Are you looking to create a new brand colour palette for your business? Or a rebrand requiring you to find a palette that suits the trends?
Colour is very important when it comes to your marketing efforts. They say that 92.6% of potential customers look at visual factors before purchasing the products. Provided that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
Below, I’m going to share with you why brand colour palettes are important and the necessary steps on how you can come up with them (using free tools of course).
So grab your cup of coffee and let’s get started.
Are Brand Colours Important?
You know what they say “first impression counts”. The moment your potential customer stumbles upon your website or socials, they will instantly look at your brand colours.
Colours can evoke feelings and emotions in human behaviour. It can help communicate messages and simplify information.
Let’s say, I asked you what mega business has the colours red and yellow in their branding. Did fast food restaurants like McDonald’s pop up in your mind? It’s because red can stimulate “appetite” while yellow stimulates “happiness” or joy. Add them together and you get a happy meal (just kidding)! Nevertheless, these two bright colours can attract your attention and be visible to the human eye in the daytime.
So let’s talk more about this so-called “Colour Psychology”.
Colour Psychology: Choosing the Right Colours
If you know about colour psychology and colour theory, your brand marketing plan can help build a strong connection with your potential consumers. It can help show your brand’s unique qualities or blend into the crowd. Either way, it’s how you portray yourself to the public.
Let’s look at the definition,
“Colour theory assigns emotional and psychological connotations between colours and emotions.”
In universal terms, green can be represented as growth and nature. Purple can be described as creative and spiritual.
There are different meanings for colour. As mentioned, it can be universal but others have cultural meanings. Your job when it comes to creating a brand colour palette is to dig a little deeper into who your target market is. You may have to look at their gender, values, location, upbringing and other diverse factors.
Although you can choose the right colours to boost your brand, poor selections can also be detrimental. I made the first mistake of using a really bold colour palette that hurt the way my brand looked! (You can check out this post where I tell more about my branding mistakes and how I fixed them).
Examples of Well-known Brands and Their Colours
Let’s take a quick look at three well-known brands: Google, Amazon and Coca-Cola.
From the main logo you see every day, their palette consists of blue, red, yellow and green. It is known to represent intellect, strength, creativity and growth.
- Blue corresponds to intellect.
- Red symbolises strength.
- Yellow corresponds to creativity.
- And green symbolises growth.
The company that did the branding for Google, The Alphabet, states that they had chosen these four brand colours because of their “elemental look” (such as water, fire, air and earth) and their roles in the brand’s history.
Do you order your products from Amazon? You probably know their colour scheme consists of orange, black and blue. But in this situation, we’re going to put more focus on the orange and black in their logo. Their logo stands for amity and consistency.
- The orange symbolises amity.
- And the black represents consistency.
Turner Duckworth, the creator of Amazon’s logo, chose the colours orange and black for their sense of friendliness and simple, straightforward appeal.
When you think of Coca-cola, you think of its signature red and brown-soda appeal. So let’s talk more about the red in their branding. This brand’s colour palettes are red, black and white.
- The red signifies enjoyment (go on YouTube and look at their advertisements for example).
The creator of Coca-cola’s logo, Frank M. Robinson, chose the colour red for its exciting and cheerful look.
So now that you got a sense of idea about colour theory, it’s time for you to start your first step in creating your brand colour palette.
Find Inspirations for Your Brand Colour Palette
Below I’ve decided to list some amazing free resources to help you come up with different colour palette inspirations and ideas. However, we need to first clarify “colour hex codes” so that you won’t be confused.
If you already know about hex codes, feel free to skip to the resource part.
Colour HEX Codes? What Are Those??
They are six-digit codes (in a hexadecimal format) used to help designers, creatives and developers identify colours. You can find these blends of letters and numbers in CSS, HTML and SVG files. Using these hexadecimal codes reveals over 16 million unique colours (more than what the human eyes can see).
So why are there 6-digit codes? They are made up of the 2-symbol elements from each RGB (red, green and blue). These elements are expressed on a colour value from 0 to 255. Let’s break it down:
- Red: The first two digits in the hexadecimal code contain the amount of red in the colour.
- Green: The second two digits in the code provide information about the amount of green.
- Blue: Lastly the two digits at the end provide information about the blue.
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It’s quite complicated so thankfully we live in a technical world where we have digital tools to convert the colours. You can find these in the list below.
Brand Colour Inspo Resources
You can use social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find photos and inspiration for your palette. I prefer Instagram since it’s a visual platform filled with tons of images and photographs.
Royalty Stock Sites (Free)
Colour Palette Generators
I usually go through these colour generation sites to look for trending palettes or colour inspirations for my digital products. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to manually convert the hex codes. They have instant hex values so that you can easily add them to your inspo board.
Hey, why not use a tool that is easily accessible right on your devices?
- Simply go to your browser’s search bar, input a keyword related to your brand and look up different images. You can save the ones that you like.
Use a free online colour convertor tool like Image Colour Picker to help you find your colours. All you have to do is upload your own images or add the URL link from Google.
- Once that’s done, select your colour from the “Palette” bar. Scroll down to find your hex code (the one with the hashtag and 6 digits) and copy it to your inspiration board by clicking on the vertical rectangles on the far right.
Finding Hex Codes using Canva
Another great way I like to find my brand colour palettes is by using a free design tool called Canva.
Why Canva? Just like picking out what outfits you want to wear today, Canva is a great platform where you can “mix and match” until you find your final 5-6 colours. Think of it like a paint palette. Let me show you how (refer to the image before).
In this example, I used the “whiteboard” template on Canva as it’s more spacious AND you can get your clients or team members to join.
(Red) Uploading your images
This is an important first step as you will need the images so that you can experiment with different colours.
You can upload your own images through the “Uploads” or you can use Canva’s images in the “Photos” tab.
(Blue) Adding your “palette” shape
Now go to “Elements” and add in any shapes as long as you’re able to change their colour. For this example, I decided to go with the casual circle.
Something to note: you can add in as many shapes and resize them as you like.
(Green) Finding your hex codes
Next, you will have to follow the 3 steps to find your hex codes.
- Select the element on your canvas and go to the coloured square on the top bar.
- Under “Document Colours”, click or tap on the square with the rainbow border (it should be the first one). This is where you can choose your custom colours.
- Next, select the eyedrop icon that is next to the hex codes. Use the magnifying glass on your picture and left-click/tap to select the colour you desire.
Additionally, I copy the new hex code, double-click the middle of the shape and add the text there.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you can duplicate the shapes, and mix and match them with other colours until you find your completed brand colour palette. In the end, you should come up with 5-6 colours.
That’s pretty much it! You can save your colour palette and use it for your social media, website, logos, icons, packaging and graphics.
If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your socials (or creative pals).
Oh, and don’t forget to get your free branding templates below 👇