In the same way that a logo can be instantly recognisable as part of your brand, the colours you use need to be the same across all areas of your business. You want your website colours to match your logo, social media headers, packaging, business cards and any other business related ‘stuff’ (technical term!)
Colours are defined in several ways depending on where they are being used. You might already know that specific colours are a blend of the 3 primary colours and in order that all computers use the same shade of red or that all booklets are printed in that same colour there are colour coding conventions in place.
For things on the internet this is called a hex code. It’s a 5 digit number with a # at the front of it. The blue colour I use is #28b8ba.
If I want to use this for print then I need the RGB version (red, green, blue) which I can get by putting the hex code into a converter which handily tells me it is RGB (110,118,16).
By choosing a specific shade of each colour you want to use for your business you will have a professional and consisent look across all the different palces it is seen. (Caveat on this, screens do show colours differently so they won’t be exactly the same. Nothing you can do about that so don’t worry about it.)
You can see below a swatch showing my teal colour in Hex, RGE and some other colour convetions.
Which colours to use?
There is a lot known about how different colours make us feel and behave. Of you are interested in knowing more check out my friend and leading colour psychologist Karen Haller’s great book and this blog she has written on the subject.
If we look at the traditional associations that each colour has we can find:
Red – excitement, energy, passion, love, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, all things intense and passionate, sincerity
Yellow – joy, happiness, betrayal, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, cowardice, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard and friendship.
Orange – energy, balance, enthusiasm, warmth, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention
Green – nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, service, inexperience, envy, misfortune
Blue – peace, tranquillity, cold, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water
Purple – royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, honor, arrogance, mourning, temperance
Pink – symbolizes love and romance, caring, tenderness, acceptance and calm
Black – power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, unhappiness, depth, style, sadness, remorse, anger, anonymity
White – purity, birth, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical.
Have a think about how you want people to feel when they look at your logo. Would you feel comfortable engaging a criminal lawyer who had a pink and purple logo? Probably not but how about a party planner who was branded in grey and black? Not much suggestion of fun and enjoyment there!
Once you have a rough idea of the colours that you might use then there are few tech tools that can help you find the right shades.
Firstly let’s find a nice colour palette using the online design tool Canva:
Or if you have one colour you really like and you want to find some complementary colours to go with it then give Adobe color at try:
I hope this has helped you understand how you can find some brand colours that make you smile every time you see them.
If you haven’t already you might like these articles on finding fonts for your business and creating a logo.