Wednesday August 23rd, 2017

Color Reflections: Color Palettes Deconstructed

Color plays an important role in our everyday lives and it can speak volumes for a brand. Creating a strong and flexible color palette is a powerful marketing tool. Brands are often defined by a signature color and/or colors. A color palette builds a visual association for a brand, be it on a product, package, website, etc. The purchase of a box of cereal could be based solely on the colors of the package versus a competitor’s package. It’s important to understand how color affects our everyday lives and how to successfully use it to build brand equity.

We often associate emotion with color. Our interpretation of an individual color is often influenced by the environment or culture in which we live, differing from person to person. There are, however, some universal meanings behind colors: red is associated with danger, anger, warmth, love or romance; blue is associated with serenity, calmness, cool, sadness or depression. These color feelings can change depending on what context you’re using them in. For example, in branding, red could represent confidence, power, and strength and blue represent security, trustworthiness, and stability. In addition, certain shades or tones of colors can trigger a completely different meaning when paired with other colors.

Colors tend to help influence how people view a brand’s personality and recognition. For example, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Facebook all have strong brand colors that have become instantly recognizable. A brand’s color palette should contribute in portraying an ownable persona. There are many ways to create a color palette. One direction is to follow a 60-30-10 rule. This suggests 60% of the brand leverages a primary color, 30% is applied by the use of secondary colors and the remaining 10% applied by accent colors. Many factors need to be considered when developing a color palette...from culture, application, competition, materials and marketplace. Understanding color and its influences can make the difference in how a brand translates and its success.

Jordan Lymon,

Front-End Web Developer and Designer

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