Colour palette is one of the subjects I get asked about the most- particularly from those of you in the DIYing your brand camp!
Colour palette selection is something that has always felt really intuitive and natural for me. So, in the past, I found it difficult to sit down and create tips that would serve those of you who don’t feel like you’re the most creatively inclined.
However, when my sweet VA approached me for tips on where the heck to start with picking colours for her personal brand, we jumped on a Zoom live training and- lo and behold, a few simple steps came pouring out of me. So of course, I had to share them with you!
Here are my 7 go-to steps as a brand designer. Enjoy!
1. Lead by values (always)
Take time to define a few key strategy pieces for your brand. What do you value most as a human? Get your top 2-3 values down on paper.
Think about who you seek to serve. How do their values intersect with your values?
Beyond values, start brainstorming some key words and feelings that encompass your brand, what you stand for, and how you’d like people to feel when they meet your brand.
2. Head to Pinterest
Start searching for combinations of keywords, and imagery that comes to mind for you when you think about the words that we’ve discovered in phase one. I like to seek out a variety of diverse imagery: some photography, texture, pattern, design etc.
3. Narrow your findings. Start pulling the images that speak most to you.
You’ll find that many of the images you’ve pulled will flow nicely together in terms of colour and mood- go with it.
4. Narrow down from your top favourite images and pull them into Canva. These can go into an informal moodboard.
You’ll likely continue to narrow down and refine your images as you see how they’re working together on the page.
Make sure that you have a good variety of light, dark, and shades that vary but feel like they compliment each other- could they all be a part of an abstract painting?
If you’re stuck- think about what colours and shades might be associated with or might evoke the feelings established with our keywords in phase one.
5. The next step is to export your moodboard and bring it in to www.coolors.co
This website is cool because you can upload your image and pull colours directly off of it, and easily change and manipulate tints, shades, and even get automatic suggestions for combinations of colour. You can also easily export your palette including all of your colour codes.
6. And in terms of “rules”?
Generally, try to have 1-2 lighter, more neutral shades to ground your palette.
Have 1 dark colour, 1 bright colour, and if you’d like to add more at this point, have them be complimentary to what you have already.For example, if you already have a dark tan, you might include a lighter sand colour. Or if you already have a deep green, perhaps a lighter sage.
If you ever feel overwhelmed- go back to your strategy from step one. Who are your people and how do you want your colours to make them feel? Lead with that!
7. And last but not least? Don’t overthink it.
I don’t want you to let finding the “perfect” colour palette stop you from doing the dang thing and getting your business out into the wild. If you’re just launching your business, there’s no colour palette police to ticket you if you change your mind in a few months. Here’s your permission slip to not do this perfectly and tweak things as you go. Business is always a work in progress.
I hope that you found this helpful! Be sure to tag me on Instagram when you’ve finished with your beautiful new palette!