When it comes to choosing a brand colour we’ll listen carefully to your colour preferences, and make sure that the chosen colours resonate with your audience. In the meantime, here are some good starting points to consider.
1. Pick a colour you like
You’re going to have to live and breathe your brand. Many household brands are recognisable by their colour alone. If you unashamedly love vibrant purple or electric blue, then go for it! However, if your favourite colour is khaki green and you’re trying to sell children’s toys, you might want to consider tips 2–5…
2. Resonate with your audience
It’s a good idea to choose a colour that your target audience will like. Rather than guessing which colours might be successful, try some of these ideas:
- Survey a sample of your target audience with a selection of colours you think might work
- Research your competitors – it’s always good to know what other people are using so you can either assimilate or differentiate yourself.
- Use your common sense – many people have a good sense of colour, and if you follow your nose, chances are you might be right.
3. Consider trends and fashions
Colours go in and out of fashion. While it may be important to your company to be ‘en vogue’, be aware that trends change at the drop of a hat. What might be today’s ‘colour of the season’ might be the equivalent of an avocado bathroom suite in a few years time. All brands change and evolve. Can you imagine a new iPhone with the old rainbow coloured Apple logo?
4. Pick something timeless
There are colours which will always look contemporary and there are colours which are traditionally used to convey particular values. Green is often used to portray environmental credentials. Red is used for passion and energy. Navy blue is often used for financial institutions that wish to express professionalism, reliability and strength. It’s also worth considering colour theory and ideas of complementary colours. It’s no coincidence that colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel work well together… orange and blue, purple and yellow, red and green.
5. If in doubt, go with black
If you’re not a colour person, rather than agonizing over the relative merits of olive over fuschia, consider black. It doesn’t have to be boring. Black works with almost any other colour. Bright colours, especially acidic and zingy colours work well with black, and it also goes brilliantly with neutral colours and greys.