How to Generate the Perfect Brand Colour Palette

How to Generate the Perfect Brand Colour Palette

Anuja Lath 09/09/2019 4

Every colour has a meaning triggering a special emotional response.

This also holds true for brands that are able to reflect their persona by the choice of colours they have used in their branding. Think about how brands that have fair use of red as their primary colour are often in the business of delivering fun and happiness, for instance, Coke, Hamleys, etc. Likewise, most brands associated with money or finance make use of blue, like SBI, Barclays, Bank of America, Citibank, etc. This isn’t and cannot be a mere coincidence that every one that is serving the same industrial segment tends to like the same colour. One inference can definitely be drawn that branding and colour schemes have a deep connection.

Branding Colour Schemes Matter. But why?

Emotions have a profound effect on our decisions. Branding is said to be successful when the brand is able to give rise to the right set of emotions. It is obvious that it is not just the colours but a combination of logo, name, product, customer service, website, store, etc. which will help in developing a deep emotional connection with your customers. But definitely, colours send a clear message without the need, on the customer’s part, to notice other branding cues.

In a famous book, Colour Psychology and Colour Theory, Faber Birren, has reiterated the connection between the colours and the emotions. He has even stated that the same colour can, in fact, invoke the same kind of emotional response in different people. The colour theory thus seeks to explain human affiliations to colours on a much deeper note.

It has also been proven scientifically that customers are more likely to be attracted to a brand if they are able to have a feeling for it and are emotionally drawn to it. The use of the same colour in different brand merchandise and ventures fosters brand awareness.

How to Choose Brand Colours?

The first step is to develop a clear vision of the real personality of the brand. The rule says that the colour of your brand should be in line with its personality. It is possible that you do not personally like the colour blue, but in case you are going to open a finance firm, then picking blue would be a good idea. Colours will be used in stores, logos, websites, packaging, staff uniforms, and even advertisements. The choice of colours becomes easy if you know what you are trying to say in your messages. There is a spectrum of the personality traits in brands ranging from feminine-masculine, delightful-grim, modern-retro, young-old, etc. The colour choice will be a clear reflection of the goals of your brand communication which again will depend on the brand personality. This is because every colour has a different connotation and leads to specific emotional associations.

Colours and Meaning in Branding

Every colour has an association with a particular emotion and leads to similar reactions among people. Here is a list of colours and their related meanings:

  • Red: Passion, Love, Anger. It is linked with life and attention.
  • Orange: Friendliness, Creativity and Vigour. It is linked to energy.
  • Yellow: Hope, Youth, Positivity. It is also linked to being friendly to pocket and attention-seeking.
  • Blue: Formal and Secure. It is linked to maturity and trust.
  • Purple: Royalty and Luxury. It is linked to indulgence and lavishness.
  • Green: Growth and Prosperity. It is often linked to nature.
  • White: Health, Serenity and Virtuous. It can be either very approachable or completely high-end.
  • Black: Powerful, Luxurious and Edgy. It is linked to riches and modernity.

Another point to note is that colours and the way they are used in the designs and logos related to the brands, the proportion of every colour in relation to others will make a lot of difference.

How to Create a Brand Colour Palette?

There are no strict rules and the choice is both personal and professional. But, taking care of some basic cues can definitely help in the creation of a unique brand identity.

  • Pick 3 Colours: You should start with three basic colours which will be the base, the accent and finally the neutral to bring about the fundamental variations in hues.

  • Choice of Base: Base is the most important colour and is the one which should be closest to the brand personality and will have maximum appeal to the target audience. All the other colours in the palette must best match the primary colour or the base.

  • Choice of Accent: This forms the second-best to the base colour. The choice is a little difficult as it is dictated by both the base and the brand personality.

  • Choice of Neutral: This forms the primary background colour whose main purpose is not to catch attention but accentuate the colour scheme chosen. Greys, blacks, whites, etc. often go in this part.

Bottom line is that you should have a clear idea of your brand personality and message. Brands also make a choice from among monochromatic, analogous, triadic, etc. schemes as well depending on the above factors. Too many colours cannot symbolise professionalism and security commanded from a financial brand, and likewise purple cannot symbolise fast food, etc. These are basic cues that have far-reaching consequences which are not always apparent but subtle. Theses subtleties go a long way in developing right connect with the target audience and win a share of their heart and mind. Effective branding colour schemes not only make people appreciate but also compels them to feel the message. Think!


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  • Harry Mitchell

    Each color has a huge impact on our lives

  • Rachel Williamson

    Blue is my favourite colour

  • Jack Ward

    Completely agreed

  • Owen Todhunter

    Pick each colour carefully

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Anuja Lath

Digital Marketing Expert

Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.


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