Building your own small business from the ground up can be really exciting! And if you are just starting out, then one of the first things you are going to need to do is choose colors for your brand, logo, and website!
In fact, choosing a brand color palette is probably one of the most important decisions that you will need to make! The colors you choose can have a massive impact on how your customers and clients perceive your brand and website. Choosing the right color scheme can make your brand stand out making a strong and memorable first impression.
But, with so many different colors to choose from, where do you start?
In this article, I’ll go over how to choose the perfect color palette for your brand so that it aligns with your brand’s values and personality. We’ll also go over why brand and website colors are important and how to use color to your advantage.
By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of how color impacts business branding and you should have a few great ideas to get you started!
Why Brand Colors Are Important For Your Small Business
Choosing the right colors for your brand is incredibly important and it could be argued that color is one of the most important things to consider when creating a brand identity.
The right colors can make your brand visually appealing and memorable especially when you use your brand colors consistently across all mediums such as your website, logo, social media, and marketing materials. When choosing brand colors, your goal should be to create a cohesive brand identity that your customers and clients can easily recognize.
Colors Create A Memorable Brand Identity
Choosing the right color palette for your website and brand helps to make it stand out from your competition and also creates an emotional connection with your customers.
For example, did you know that the color red has been found to increase appetite and make food seem more appealing? This is why red is probably one of the most used colors in fast-food restaurants!
It is important to choose colors that reflect your brand’s personality. For example, if your brand is playful and fun, and appeals to a younger demographic then you could consider bright and vibrant colors. Likewise, if your brand is more elegant and wants to convey feelings of sophistication you might consider a more subdued brand color palette.
The Right Colors Evoke The Right Emotions
I find it really fascinating how colors are able to evoke certain emotions in people. Let’s go back to red. You will often see red being used in brands that are associated with passion, excitement, and urgency. Blue, on the other hand, is associated with reliability and trust so you will usually see blue being used in brands that collect people’s personal information such as financial institutions and social media companies.
By understanding how colors work and the emotions that they create you can use them to your advantage in your branding. The right colors can help you to communicate the types of emotions and feelings you want people to associate with your brand without saying a single word!
Colors Enhance Your Audiences Experience
No matter what color palette you choose for your brand it is important to consider how the palette will translate to your online marketing such as your website and social media presence.
The right color palette can make your website not only visually appealing but also easy to navigate. Colors help to guild your visitors to important information and elements on your website such as links, buttons, and calls to action. By making your website appealing and easy to interact with you ultimately keep users on your website for longer.
How To Choose A Color Scheme For Your Brand And Website
When it comes to choosing brand colors and designing and building your small business website, you need to choose colors that not only reflect your brand identity and values but also ones that are easy to interact with on-screen. Here are some important things to consider before choosing your color palette:
Define Your Brand Identity And Values
The colors you choose for your brand should reflect the values that you want to convey to your customers and clients.
Is your brand vibrant, playful, and fun, or is it more serious and professional? Do you want to attract clients that want to buy luxury brands or those who value affordability?
By understanding the message that you want to convey through your branding it becomes easier to choose the right color palette.
Consider Your Target Audience
Is your perfect client young and vibey or more mature and professional?
Narrowing down exactly who you are marketing to will help you choose the best colors for your brand.
For example, if you are trying to appeal to a more mature, professional crowd then using a color such as blue that conveys a sense of reliability and trust might be the best color to use.
Look At Your Competitors’ Websites And Branding
Go ahead and visit some of your competitor’s websites for ideas and inspiration. Of course, you never want to copy exactly what your competitors are doing but it is incredibly helpful to look at their websites from a customer perspective to see what works and what doesn’t.
You might find that a good brand strategy includes choosing a color palette that uses different colors to make your brand stand out from the competition while still being relevant to your target audience.
What Is The Purpose Of Your Website And Brand?
What are you trying to achieve with your website and branding? And what type of feelings are you trying to convey?
