Taking these things into consideration the first thing when putting together a colour palette is to do a bit of research into what the colours are that are being used currently in your industry. What is popular? and how would people associate certain colours when they are used?
For example, a bright yellow colour (as shown below) is quite common for construction or maybe emergency services. Where as a variation on resene citrus green (as shown below) would be used for environmental industries. It’s important not to re-invent the wheel here. Go with what works but at the same time be original, it could be that your primary colour is a common one to be used for your industry but your secondary colour contrasts it but the two colours go really well together. I have given an example of this with the green and purple.
Whats interesting about the green and purple is how they are seen on a colour wheel. A colour wheel is a common tool that is used by many designers and I’m sure you might remember it from art class at school.
Do you notice something? The green and purple are on opposite sides of the wheel. You can do this with every variation. Please note that this is one method to consider, I am not going to suggest this is the only way in choosing colours or an entire palette for your brand. It might be that one strong colour is all you need. Which brings me to my next point. Mood and emotions that colours used might envoke. This may sound a bit geeky, but here me out.
Let’s take another example; blue, a lightish blue (as shown with the two examples below). Blue can convey trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm. Not surprising then that the most popular social media sites use this type of colour (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) other big names which also use a similar shade of blue are Dropbox and Paypal. Food for thought I think.
Another good example of this is when white is used. I know, I know… this might be controversial as some might say white is not a colour, but it still effects mood and emotions all the same. White gives us clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency. Many websites today are taking on this look by using lots of negative white space with their infomation pages and presentations. Apple is one perfect example of this, check out their iMac page. Again it does the job well, right? White space can focus your attention really well on that which is not white, things just simply stand out more.
So as we can see that colours in themselves can portray certain moods and emotions, which can aid you with expressing your brand effectively in your logo, website and other branding material. Colour harmony will engage the viewer and create an inner sense of order, a balance to the visual experience.
A final example is orange, this is considered an energetic colour and calls to mind feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, fun and warmth, this is what I have gone for with Hub Graphics. For me I wanted this to say something about me. I am enthusiastic about what I do and I would like to think that my clients have a sense of excitement when they see their finished product.
With any colour though there can also be a negative side when using them, but I think this is always in the context they are used. In regards to your brand you are going to want to express it in a positive way, who doesn’t? so with this side of things I don’t think it applies so much but you can find more information on this here.
So where do you go from here then. One great resource that I have found on the web which I use when designing websites is Colour lovers.com. This is the best place that I have found to find appropriate colour palettes for any project, not just a logo or website. If you have a certain colour in mind, punch it in the search and it will bring up loads of palettes to choose from. Or you can just get inspired and scroll through the categories. The palettes are also named so it gives you an impression of what the topic of the palette might be. They incorporate all the correct methods which I have briefly gone over in this article.
I hope this info has been helpful. Any thoughts on the subject please leave your comments below.
Further Reading: Psychological Properties of Colours