Why You Need A Color Palette for your Brand (Plus 5 Free Color Palettes to Steal!)
One of the best parts of my job is seeing a brand come to life. The #1 decision I think an owner should make is distinguishing what colors represent their brand. Are they light, airy and bright or are they moody, mysterious and natural? I'm always happy to help clients with this process, but ultimately this is at the will of the business owner to decide the feeling that they want portrayed. And today, we’re going to break down how to do that!
Color palettes help make your brand both memorable and distinguishable. It should be used in all of the brand’s materials, from printed documents to the website and everything in between. A consistent palette helps your client or customer make a visual and mental connection to your company. For example, I have always had a golden yellow as the main color for The Busy Bee. When I had my site and branding redone by The Lum Collective, I had a non-negotiable need for yellow to be part of the new branding. To be honest, that’s the first step as you start to determine what colors you’d like for your brand. Is there anything you can’t live without? Are there any colors you’ve always loved that you feel set you apart? If so, that makes the process even easier!
Colors hold a ton of power—they evoke emotions and feelings and have a certain psychology about them. Think of how you feel when you see pops of bright colors compared to dark colors — the bright colors give a sense of happiness and cheerfulness, whereas the darker colors set a more moody and mysterious tone. Chances are, you’ve naturally favored one type of palette already within your home, Instagram feed, or Pinterest boards. If you don’t have any colors in mind, that’s where I can come in! We can create a moodboard together to lay the foundation for what colors you’d like to see represent your brand (and ultimately your site!)
Let’s do a quick moodboard refresher while we’re here: A moodboard (to me) is the foundation of every business and allows you to refer back to it if you ever need a clear answer to your branding questions or feelings you want to evoke within your customers or clients.
The first step in creating a moodboard is pulling together photos — photos that make you feel how you want your clients and customers to feel when they see your brand. In this process, you’ll see similar colors in photos. For example, if the brand is light, airy and feminine, you’ll tend to see blush pinks and soft nudes. From here, I use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop and pull colors directly from the images until I find a cohesive look + feel that evokes the mission if the brand. Then, voila! We have a color palette! It’s cool when things come full circle, isn’t it?
If you want to create your own color palette, I have 2 places to share with you to help you find inspiration:
With color wheel by Adobe, you can start with one color and it will auto-generate complementary colors for that specific color! This is a great option when you know of one color you want to use but have no idea on what the others should be.
This is my go-to for moodboard inspiration. You can explore by color or by a collection, like seasons, nature, wanderlust and more. Be prepared to get lost in this site (in a good way!)
And for the finale, if you don’t want to create your own palette or don’t have one yet, I've put together 5 FREE color palettes you can use. Plus, you totally have my permission to use these for business and personal use (high five!)