Color Palette


If you are not an artist or working in a field like graphic design or even interior design, you may love color but feel intimidated when trying to pick out a color scheme. If you are not ready to hire someone for this job there are some tools to help guide you towards color schemes that look good together.

How Many Colors Do I Need?

The good news is that you don't need to pick a ton of colors you can go with just one color as some major brands do. Examples of these would be Coca-Cola or Facebook with their color being red and blue respectively. That is not to say that they don't use other colors as however there is just one focal point.

Most big brands are using two or three colors in their design. The most well executed brands will have two primary colors and one accent color that pops against the other two.

Yes, I told you that you can go with just one color, and then include a quote that says two or three colors, and no, I am not crazy and it will all come together, just stick with me. Remember that online media (websites and social media) can be changed and is an iterative process, it is ok to start with a solid base that includes a road map of what you want to move towards, and add in pieces as it makes sense. Color is just one of those pieces, it is fine to start with one, this post is going to help you find the others. There are plenty of tools to help you out, and I will give you a few references that I use when I am working with color at the end of this post.

What Does Color Mean

You can find a ton of marketing and art blogs that talk about color and how it influences the way people feel, this is not one of them. This is just a bit of exposure to that world as you work on creating or updating your brand colors. If you are not sure where to begin, start with something basic like what is your favorite color, or a broad look at how some colors are perceived. Below you will see an excellent broad breakdown of common colors from Branding Compass.

Red can reference love, hate and sex and are used by powerful brands like Tesla and many healthcare companies.

Pink is mostly used by female-focused brands, but has also been used by progressive brands like Lyft.

Orange alerts us to danger and is high-energy, famous orange logos include Home Depot and Harley Davidson.

Yellow is cheerful and fun like MailChimp, or rugged like Caterpillar.

Green often connotes nature and used by many natural and agricultural brand, but also can refer to money.

Blue is viewed as conservative and trustworthy, and is used by most water brands to show purity.

Purple suggests royalty and fantasy, but is now being used by several tech companies.

Black can be mournful, rebellious or elegant.

Canva has a very detailed blog post, which can be a bit overwhelming, but it has a ton of great information. If you are already overwhelmed by the idea of creating your brand colors or updating your brand colors, there is no shame in skipping the article and starting smaller.

  • Taking time to choose your brand colors carefully is a smart investment.
  • One warning: Because it’s free to use, many people go overboard with color.
  • After all, how can you possibly choose just a handful of brand colors from the millions available?
  • But showing restraint when choosing a color palette is the #1 way professional graphic designers create memorable brands

How Do I Create A Color Palette?

If you have one color there are a lot of options out there that you can use to pick additional complementary colors to be a secondary color as well as an accent color, to achieve the 2+1 formula mentioned at the top of this post.

If you see a color on a website and you want to use it but you don't know what the color code is for there are browser-add ons to help you. I have used ColorZilla and ColorPick Eyedropper, check out my video on my YouTube channel.

I have used the following sites to generate color palettes:

  • Pantone This is the ‘go to’ place for the trending colors, and I find it very overwhelming.
  • ColorSpace This is my preferred tool.

What is your favorite color combination? Did you pick your brand colors or did you hire a graphic designer? Let me know on my Facebook page. Facebook page.

NOTE: I am not being paid for my mentions of people, articles, products, or books I used above nor do I receive referral compensation. The links I provide are for your convenience only.

Unless otherwise indicated I sourced the links provided while researching a post. Links that I provide at the request of another person/business will be noted, and if I am paid to provide a link I will disclose that information on the post in which it is applicable. All opinions are mine, regardless of whether or not I am compensated, and are not in any way influenced by the requesting party.

DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

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