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how to pick the right brand colors

The Palette Process: How to Choose Effective Brand Colors

Mike Dietz

Every year, Pantone releases a Color of the Year, which is meant to be a symbolic choice that captures the mood and attitude of the upcoming year. This year, they announced Greenery, a bright yellow-green, to be 2017’s Color of the Year.

Pantone is a company that has successfully created a system for effectively matching and communicating colors. It’s essentially a labeling system that tears down the “language barrier” between operating systems and media, which allows for a true color-match. Their reputation is based on creating thousands of colors, so they don’t take choosing the Color of the Year lightly.

Companies must also go through thousands of color options to find the ones best suited for their brand and marketing campaigns. If you’re in the process of finding a new color palette, consider the following recommendations:

Choose brand colors that evoke an emotion or response

It’s important that your main colors represent the tone and feeling of your brand. The way Pantone choose their Color of the Year is the same way you want to find your brand colors. Green, like Pantone’s Greenery, is invigorating and represents fresh starts, which is why it was chosen for 2017. Your brand might be best suited by a passionate red or a cool gray. Just make sure that the colors are representing you in a way that benefits your brand.

Consider what’s popular in your industry

It’s important to look around and see what your competitors are doing. Learning what’s already out there can help you plan your color palette by either showing you what’s working, or showing you what’s overused. For instance, have you ever noticed how many insurance companies use blue as one of their brand colors? Blue is a strong, bold color that is calming, but not overly soft, which makes it great for insurance. However, if you want to represent a new kind of insurance or stand apart from the crowd, you might want to go in a different direction for your brand colors.

Pick complementary colors that range from light to dark

Think of how the colors work as a whole, in addition to how well they stand on their own. While it might be tempting to pick many different colors to add variety, it doesn’t serve your campaigns well to be limited to one color per piece. Choosing colors that complement each other and range from light to dark will give you room to play with combinations and different styles, and it provides the freedom to use more graphic designs without having a very dark or overly bright piece.

If you find yourself drowning in Pantone swatches, contact me today, and we’ll help you find the perfect colors to complement your brand.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2017/04/28/how-to-choose-brand-colors/
Mike Dietz

Author

Mike Dietz

Executive Creative Director, graduate of St. Cloud State University and IWCO Direct team member for more than 18 years. Personal business philosophy: “Beautiful design is fantastic, but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t matter.” Proud father who enjoys spending time with family, golfing and is a life-long Minnesota Vikings fan.

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