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  • Vanessa Rowley-Matthew

Picking the Perfect Palette: A Brand Strategist's Guide to Color Theory


I can tell you that choosing the right brand colors is crucial for your brand's success. Not only do they create an emotional connection with your audience, but they also communicate your brand's personality and values. So, let's dive into the wonderful world of brand colors!


The Importance of Brand Colors


Brand colors are important because they create a visual identity for your brand, which is one of the most memorable aspects of your brand. Your brand colors should be consistent across all your marketing materials, whether it's your website, business cards, or social media profiles. When people see your brand colors, they should be able to associate them with your brand without even seeing your logo.


The Ideal Number of Colors for Your Brand Palette


When it comes to your brand color palette, less is more. The ideal number of colors to choose from is between two to four. Having too many colors can dilute your brand's message and confuse your audience. Stick to a few colors that represent your brand's personality and values.


Breakdown of Colors and Their Meanings


It's worth noting that the exact values of these color codes may vary depending on the color profile and color space being used. However, these codes should provide a good starting point for selecting and using these colors in your brand identity.


Yellow



This color represents optimism, happiness, and friendliness. It is often associated with food and beverage brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.


Color Codes: Hex #FFD700 | RGB 255, 215, 0 | CMYK 0, 16, 100, 0



Amber



This color represents warmth, energy, and excitement. It is often associated with food and beverage brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.


Color Codes: Hex #FFC200 | RGB 255, 194, 0 | CMYK 0, 24, 100, 0



Orange



This color represents warmth, friendliness, and excitement. It is often associated with food and beverage brands and fitness companies. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.

Color Codes: Hex #FFA500 | RGB 255, 165, 0 | CMYK 0, 35, 100, 0



Gold



This color represents wealth, success, and abundance. It is often associated with luxury brands and high-end products. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.


Color Codes: Hex #FFD700 | RGB 255, 215, 0 | CMYK 0, 16, 100, 0



Beige



This color represents simplicity, elegance, and neutrality. It is often associated with fashion and beauty brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.

Color Codes: Hex #F5F5DC | RGB 245, 245, 220 | CMYK 0, 0, 10, 4



Champagne



This color represents luxury, elegance, and sophistication. It is often associated with high-end wine and champagne brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.

Color Codes: Hex #F7E7CE | RGB 247, 231, 206 | CMYK 0, 6, 17, 3



Deep Peach



This color represents warmth, softness, and friendliness. It is often associated with food and beverage brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.

Color Codes: Hex #FFCBA4 | RGB 255, 203, 164 | CMYK 0%, 20%, 36%, 0%


Red


This color represents passion, excitement, and energy. It is often associated with fast-food brands and sports companies. Brand Archetypes: Lover, Hero, and Outlaw.


Color Codes: Hex #FF0000 | RGB 255, 0, 0 | CMYK 0, 100, 100, 0


Salmon



This color represents friendliness, warmth, and playfulness. It is often associated with food and beverage brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.

Color Codes: Hex #FF8C69 | RGB 255, 140, 105 | CMYK 0, 45, 59, 0



Pink



This color represents femininity, playfulness, and innocence. It is often associated with beauty and wellness brands. Brand Archetypes: Lover, Magician, and Creator.

Color Codes: Hex #FFC0CB | RGB 255, 192, 203 | CMYK 0, 25, 20, 0



Burgundy/Maroon



This color represents passion, strength, and luxury. It is often associated with high-end fashion and beauty brands. Brand Archetypes: Lover, Ruler, and Creator.

Color Codes: Hex #800000 | RGB 128, 0, 0 | CMYK 0, 100, 100, 50


Burgundy


This color represents sophistication, luxury, and elegance. It is often associated with high-end wine and fashion brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.


Brown/Cognac



This color represents earthiness, stability, and reliability. It is often associated with outdoor and adventure brands. Brand Archetypes: Everyman, Ruler, and Sage.

Color Codes: Hex #964B00 | RGB 150, 75, 0 | CMYK 0%, 50%, 100%, 41%

Cognac: This color represents luxury, sophistication, and elegance. It is often associated with high-end liquor and fashion brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.



