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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Striking Colour Palette

A memorable brand needs a cohesive and eye-catching colour palette. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of creating a distinctive brand colour scheme that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

Step 1: Define Your Brand Personality

Before selecting colours, identify the personality traits you want your brand to convey. Is your brand modern and innovative, or does it exude a sense of tradition and reliability? Choose adjectives that describe your brand, and use them as a foundation for your colour choices.

Step 2: Understand Colour Psychology

Explore the psychological impact of colours and how they influence emotions and perceptions. Consider the feelings you want to evoke in your audience. For example, blue often conveys trust and professionalism, while yellow radiates optimism and energy. Leverage colour psychology to align your brand with the desired emotional response.

Step 3: Limit Your Palette

While it's tempting to incorporate a multitude of colours, a concise palette is more effective. Aim for a primary colour that dominates your brand, accompanied by secondary and accent colours. Restricting your palette enhances visual consistency and makes your brand more memorable.

Step 4: Choose Your Primary Colour

Select a dominant colour that reflects your brand's essence. This will be the colour most prominently associated with your brand. Consider industry standards, competitor colours, and the emotional impact of the colour on your target audience.

Step 5: Add Secondary Colours

Complement your primary colour with a set of secondary colours. These should harmonize with the primary colour and provide versatility. Think about creating contrast and balance within your palette. Aim for colours that work well together and offer flexibility in various design applications. To generate ideas, you can use Adobe, Canva, Coolers, or any other colour palette-generating tool.

Step 6: Determine Accent Colours

Accent colours are used sparingly to draw attention to specific elements, such as call-to-action buttons or key messages. These colours should contrast with your primary and secondary colours while maintaining harmony. Choose accent colours that enhance visual hierarchy and guide the viewer's focus.

Step 7: Consider Accessibility

Ensure your colour palette is accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments. Use tools like colour contrast checkers to confirm that text remains readable against background colours. A thoughtful approach to accessibility promotes inclusivity and widens your brand's reach.

Step 8: Test Your Palette Across Platforms

Colours can appear differently on various devices and platforms, such as iPhone and Microsoft desktop screens. Test your colour palette to ensure consistency. While we can't control the appearance of our brand colours on all devices, keeping in mind variations and choosing a colour that more or less seems similar on each platform will help to maintain a cohesive brand experience, whether your audience engages with your brand on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Step 9: Document Your Palette

Create a comprehensive document detailing your brand colour palette. Include the hex codes, RGB values, and Pantone colours if applicable. This document serves as a reference for design teams, ensuring consistent implementation across all brand materials. Creating a brand book that contains all information about the brand is highly recommended.

Step 10: Implement and Evolve

Start incorporating your colour palette into your logo, website, marketing materials, and social media channels. Periodically reassess your colour choices based on market trends, shifts in your brand identity, or changes in your target audience. A dynamic colour palette allows your brand to stay relevant and fresh. Keep in mind to assign some percentages or functions to your colours. This will ensure a balanced and effective use of your primary colour in your brand representation, avoiding overutilization or scarce use.

By following these steps, you'll craft a distinctive colour palette that encapsulates your brand's identity. Consistency in colour application across all touchpoints will strengthen brand recognition and establish a visual language that resonates with your audience. Create a brand that will make a lasting impression with a palette that speaks volumes about who you are. As brand strategists, we'll be happy to help.


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