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Choosing Colors for Your Brand–What are the Rules?


colored pencilsIn this Internet age, the color of your brand will make or break you.

How can I say that?

Because color communicates a message. You need it to accurately reflect the message of your brand, the essence of who you are as a business.

It’s more important than ever since the competition online is so fierce. You only have seconds to make that connection with your intended audience. If you have the wrong colors then you will be virtually invisible!

So what are the rules when choosing color? Here are some helpful hints so that your brand can stand out:

1) Generally it’s safest to have only two major color themes for your brand.

2) Choose complementary colors, contrasting colors, or a combination of both.

3) Colors from the opposite color families have a contrasting effect.

4) A dark color chosen with a light opposite color will give your logo superb contrast. It will stand out!

5) Don’t choose cheesy color combinations–like bright yellow and red. You will look like a McDonald’s restaurant!

6) Your logo’s colors should match not clash with backgrounds, images, etc.

7) Colors have different tones, hues, undertones, and modes. This can affect your overall image and logo.

8) Like I said before, color communicates a message. Purple often stands for royalty or fun; yellow for happiness; red for urgency or hot. Choosing contrasting colors furthers this message. For instance, when we chose colors for my husband’s architectural business, we chose a deep blue and a rusty-looking burgundy. I got these colors from a professional-looking shirt he wore for the pictures I took of him. I took these pictures of him in front of some grayish pillars that also had some accents of rusted burgundy. I felt the deep blue and rusted burgundy communicated confidence, classiness, strength, and masculinity. It went perfectly with his brand identity, “Essential Pillar Architecture.”

9) Colors have different modes depending on application and media. It is different for screens versus printed materials. It’s important to achieve consistency in color across these different mediums, which can be hard because there will always be slight variations from screen to print applications.

9) You need to be aware of background color or paper color. For instance, if you are printing a full color business card with a photo, a glossy white heavy paper is best.

10) Yellow is very hard to see. Use this sparingly and hardly ever in text.

11) Whatever color you use, make sure your copy is readable. For instance, if you use a black background with white text, this is harder to read than black text on a white background. It’s especially important on full color photographs to make sure text is readable if you add a layer of text on it. You can do this by creating a drop shadow behind the copy.

Color conveys the essence of your business, even the essence of your personality. Different colors appeal to different segments of target markets. Apply these rules to your logo image, Website, and social media pages consistently and you will have branding success!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Dana Susan Beasley, the creator of an online training program called Brand Identity Quest, helps Christian families create sizzling brands so they can build dazzling futures. A graphic artist, writer, and homeschooling mom to a special needs son, she is the owner of AngelArts, an arts agency and publishing house. It’s purpose is to inspire audiences to reach for new heights in their lives and beyond through excellently-designed publications and products using original art and literature. To take her free mini-course, 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Home Business, click here to start now

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