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How to choose colors for your brand

How to choose colors for your brand

Colors inspire and wake up different feelings and are therefore considered to be the most powerful and most useful design tool. Having this in mind, special attention should be paid to choosing the color of the brand or the product.

In design, colors are used for:

  • attracting attention
  • creating the necessary atmosphere and dynamics
  • quick identification
  • achieving good contacts and associations, and emotional reactions

 

The color will always look different depending on the color surrounding it, so always consider whether the one you are opting for is compatible with “neighboring” colors. The Ostwald color circle shows the relationship between primary, secondary and tertiary colors and can be the basis for designing a color combination.

Primary or basic colors are blue, yellow and red and by their mixing in a particular ratio all other colors can be obtained.

Secondary colors are purple (obtained by mixing red and blue), orange (yellow and red), green (yellow and blue). Tertiary colors are obtained by mixing the secondary with one of its primary.

Although the meaning of color can be drastically different from country to country, some of the general characteristics and their symbolism are:

Red is the most dynamic, accelerating heartbeat and breathing, meaning strength, liveliness, and dynamics. Red makes you to look at it even if you do not want it.

Orange expresses radiation and communication, it is very warm and beside the yellow is notised from the longest distance. It has a warm and intimate character, symbolizing fertility, attention, action.

Yellow is the brightest, most visible and clearest color. The color of youth that joins joy and pleasure. A warm color that in combination with red creates even greater joy, optimism, warmth. Gold-yellow color symbolizes power.

Green is a symbol of nature, a symbol of a new life, health, hope, freedom.

Blue is a cold color that calms. As a color that symbolizes sky and water, it leaves the impression of the vastness, infinity, and freshness. It is considered a royal color.

Purple is mystical, mysterious, often full of melancholy and seriousness. Expresses dignity and riches.

Gray is associated with wisdom, persistence, maturity, compromise, monotony … It is often used as a perfect, neutral basis when we want to point out, for example, red or orange colors.

White symbolizes the purity, creates an impression of infinity, sterility and in design is associated with professionalism.

Black leaves the impression of overwhelming, mysterious and elegant appearance.

 

Color combinations

 

Complementary colors are found on the opposite sides of the color wheel (180 degrees apart), like for example, red and green. Even though complementary colors make each other stand out, they don’t appear stable together. More stability can be achieved by replacing one of the two complemetary colors of choice, with the color next to it – for example, if we choose red and green, then more stability will have combination red – blue or red – light green.

Colors that are next to each other in the color wheel, appear harmonious when put together.

The inspiration for choosing colors can be found in nature because there are all colors in perfect harmony. However, if you prefer to search inspiration on the Internet you can find many sites on this topic, and I recommend the following:

  • www.colorhunt.co – a perfect 4-color palette
  • www.pictaculous.com – Based on the image you put in, you get color suggestions that are compatible with the colors in the image
  • www.coolors.co – interesting combinations of colors, it is possible to change the shade, saturation and light of the offered colors
  • www.pinterest.com – a big inspiration for combining color in the fashion, interior, on the web, etc.

The color experience is very subjective and therefore, when choosing it, use your intuition, because you know best what your brand or product represents, what is your target group, and whether you want  an intense red, soothing blue or warm orange color to dominate your visual identity.

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