How to find the most powerful colour for your brand

 Colour is the ninth wonder of the world! It says so much  in a language without uttering a sound. Such a powerful design tool deserves to be used expertly. So how do you choose the right colour for your brand?

Pantone colour swatch fan
A Pantone colour swatch fan.

Here are a few of my tips when for making the right choice of colour.

  1. What industry is your business brand in? Is your business in the finance, industrial, residential, fashion, retail, educational sector? Each business sector has its own behavioural cues- a bit like body language. Everyone expects and understands these cues and they make people feel comfortable and reassured. For example the finance sector likes to been seen as conservative, solid, established and stable. The brand should convey these messages in an understated manner.  Good colour choices would be ‘business blue’ or muted tones like burgundy. Avoid pure and primary colours unless you are going for a ‘rebel’ brand look and feel with a business model that does things differently in your sector.
  2. How is your brand positioned in the market it competes in? Is it a premium priced brand or budget value brand? Use colour to help convey this message. Bright primary colours are usually associated with budget low-priced brands particularly primary mailbox red. Make your upmarket brand more luxe with a special custom or spot colour like ‘Valentino’ red. (See my comments on the recent Valentino exhibition here.)  Team your main colour with a wider palette to extend a mood or theme you are expressing with the brand.

    Valentino Branding

    The iconic "'V' of the Valentino brand which has its own custom colour known as a colour in its own right - Valentino Red. Picture taken at the entrance to Valentino exhibition at Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art.

  3. Is your brand competing in an overcrowded space? Sometimes it is sooo good to break all the rules! Make daring colour combinations or choose an unexpected colour none of your competitors would dare to embrace, ie be a ‘rebel’ brand. This can help get you noticed and make a strong point of difference.
  4. Meaning of colour. Colour has different meanings to different people across cultural boundaries. Even within one society, colours can have a different psychological effects across an audience. You need to think about the makeup of your target market and any differences in interpretation. Consider the tone as well as the colour. Warm colours (reds, orange, yellows) are associated with energy and happy emotions. Adding black, grey or a touch of cool blue to these tones will turn them into dingy shades that conjure up opposite emotions.
  5. Be consistent across a range of media. When you have decided on the perfect colour that expresses all the personality for your brand, make sure it can be reproduced accurately across a range of media. This means it needs to look like your colour on your website( RGB) as well as in your print materials (CMYK)  and from your desktop printer. Paint colours and fabrics are another consideration. Use a Pantone® colour which is a system of standardised colours for identifying, matching and communicating between providers.

 Check out this blog from Colour Lovers on colours that are the most dominant and powerful online:


One thought on “How to find the most powerful colour for your brand

  1. Pingback: Express your brand personality « Style Precinct

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