Tips on Choosing Branding Colors

Choosing the best colors for your brand goes way beyond just selecting red or blue or green. Companies often have to approach reputable brand design companies because their brand colors are inconsistent with their marketing and promotional materials. In many cases, a specified color palette has not been strategically planned, as it is an easy thing for any business owner to overlook. 

However, careful thought and consideration should be given to your colors in order to portray a consistent brand I.D. across many marketing and branding channels. What does this mean? Simply put, you should make sure that the specific colors you choose can be clearly defined and consistently reproduced across print media, digital media, apparel, and more. And you need a reputable and experienced branding agency at your side to help you out (except only if you’re a branding expert yourself). 

When you think of Home Depot, for example, the color orange quickly comes to mind. When it comes to Target, the color red stands out and is easily recognizable. Color plays a crucial role in brand identification, and these well-known companies are excellent examples of how to consistently incorporate a specific color into so many brand touchpoints. 

Brand Color Overview 

Colors evoke different emotions and represent qualities you may want to associate with your brand. They can also affect the moods of your customers. For example, a healthy living company is likely to choose brand colors that are represented by food and nature, such as shades of green. Green represents balance and growth and is connected to nature, environment, health, youth, and more. It makes sense how these qualities would be connected to both the customer and the brand. But there’s more to choosing colors than just picking a color. 

Color matching and comparison 

Before a brand design company helps its clients choose colors, it runs through a strategic exercise with their client to help define a brand strategy. This will include a discussion of the emotional drivers that color can be connected to. Colors are known to evoke specific emotions and it’s important that color is presented accurately for a brand. 

So, how does one choose the best colors for a brand? When the branding design agency’s team is considering and choosing colors for a brand, it uses tools from Pantone and Adobe to inform its decisions. These companies take great care in developing tools that help to show and convert color across print, digital, and production environments. 

Calibration tools for viewing colors as well as guides for converting colors are the things branding companies are cross-referencing in the selection process. When choosing colors for the brand, branding agencies make sure they have meaning and connection, so it’s especially important that the colors selected can be consistently recreated across several platforms. 

As you can see in the example below, the bright green color that can be produced on a digital screen cannot be accurately reproduced with full-color printing. The bright green will not convert accurately across different mediums. 

Brand Color Considerations 

There are many ways colors are used and produced for a brand. Here are a few examples of how color is applied in different ways: 

  • Printed marketing materials with your logo
  • Digital screens, such as a website or digital billboard
  • Product design, such as a plastic bottle
  • Uniform design or apparel

When choosing colors for your brand, it’s necessary to consider the list above and the type of items your brand will be touching. 

For printing, there is a subtractive process called the 4-color process, where four specific ink colors – cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) – overlap to create the illusion of full color. There is also a printing method called spot color where inks are mixed into a solid color before printing. 

For digital screens, the additive color process combines red, blue, and green (RGB) colors to create an expanded color spectrum. This is great for reproducing many colors used in printing, but careful consideration needs to be given for the color selections because so many screens present colors differently. You have less control over a digital screen because each person will have different viewing preferences and settings on their screens, such as brightness, contrast, and resolution. 

For products and apparel, awareness of fabric, thread, and raw material color availability are critical. If you know that your team will be wearing your branded aprons as part of their uniform, being aware of standard fabric color options is important. Choosing the wrong color might mean mismatched brand colors or the need for very expensive, custom-colored fabric. 

Closing Thoughts: Choosing the Best Branding Colors 

Brand colors have to be selected very carefully. A thorough understanding of the brand personality and mission is a critical step in choosing colors for branding. When branding firms are going through the process of branding or rebranding, they are using the personality, mission, and all of the factors that represent the look and feel of your brand to recommend the best colors that will help you stand out amongst your competitors. So make sure to take your time and find a reliable and experienced brand design agency that will understand your business message, values, and objectives and will be able to translate all of them into relevant branding and proper colors.