How to choose a color palette for your brand

As a brand designer, color plays a huge part in my work. It helps convey visually what words can’t. A very cool thing is that color can be associated not only with words but also moods and tones. You can use color to make a bold statement or to bring a sense of peace in your surroundings. This means that the psychological connection that people have to a certain color can either make or break your brand.

There are so many colors and shades and tones out there that it may become a bit overwhelming for someone who has no background in design or arts. But, there are a few basic concepts that can help you solve that small issue.



The best way to think about it is that colors can be grouped into schemes or rules that help you to create harmony in your design. For today we will talk about the five basic rules that I use when I’m in the branding process:

1. Analogous:

These colors are the easiest to pick out in a color wheel. That’s because they are right next to each other. This color rule is pleasant to the eye because it brings in harmonious vibes!

2. Monochromatic:

This is using just one color as your base and playing around with different shades and tints to create your color palette. Basically imagine adding a drop of white or black paint to one color till you get multiple different shades.

3. Triad:

This rule uses three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. One color usually dominates while the other two are used as accents. Using this type of color scheme can give you the most diverse look for your brand.

4. Complementary:

This palette contains two main colors found on opposite sides of the color wheel. What makes it fun is that you can play around with these two shades to create secondary colors that work together because sometimes this color scheme can have a negative effect in your designs if not carefully thought out.

5. Split complementary:

The split-complementary color scheme is just another version of the complementary color scheme. Instead of two colors found on the opposite sides, this color scheme uses one base color and two colors from the opposite side that are adjacent to each other. Not to be confused with the triad color rule where the three colours are all evenly spaced from each other.

| How many colors can I have in my palette?

This really depends on ones preference but I would stick to a maximum of four main colours in your palette. This does not include the different tones, tints and shades that can be obtained from the four colors. More about this topic in the color theory blog post found here.

Mostly you need to consider having these types of colors within your palette:

1. Neutrals:

These a colors that help harmonize your designs. They don't compete with the contrasting or accent colors but help bring in a different level of depth.

2. Contrasting:

Contrasting colours are usually deeper shades of your color palette. You have the option to use colors that contrast your accent colours or simply use more saturated version of your neutrals.

3. Accents:

Think of accent colors as elements that never fail to catch your eye. Most of the times, this will be the color that distinguishes your brand and makes it easily noticeable in any setting.




| Resources to help you pick your colors

There are a number of wonderful resources out there to help you choose the perfect colors for your brand but these are my favourite:


| Examples of great color palettes from brands

So, after this huge overload of info I hope you're inspired to create a color palette for your brand! And remember to leave a coment below letting me know which are your favourite colors but also if you need any help on this topic. Have a great day!


Psssst, I think you might also like these:

BrandingMaria Wandiba