For example, if you are a counselor for the elderly, you wouldn’t consider using bright and vibrant colors such as pink, orange, or yellow for your website. Rather you would consider calming and relaxing colors such as greens and blues. Likewise, if you are creating branding for a preschool, then using those bright vibrant colors could be the very best choice for your brand!
Consider Color Meanings And Associations
People associate particular colors with certain emotions. For example, when people see green they subconsciously associate it with nature, growth, calm, and serenity. By understanding the meanings and associations of different colors you can choose a color palette that reflects your brand’s values, message, and personality best.
Choosing The Best Colors
When deciding on a color palette your first step is to choose your main focus color. Thereafter you can choose other colors to complement your main color choice. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you!
Choose Your Focus Color
When choosing the main color for your brand or website you want to choose a color that conveys the strongest message to your audience.
In summary, these are the feelings that the most popular colors convey:
|Black||Sophisticated, Powerful, Elegant||Chanel, Adidas, Gucci, Prada|
|White||Simple, Clean, Pure, Innocent, Minimalistic||Nike, Apple|
|Gray||Mature, Serious, Responsible, Conservative, Safe||Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Nissan|
|Red||Passionate, Energetic, Strong, Action, Urgency||Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Nintendo, CNN, Virgin, Pinterest|
|Orange||Courage, Warmth, Confidence, Creativity||Nickelodeon, Amazon, Fanta|
Firefox, Harley Davidson
|Yellow||Optimistic, Hopeful, Happy, Cheerful||McDonald’s, Lay’s, Nikon, |
|Green||Harmony, Health, Growth, Security||Whole Foods, Lacoste, Landrover, Animal Planet, |
|Blue||Security, Trust, Loyalty, Confidence, Responsibility||Twitter, Facebook, American Express, IBM, Skype, PayPal|
|Purple||Wisdom, Sophistication, Creativity, Mystery, Royalty||Yahoo!, Cadbury, Twitch, Hallmark, Curves|
|Pink||Feminine, Youthful, Romantic, Playful.||Victoria’s Secret, Barbie, Lyft, |
|Brown||Reliable, Down-To-Earth, Dependable||Aero, Organic Kids, Hershey’s, M&M’s, Gloria Jean’s Coffees|
Of course, keep in mind that each of these colors comes in many different tones and shades so you can make them as light and bright as you like or as dark and subdued as you like.
Choose Secondary Colors
Once you have selected the main focus color for your brand, it is time to choose additional colors that complement it. You can choose shades and tints of your main color for consistency or you can use contrasting colors to highlight important details for your brand.
What Are Shades And Tints
Shades and tints are simply just variations of a particular color. A shade is created when black is added to it making the color deeper and darker. Tints are created when white is added to a color making it lighter and brighter. For example, navy blue is a darker shade of blue while pastel blue or baby blue is a lighter tint.
Examples of Color Shades
Here are a couple of examples of different shades of blue ranging from primary blue (#0000FF) all the way to a very dark blue which almost appears black.
Examples Of Color Tints
If you are wanting a lighter color palette then tints are the way to go. Using blue again, here are a few examples of different blue tints.
Shades and tints of your main focus color can create a consistent color palette that can add depth and interest to a design while still keeping a cohesive look and feel.
Contrasting colors are generally those that are found opposite each other on the color wheel However, they don’t need to be exactly opposite to each other, they simply need to be colors that have a strong visual contrast to each other.
When you use contrasting colors together in a color palette you create an accent color that can grab the visitor’s attention. This is helpful if you want to create emphasis by using accents or contrasting colors to highlight important information.
Examples of contrasting colors include:
Blue And Orange
Blue and orange are beautiful when used together! And with color palettes ranging from bright and bold to soft and subdued, there are many different moods to choose from.
Red And Green
Green and red are another popular contrasting color choice. By contrasting cool and calm greens with eye-catching shades of red, you can easily draw people’s attention to important aspects of your brand or website.
Purple and Yellow
Purple and yellow are more of an unusual complementary color scheme! Most purple colors are associated with luxury while yellow colors are associated with positivity and happiness and using them together can certainly create a dynamic and eye-catching color scheme.
