What is your favourite colour? If you can, sit back for a minute, close your eyes and picture that colour, picture other things you love in that colour. While you are visualizing this notice the emotions that come up within you as a result, how does it make you feel? Go ahead, picture it…...I’ll wait……
So how did you feel? Did you feel calm and at ease? Happy and hopeful? Excited and eager? These emotions are one of the reasons that colour is such an important part of your brand identity. It is equally important to remember that the meaning and impact of colour is subjective, there’s no science to it.
Many elements play a role in how a colour is perceived, from the shade of it, whether it is used as the base or accent colour, what colours it is used with and more. Where it really gets subjective is a the influence a person’s past experience with that colour plays as well as whether or not they like a particular colour. Before you decide on a colour get really clear on what words you want to represent your brand and figure out what colours help to communicate these words. While there is no science you can paint the feeling with a wide brush to at least get you in the right area. For example, black is typically associated with edgy, bold, or sophisticated; while brown tends to evoke feelings of earthy, natural, and trustworthiness.
Here is a quick reference guide listing out some of the most common meanings and emotions associated with certain colours. This chart has been adapted from a Smashing Magazine article titled “Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color”
Take the time to build a list of emotions and feelings you want your brand to bring alive in your clients; this will absolutely be the starting point in selecting the right colour palette to move ahead with. Be true to your brand when selecting a colour, do what feels right and get some feedback. Share it with others to see what the colours make other people feel, make sure it’s objective by not telling them in advance what feelings you are looking for. The words they use don’t need to be exactly yours in order to be on point, but the general baseline should be similar.
The best thing I did? Rebrand with pink and rose gold, it holds true to the image I want to portray and the feelings I want to elicit with my brand and client experience. I feel more at home with those colours and feel completely confident that the image provided when people view my marketing materials they are getting a feel for me, even if we’ve never met.