Beginners Guide to Colour


Maybe you’re excited about picking your colours for your brand or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed deciding on a colour palette. Either way, I can help! For me, colour is the first thing I look at in a design. I collect colour palettes like someone else might collect recipes, because they are recipes; recipes for bringing life to an idea!

What do you need to know and why is colour important for your brand?

  • Recognizability. Colour is the predominant way to identify your brand. Keep it consistent everywhere.
  • Colours evoke emotions, which takes you on a journey, connects you instantly to a memory, a mood. It is the first thing customers see and in approx 90 sec they have made a judgement about you.
  • Is your brand fresh, reliable, elegant, energetic, dramatic, friendly?
  • 60/30/10; a good rule of thumb is to use your primary color 60%, your secondary color 30% and your accent color 10%

How do you pick a colour palette?

  • Inspiration! Start collecting images that inspire you and bring across that feeling you want your audience to pick up on. Use magazines, take pictures, start a Pinterest board (my fav), write it out…whatever method works for you.
  • Look for common themes and narrow down to 3-6 colours
  • Look at what mood those colours set. Does it fit with your target audience/clients?
  • Pick 3 colours; dominant, secondary and accent. My favourite place to create colour palettes is Colourlovers.
  • Pick 3 colours; dominant, secondary and accent. My favourite place to create colour palettes is Colourlovers. Browse colours and palettes users have already created.

What does that colour mean? How can you use it to speak for your brand?

  1. Cool colours are calming and tend to be more impersonal and cold. Blue, green, turquoise.
  2. Warm colours are more exciting and alive. Yellow, red, orange, pink.
  3. Neutral colours are (drumroll…) neutral. Black, white, grey, brown.

What do you think McDonalds, Twitter, Apple are saying with their colour palettes?

Here’s an example of what a style guide looks like. When you hire a branding expert, they will walk you through the process and complete this style guide for you to use in your business. It’s extremely helpful to have a guide to reference as you navigate how to use your brand in social media, print and advertising. If you hire someone they can use it to ensure your brand stays on point. Google Visual Assets Guidelines

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