Bronze



This color represents sophistication, warmth, and luxury. It is often associated with high-end beauty and fashion brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.


Color Codes: Hex #CD7F32 | RGB 205, 127, 50 | CMYK 0, 38, 76, 20



Cinnamon



This color represents warmth, earthiness, and richness. It is often associated with food and beverage brands. Brand Archetypes: Everyman, Ruler, and Sage.

Color Codes: Hex #D2691E | RGB 210, 105, 30 | CMYK 0, 50, 86, 18



Purple


This color represents luxury, creativity, and sophistication. It is often associated with beauty and wellness brands. Brand Archetypes: Magician, Explorer, and Creator.


Color Codes: Hex #800080 | RGB 128, 0, 128 | CMYK 0%, 100%, 0%, 50%



Fuchsia/Magenta


This color represents femininity, fun, and excitement. It is often associated with beauty and fashion brands. Brand Archetypes: Lover, Magician, and Creator.

Color Codes: Hex #FF00FF | RGB 255, 0, 255 | CMYK 0, 100, 0, 0

Magenta


This color represents boldness, energy, and creativity. It is often associated with beauty and fashion brands. Brand Archetypes: Magician, Creator, and Lover.



Lavender



This color represents femininity, grace, and elegance. It is often associated with beauty and wellness brands. Brand Archetypes: Lover, Magician, and Creator.


Color Codes: Hex #967bb6 | RGB 150, 123, 182 | CMYK 18%, 32%, 0%, 29%


Mauve



This color represents nostalgia, warmth, and sophistication. It is often associated with luxury brands and high-end products. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.


Color Codes: Hex #B784A7 | RGB 183, 132, 167 | CMYK 20, 45, 0, 28



Lilac



This color represents creativity, imagination, and femininity. It is often associated with beauty and wellness brands. Brand Archetypes: Magician, Creator, and Lover.

Color Codes: Hex #C8A2C8 | RGB 200, 162, 200 | CMYK 0, 19, 0, 22


Mint Green



This color represents freshness, calmness, and positivity. It is often associated with health and wellness brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Sage, and Explorer.

Color Codes: Hex #98FB98 | RGB 152, 251, 152 | CMYK 39, 0, 39, 2


Chartreuse



This color represents vibrancy, energy, and excitement. It is often associated with creative and artistic brands. Brand Archetypes: Magician, Explorer, and Creator.

Color Codes: Hex #7FFF00 | RGB 127, 255, 0 | CMYK 50, 0, 100, 0



Cyan



This color represents freshness, tranquility, and creativity. It is often associated with tech and healthcare brands. Brand Archetypes: Explorer, Sage, and Innocent.

Color Codes: Hex #00FFFF | RGB 0, 255, 255 | CMYK 100, 0, 0, 0


Turquoise



This color represents calmness, balance, and harmony. It is often associated with travel and hospitality brands. Brand Archetypes: Innocent, Explorer, and Sage.


Color Codes: Hex #30D5C8 | RGB 48, 213, 200 | CMYK 77%, 0%, 6%, 16%



Teal



This color represents balance, harmony, and sophistication. It is often associated with finance and tech brands. Brand Archetypes: Sage, Explorer, and Ruler.

Color Codes: Hex #008080 | RGB 0, 128, 128 | CMYK 100, 0, 0, 50


Royal Blue


This color represents trust, intelligence, and authority. It is often associated with banks, financial institutions, and tech companies. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Sage, and Explorer.


Color Codes: Hex #002366 | RGB 0, 35, 102 | CMYK 100%, 66%, 0%, 60%



Black



This color represents elegance, sophistication, and power. It is often associated with luxury brands and high-end products. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.


Color Codes: Hex #000000 | RGB 0, 0, 0 | CMYK 0, 0, 0, 100



Taupe



This color represents sophistication, neutrality, and timelessness. It is often associated with fashion and beauty brands. Brand Archetypes: Ruler, Creator, and Explorer.

Color Codes: Hex #483C32 | RGB 72, 60, 50 | CMYK 0, 17, 31, 72



Grey



This color represents neutrality, balance, and professionalism. It is often associated with tech and finance brands. Brand Archetypes: Sage, Explorer, and Ruler.

