Colour schemes are one of the strongest and most cost-effective ways to create recognition and excitement around your brand. For instance, the mixture of red and white automatically conjures up the image of a coke bottle. Striking the right combo, however, is not as easy as it may seem. For your colour scheme to set the right tone, create a lasting impression and garner a favourable response from your audience, keep these tips in mind.

Choose colours based on their meaning

Colours have many different meanings depending on experiences, personal preferences, cultural differences and content. It’s important to understand your audience and their context in order to appeal to them through colour. There are, however, a few common connotations surrounding certain colours which can set a particular tone, for instance:

  • Yellow – optimism, happiness and warmth
  • Orange – friendliness, childishness and bubbliness
  • Red – danger, excitement and boldness
  • Purple – creativity and imagination
  • Blue – trust, calm and health
  • Green – growth, youth and peace
  • Black/white – naturalness and balance

Although these associations are not set in stone, they’re worth keeping in mind when making your colour choices.

Carefully select how many colours to use

In most cases it is best to stick to one or two colours when doing your design work. This ensures your audience remember your brand and its messages rather than being overwhelmed. Certain brands, such as Google and eBay, have made multiple colours work. The trick is to only utilise the multi-colour technique if your brand offers multiple products or services, or is focussed on diversity and inclusivity, such as the Olympic rings.

Use colours in tandem with the rest of your design

All of this being said, it’s important to not place too much emphasis on colour choice alone but on how those colours interact with the shapes and text of your overall design. Remember, some of your audience will be colour blind and your design may be reproduced in black and white. It’s important to pick colours that complement the messages of your design instead of letting them define it.