Colour is one of the key ingredients when designing a strong brand identity that speaks to your audience. But how does one choose correct colours and how do you know if your audience will be attracted to it?
Before choosing a colour palette for your brand you must understand your brand’s DNA and core values. You must also understand your target audience in order to be successful with your branding design. Very often branding/graphic designers will not do that research for you – so the more information you gather before design process starts, the more successful outcome you will get.
The key questions you could answer before engaging a designer :
1. What is the primary message you want to deliver to your audience?
2. What are 5 key words that would describe your business / brand / service?
3. What emotions do you want your audience to experience when they look at your branding?
4. Who is your audience? What do they like and what do they do?
5. What is your market level?
So here’s a random example of a personal brand:
1. Self-confidence Self-love for women is easier to achieve than they think’
2. Strong, fun, compassionate, educational, open-minded
3. Inspired, motivated, confident, positive, hopeful
4. Women, age 20-45, independent entrepreneurs, freelancers and creative. They like travelling, reading and learning, arts and culture
5. Mid –level
Once you have answered these questions you will have a mini Target Profile in front of you. Ideally you should expand into more details but this is a great start.
From here you can start connecting keywords to associations of colours that you think are relevant. Different cultures will have different associations of colours so make sure you know your audience before you start this exercise.
In my example some of the keywords are Women, Entrepreneurs, Strong, Fun, Positive, Creative, Culture, Travelling, Independent. I immediately imagine colours that would appeal to such customer profile - bright, warm tones, stronger accent colours. I would want my palette to look sophisticated but not to serious, on trend and playful. I would choose colours such as reds, pinks, oranges and some complimentary brighter/tones - maybe white or pale beige. I also wouldn’t mind some earthy natural tones since these colours evoke feelings of positivity and nourishment.
Example from a branding concept
Should I choose colours myself or hire a designer?
From experience I would say that the best practice is to give some kind of direction to the designer, even if it’s just a brand description and customer profile. However, a good designer will know how to harmonize the colours into a great palette, and select colours for primary and secondary use. He or she will give direction on the application of colours. Unless you have background in design or arts I would trust a designer to select final colours.
What happens if you choose incorrect colours for your branding?
Firstly, you will not be attractive to your perfect customer profile and you will miss the opportunity on sales/leads. Secondly, in the long term you will not build a strong memorable brand that will stick in people’s mind. Also, a lot of people really admire beautiful design and colours and make their choices based on feelings they experience when looking at design. It could be 2 identical products in a bow and the customer will choose the one which appeals to them visually more.
If you would like to get more support on your branding design choices I am offering free 15min consultation calls that you can book here.
I have designed many brands and colour palettes in various industries and I would love to help you! Check my custom branding portfolio here for more inspiration.
Branding inspiration board
To check more custom branding examples from my portfolio click here