If you post regularly online as a blogger, photographer or as micro-influencer on Instagram or Twitter you will know that brand colours can be instantly recognisable. How do you grab some of that attention for yourself?
Brand colours for bloggers and pet lovers mean people begin to recognise you relate to your colours, and to your style. Getting it right means finding colours that really reflect your dreams and ideals.
So let’s start with the most important question.
Do Brand Colours Really Matter?
Yes they do.
- Think of UPS in America, and ‘the woman or man in brown shorts’.
- New Zealand’s stylised bright white fern on a black background.
- Toyota’s elegant curved logo on the boot of a car.
I am sure you can think of a dozen more too. So, how do you make yourself more distinctive?
Well, the theory says that you are ‘meant’ to choose a ‘color scheme’ that will appeal to your readers, Instagram fans or anywhere you are visible online. Don’t. The bottom line is if you hate a colour selection you will never use it. Work with colours you love and explore from there.
When I chose my web site colour scheme I used a favourite colour, blue. My designer developed the colour scheme after discussing my aims for the blog and developed a banner that inspires me still.
Brand colour schemes
Your blog or brand look needs a focus to start with, even though you might throw it out of the window later. After some adjustment and discussion, Dash Kitten ended up with a combination of professional and positive. Here are some ideas to kickstart your thinking.
- Natural, muted, calming, professional
- Retro, vintage fun
- Vibrant, bright, individual
- Fresh, clean, positive
- Dynamic, fearless, monochrome
Where do I find my colours?
You may not know where to start looking for your branding identity and colours. May I suggest some steps to take that will focus your intentions and your ideas?
The colours you choose don’t have to be strong or vivid to make an impression. Many blogs or influencers use a very light touch of colour. Be you, not a shadow of someone else.
Here’s an example of gentle use of my own favourite colours. The Dash Kitten logo has been created by Nick Vaka. It is a stylised rendering of Dash’s profile photo. The colours are used in my banner so the site colours remain consistent.
Using a Colour Selector
You don’t have to overthink choosing your colours, or revising a brand’s colour scheme. Take a look at a colour wheel for inspiration.
A colour selector makes the job even easier. You drag an image or photo on to the page which analyses the colour content. [I am including colour pickers used in this post in the Resources.]
For this sample, I loaded Dash Kitten’s banner to analyse the most prominent colours so I can incorporate them into the updates to my new blog theme.
Know your brand’s aims and reflect these in your colours. Dash Kitten’s aim is to share the fun of photography and the aim is to make photography less intimidating to pet lovers and bloggers who want to improve their images. Our positive blue is enhanced with mellow beige/brown accents and highlights in very light blue.
Hex Numbers Give You Absolute Colour Control
As a newbie, you don’t want to know the technical complexities of the hexadecimal family. (You do? OK try this.)
All you need to know is that once you have made your colour choices and run them through a colour picker, you note down the hashtag numbers e.g. #12345cc for your colour scheme.
What Do Colours Mean?
Colours can be fun, dramatic or friendly and you will recognise many of the descriptions. Don’t you love that orange is spontaneous, and that green reassures? Remember, your colour choice is very personal, so do not let anyone talk you out of a colour you love.
Symbolises Action Strength and energy.
Passion and Energy. Draws attention. Power, Passion and Love
Symbolises youth, emotion and optimism.
A fun colour that is energetic and spontaneous.
Symbolises happiness, positivity and intellect.
It brings you to the world and inspires thought and curiosity.
Symbolises harmony, safety, and growth.
Balances emotions and promises prosperity and luck.
Symbolises security, trust and responsibility.
It has a relaxing effect on our minds making us feel confident and secure.
Symbolises spirituality mystery and imagination.
Often associated with royalty it is a colour evoking mystery and fantasy.
TOP TIP: The choice of colours should be yours alone. Ask for opinions, this is part of the creative process but make your own choices.
Try a Color Quiz If You Are Stuck
If you have limited time, try a colour quiz. Something like this might help you answer the question ‘what colour should your branding be? I tried this quiz (link in resources) and it came up with, you guessed it, blue.
Using a Professional Designer
Sometimes it is worth stretching your small budget and hiring a designer. Ask friends for recommendations and if you are on a budget make this clear. Designers have skills you do not and can give you answers to questions you didn’t know needed answering.
Working with a professional takes time and money so try to develop ideas about the impression you want your brand or identity to create, and your colour preferences before you meet.
Definite ideas make a project less expensive because a designer (or you) doesn’t spend time going back and forward seeing if this work or that works.
You do not need design software or a Wacom tablet to develop your ideas. Pens or coloured pencils will get your ideas down on paper and this way of working generates new and different ways of thinking. A collage of coloured boxes and inspiring words will give you valuable information for a designer to work with.
- One final point: ensure you know who has control of the copyright of the final design. Sometimes a designer will retain copyright and sometimes it remains with you.
Check out these blogs and sites for inspiring colour schemes. See how colour is used and the impression a site makes on you from the moment you see it.
- TheCatonMyHead – the colour scheme is based on their original logo. Colours flow gently through the site as headers and borders forming a delicate but strong visual identity.
- Daily Dog Tag – a photography blog with a subtle thread of colour and plenty of white space so the images can speak for themselves.
- Melissa’s Mocha’s Mysteries and Meows – The power of pink as a personality statement with the help of a great designer.
- Willowing.com – an art site with a strong creative presence that shows bold colours and character can make a scheme your own.
- Bionic Basil – distinctive, dazzling and totally cohesive. The entire site works due to its range of connecting elements and strength of character.
This has been comprehensive, right? But, if you do have any comments or colour tips or designer recommendations for readers, I would love to hear from you so let me know in the comments.
Brand Colour Resources
- Imagecolorpicker.com Drag an image or scan on to the screen and the site privies a selection of colours with hex numbers.
- Colors on the Web – Color Wizard You will need a hex number for your favourite colour. The site gives a wide selection of colour choices including hue and saturation, complementary and analogous.
- The Meanings of Colours – Jacob Olesen
- Adobe Color Wheel Sophisticated adjustments include complementary, split complementary, Analogue, Tria etc., and can be adjusted. Option to drag an image on to the screen but harder work than Image Color Picker (above).
- Colour Thief. Drag in an image. Helpful for finding your dominant colours but no hex numbers are given. NOTE You do not need anything below Getting Started.
- QUIZ What colour should your branding be?
- You can ask us questions in the comments or our contact page.