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  • Haley Jolstead

Basics of Branding: The Power of the Palette

What comes to mind when I say McDonalds? Probably the golden arches, a red-mouthed clown, and that irresistible smell of french fries. What about Apple? Your mind would probably think of clean lines, cool and neutral colors, and an apple with a bite out of it.

These two companies stand out because of one concept: branding. While large companies often have teams of people devoted to their branding, you can follow our simple steps to get your company’s branding off on the right foot. This blog post will discuss the power of the palette.

Custom Color Palette

The first step to creating your brand is to choose the colors you will use in your logo, website, and other marketing materials. Your colors set the tone for how your customers and clients will perceive your company, so choose wisely.

There are three basic color groups: warms, cools, and neutrals. Examples of warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. Examples of cool colors are green, blue, and purple. Neutrals are, of course, black, white. And brown. Colors make people feel things. See the diagram below.

Before choosing your palette, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. How do I want my clients to feel when they think of my company?

  2. Are there any obvious colors associated with my company? Examples: A company that focuses on nature, or natural solutions might use green. A company that has the word “sun” in it’s name might use yellow.

  3. What colors am I drawn to when I think about my brand?

Be prepared to choose 3-5 colors to represent your company. Choose at least one main color, one secondary color that pairs well with the main color, and one neutral color.

Let’s use The Courseware Group as an example.

Here is our logo and color palette.

When we were rebranding ourselves, we knew we wanted a tree in our logo. Green and brown were obvious choices for the tree since those are the natural colors of trees. When we added lightbulbs to the tree, yellow made sense, and we outlined in red to help the bulbs stand out. We will go more into the logo creation process in future blog posts.

How to Choose Your Palette

There are lots of great resources for choosing color palettes.

This website is great if you want to browse colors and get lots of fresh ideas. It is user friendly and easy to customize. It can also simulate what your colors would look like in eight different forms of color blindness

Adobe Color CC

This is great for Adobe users since it blends seamlessly with the products you are already used to. However, anyone can use it, no matter what program you design with. Adobe Color is based on a drag and drop style system. You can select what type of palette you want, and adjust your colors from there.

Pinterest or Google

If you want to see a lot of ideas all at once, take your search to Pinterest or Google images. With a few simple keywords, like “Cool, modern color palette” you can find pages of ideas already put together for you.

Once you’ve chosen a color palette, you are off to a good start. If you need help getting your company’s brand off on the right foot with a color palette, or any other service, please reach out to help. Watch for our next blog post on creating your logo to keep your branding process moving.

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