However, when using these colors together it is important to choose the shades and tints wisely so that they are not too garish!
Tip! Be careful when using contrasting colors. Don’t use too many colors and use them sparingly else they can make your brand or website look busy and overwhelming.
Choose A Background Color
When choosing a background color for your website or brand it is important to choose a color that contrasts well with your content.
There are so many beautiful neutral colors to choose from so you are sure to find a neutral color that will complement your color palette. Neutral colors also create a clean and professional base for your website or brand and the best part is that most neutral colors are never overwhelming or distracting to your audience.
When choosing your background color make sure that any text that you use will be easy to read and shouldn’t blend into your background. For example, if you have a background color that is dark, use a light color for your text so that it is easy to read and there is a clear contrast between each element.
Choose A Font Color
When choosing a font color it is important to consider how well the color contrasts with the other colors you have used in your branding or on your website. Make sure that all the font colors you choose are easy to read so that your look and feel are consistent.
If you would like to you can use different colors for your headings and titles so that you create interest and draw your audience’s attention to these important elements.
Ensure That Your Website Is Accessible To Everyone
It is important that your website and online identity are accessible to everyone including people who might be visually impaired.
Use contrast to your advantage by making sure that there is a good color contrast between the text and the background color. A good rule of thumb is to use dark text on light backgrounds and light text on dark backgrounds.
Tip! Before going live with your website, you should always test it on a number of different devices to make sure that the text is easy to see and read.
FAQs About Colors In Branding And Website Design
What if I have an existing brand color that I want to use for my website?
If you already have a brand color that you would like to use for your website then you can use it as a starting point for the rest of your website color palette. For example, you can use different shades and tints of your main color to create depth and interest. You can also choose a complementary color to use as an accent color to create an eye-catching design.
However, before committing to a color for your website you should check that it looks good on-screen – sometimes colors can look very different when they are printed versus when they are used on computer screens, monitors, and mobile devices.
Can I use black and white as my main color?
Yes, you can! And many brands have been doing so for ages. Or course, as with any colors you choose, you must just make sure that the colors are easy to read online and in print. For example, it has been found that people with dyslexia could have problems reading white text on a black background.
Should I use fashionable or trendy colors on my website or for my brand?
You can, however, you should consider the longevity of your brand colors.
While fashionable and trendy colors might be popular and eye-catching now, what will your website look like when they become outdated?
Instead of making a brand choice on whether a color is popular or not, rather choose colors based on your brand’s personality and values.
Can I use more than three colors in my brand color scheme?
There is no set rule on how many colors you should use for your brand or website. However, keep in mind that using too many colors can make your brand or website look very cluttered and overwhelming.
If you are wanting to use a few colors then it might be a good idea to stick to a few tints and shades of your main color using one or two complementary or contrasting colors for your design.
Of course, there are many examples of websites and brands that use a number of different colors really well! Your best bet is to play with your design and get outside feedback from people who can be honest about how the colors are perceived.
How can I use color to stand out from my competitors?
Clever use of color can help your brand to stand out from your competition! Take a look at the colors that your competitors are using and try to choose colors that contrast these yet still fit with your brand’s personality and values. You can use accent colors to do this. For example, if your competitors use a lot of blue color palettes you could choose to use a blue color palette as your base color and then add yellow or orange accents to add interest and contrast.
Color Palette Examples
An article about color palettes would not be complete without actual examples of different color palettes!
We are slowly putting together collections of color palettes that you can use for inspiration and ideas. Each color palette comes with hex color codes so that you can begin using them right away. Here are the ones I’ve created so far. Don’t forget to check back often for more!
Also please don’t forget to follow Notebook & Penguin on Pinterest for more design and color inspiration!
Choosing the right colors for your brand and website is really important if you want to create a strong visual identity that people will easily recognize! By thinking about your brand’s values, target audience, competitor website, and color meanings and associations you can create a color scheme that perfectly represents your brand and appeals to your audience.