Color Codes: Hex #808080 | RGB 128, 128, 128 | CMYK 0, 0, 0, 50


Brand Archetypes Most Likely to Use Each Color


Each brand archetype has its own set of values and traits, which are closely associated with certain colors. Here are the top three brand archetypes most likely to use each color mentioned above:


  • Ruler: Brands that want to convey power, luxury, and elegance, such as high-end fashion and jewelry brands, are likely to use colors such as gold, black, bronze, mauve, and champagne.

  • Creator: Brands that want to convey creativity, innovation, and originality, such as tech and design brands, are likely to use colors such as purple, gold, brown, chartreuse, and maroon.

  • Explorer: Brands that want to convey adventure, discovery, and freedom, such as travel and outdoor brands, are likely to use colors such as turquoise, yellow, amber, and peach.

  • Innocent: Brands that want to convey simplicity, purity, and optimism, such as healthcare and wellness brands, are likely to use colors such as white, yellow, and mint green.

  • Sage: Brands that want to convey wisdom, professionalism, and reliability, such as finance and tech brands, are likely to use colors such as grey, teal, and white.

  • Lover: Brands that want to convey passion, sensuality, and romance, such as beauty and lingerie brands, are likely to use colors such as red, pink, and lilac.

  • Magician: Brands that want to convey creativity, imagination, and transformation, such as beauty and wellness brands, are likely to use colors such as purple, fuchsia, and lilac.

  • Everyman: Brands that want to convey reliability, simplicity, and down-to-earth values, such as food and beverage brands, are likely to use colors such as brown and cinnamon.

  • Outlaw: Brands that want to convey rebellion, individuality, and non-conformity, such as energy drinks and extreme sports brands, are likely to use colors such as black and red.

  • Jester: Brands that want to convey fun, playfulness, and humor, such as entertainment and toy brands, are likely to use colors such as orange and pink.

  • Hero: Brands that want to convey courage, determination, and strength, such as sports and fitness brands, are likely to use colors such as red and black.

  • Caregiver: Brands that want to convey compassion, generosity, and care, such as healthcare and social impact brands, are likely to use colors such as green and blue.

Most Popular Colors for Brands


The most popular colors for brands are blue, red, green, and black. Blue is associated with trust, security, and stability, which is why it is commonly used by tech and financial brands. Red correlates with passion, excitement, and energy, which is why it is commonly used by fast-food and sports brands. Green is associated with growth, health, and nature, which is why it is commonly used by health and wellness brands. Black is associated with elegance, sophistication, and power, which is why it is commonly used by high-end fashion and luxury brands.


Color Psychology Across Different Countries


Color psychology can vary across different countries and cultures. For example, in Western cultures, white is associated with purity and innocence, while in some Eastern cultures associate it with mourning and death. Similarly, red is associated with luck and prosperity in some Eastern cultures, while in Western cultures, it is associated with danger and warning. It is important to research and understand the cultural context when choosing colors for your brand, especially if you are targeting a global audience.


How to Pick the Right Brand Color


When you're picking the right color for your brand, it is important to consider your brand's personality, values, and target audience. Think about what emotions you want to evoke in your audience and what message you want to communicate.


Consider your competitors and the colors they are using. Do you want to differentiate yourself from them or blend in? Finally, test your colors with your target audience and see what resonates with them.


Conclusion


In conclusion, choosing the right colors for your brand is essential for creating a memorable and emotional connection with your audience. Different colors have different meanings and can convey different messages, so it's important to choose wisely.


Keep in mind your brand's personality, values, and target audience, and test your colors with your audience before finalizing your brand color palette. Remember, your brand colors should be consistent across all your marketing materials and should represent your brand's personality and values.


If you need help with your brand strategy, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I can help you choose the right colors and create a memorable visual identity for your brand.




And on a final note, I hope this blog post has helped you understand the importance of brand colors and their meanings. But remember, at the end of the day, branding is an art and a science, and it's always evolving. So, have fun with it, be creative, and let your brand's personality shine through!

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