Let’s talk color!
As a business owner, you are undoubtedly bombarded by dozens, if not hundreds of decisions each and every day. While there are many things demanding your attention, one decision that you don’t want to overlook or make without some serious background info is which colors to select to represent that brand that you’ve worked so hard to build. The color of your logo and other brand visuals can elicit a specific set of emotions and reactions from your audience, and you want to be extra sure that you’re conjuring up the ones that you intended!
But have not fear- when it comes to color theory for business, there are just a few key components that you need to be aware of, followed by some easy-breezy, super simple steps to help you take charge of your brands’ colorful endeavors.
What is color theory?
Color theory refers to a set up principles that guide not only color-mixing and palate creation, but the intentional consideration of how the selected colors may impact or be perceived by people. Sounds like a lot, right? While there are endless theories, books, and rules used by graphic design professionals and artists, we don’t necessarily have to know every last detail of color theory in order to apply the relevant aspects to our brand and create our ideal business color palette.
Typically, when it comes to the visual components of our brand, we only need to focus on two main aspects of color theory and the colors we choose:
To understand this on a deeper level, we’ll need to take a quick dive into the basic principles of color psychology marketing. The term color psychology marketing refers to the acknowledgement that colors have the power to elicit both conscious and subconscious reactions from viewers. When used correctly, the psychological effects of color can aid in positive and accurate brand recognition, and even produce higher click-through-rates and sales. For example, orange is associated with success, enthusiasm, and energy, so choosing orange as the main color for a fitness brand makes great sense, such as in the case of Orange theory. This comes into play when applying color psychology to business cards as well, as navy blue is associated with loyalty and dependability, and could help someone to trust you and your brand from the instant you greet them with a navy blue card in hand.
Here are some other colors and their typical representations:
Now that we know a little bit about the psychology of color, let’s talk about palettes. Choosing a business color palette can be a daunting task- heck, just choosing one business color can be a sweat-inducing process. But you really don’t have to be an expert to remember the wonderful and oh-so-simple “60, 30, 10 Rule”. The 30, 60, 10 rule applies to your 3-color business pallette. Start with your main color, add a secondary color, toss in an accent, and then follow the rule to use each color as 60%, 30%, and 10%, respectively, on all of your brand graphics. This ensures that your main color is indeed the one which is used dominantly and that the other two colors serve as lesser yet still supportive accents to the main one. To ensure that you’re creating the most appealing color combination, select your 3 brand colors either monochromatically (meaning 3 shades of one color such as navy blue, royal blue, and sky blue) or by selecting complementary colors (typically high-contrast and on opposite sides of the color wheel from one another).
Here are 4 simple steps you can take when intentionally selecting your brand colors: