As a designer, I work with many elements. I deal with lines, shapes, fonts, logos, etc. The list goes on. I find, however, that the most impactful element is color. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. This is a simple guide to color in branding.

Know Your Brand

Before you can begin to find a color that suits your brand, you need to know who you are as a brand. What does your brand stand for? Are you an established bank who is trustworthy and all about values, or are you a fresh new designer who thrives on trends? These two brands would use very different color stories, so you must know who you are before you can show who you are.

Learn the Meaning of Colors

Now that we know who you are, let’s pick a main color. Say that you’re the established bank who wants people to know you are trustworthy and all about values. You’re going to want to choose a color that’s a bit more subdued and traditional. Navy is a great choice as it invokes a feeling of strength and history without being aggressive. Deep greens and reds will also create the same feeling. Bright red is a great color if you’re in the food industry, as it makes people hungry and gets the heart pumping. If you’re a trendy designer, maybe try an unexpected color like avocado green or a bright fuscia. Bright colors will give a sense of energy and intensity, while pastel colors create a sense of freshness and newness. There is a lot of meaning behind color so choose your color thoughtfully.

color in branding

Select a Secondary Color

Having accent colors is a great way to give your brand a more distinct identity. The use of complementary colors (hues on the opposite side of the color wheel) is always visually impactful as the colors will always naturally balance eachother out. Say your established bank has chosen a deep navy blue as your primary color. The addition of a soft orange or yellow can make your visuals pop and have a sense of energy. Imagine that you’ve chosen fuscia for your design company. Adding an unexpected light lime green will give your brand a sense of freshness. A tertiary color (hues next to each other on the color wheel) can be a subtle addition that enhances your visual. Imagine that you have a bright red for your main color. Adding a bright orange and yellow can generate more visual interest by creating an ombre effect. Paletton is a great tool for helping you pick out color schemes. Play around with your accent colors, as there are many ways to go.

Use of White Space

White space is incredibly important in any form of design. White space or “negative space” is the space between objects. It creates a sense of breathability and openness, and can be very pleasing to the eye. High end brands are notorious for their use of white space and simplicity. Take a look at any luxury brand and take note of the negative space and clean design. Sometimes you may want a dark background with light text, but use caution as this can look inexpensive. If you chose to use a dark color, make sure that your text is readable as it can strain your eyes, which is not enjoyable for anyone.

Conclusion

This was just a brief overview of color in branding. Remember to know who you are as a brand, understand the meaning of color, and be mindful of white space. Color can be incredibly powerful but you must choose your colors thoughtfully. When in doubt, you can always contact the professionals at Bullseye Media!