Choosing the colours is one of the most important parts of the branding process. This step is also one of my favourite – it's the moment when you breathe life to the the brand or project you are working on, and when everything comes together in a magical way.
WHERE TO START
In her book How to Style Your Brand Fiona Humberstone introduces the seasons as a guideline for colour selection. I love the concept and I think, it is a very good way to pick the right colours for your brand. Today I would like to introduce you to my two very handy methods to pick colours – I call them The Wardrobe Method and The Dream House Method.
MAKE A MOOD BOARD
This is the best reason to browse Pinterest for hours, I've found so far! Mood boards are super fun and easy to make. You can create one directly in Pinterest by pinning images and colours you find suitable for your project.
Another way to make a mood board is to use Photoshop or Illustrator (this is the method I use) – there is a free Photoshop mood board template for that in the Free Resources.
Another great option for creating a mood board is to use Canva or Google Slides (I might create tutorials for both platforms, so stay tuned!)
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR COLOUR PALETTE
So, you've focused the message of your project, you've got to know the colours and their meaning more intimately, and you know who you are talking to + you've made your dreamy mood board – it's time to pick your colours!
I usually use one of the two methods – The Wardrobe Method or The Dream House Method. You can develope your own, as long as you consider the relationship between these three essential components:
- Your audience
- The mood and message you want to convey
- Colour psychology
THE WARDROBE METHOD
This approach is perfect for smaller projects or products – it's simple and easy.
If you are working on your own branding, think of the clothes you are likely to wear. For example, I looooove patterns, but I rarely wear them. Same with stripes. I looove pastels, but I prefer to wear bold bright colours. Also, I have tons of black clothes for the colder seasons, but my favourite piece of clothing is an open back summer top. It's white with yellow and blue details and pink rim. Think about the style, the colours and the details of your project and connect those with your main audience.
If you are working on a project and need to spice things up a bit with just the right colours, then think about your perfect customer, and not only what you'd like best. Jump over to Pinterest or Instagram and see what garments the gals you are talking to are posting, liking and wearing, and go from there.
THE DREAMY HOME METHOD
This is the advanced version of The Wardrobe Method. I use this one for branding and for larger projects. Basically it's the same drill as before – think of the visual world of your client. What is the style of her home? Is it modern, rustic, DIY, sporty, a mix of many styles? Which colours dominate her home and life?
Then think of the people your client wants to attract to her business. What does their home look like? Combine both visions and take a look at the colour theory again. If something is out of place, adjust until it feels right.
TIP: The best way to imagine a visual world is to create a mood board.
HOW MANY COLOURS?
There is no right answer, really. If you can make five or more colours work for you, then go for it! Personally, I prefer a complementary palette for the main colours, but I almost always have additional dark and light colour palettes, as well as neutral one. No matter how many colours you pick for your blog or project, you'll need to stick to them. So, create at least two palettes - one with your main signature colours and another with neutral colours for backgrounds and side bars.
COMMIT TO YOUR COLOUR PALETTE
When you are ready with your colour palette you will need to apply it everywhere. But first, you need to test it and make adjustments, if necessary. Sometimes when you start applying the chosen colours, you see that some of them do not work as well as you've hoped - a background might look too dark, or a headline too subdued. Just go back to the palette and adjust the shades slightly, so your colours can work their magic for you.
When you've tested the colours, go on and change your blog templates, social media profiles, and stationery.
Then – tell the world all about it! I love reading about the process behind a colour choice, so go ahead and share your story, if you please!
Need a little bit of inspiration?
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT COLOURS?
Now, I'd love to hear from you - how did YOU choose the colours for your blog? Do you have a method of your own? Are you happy with your current colours? Why?