How to create a color palette for your brand

Color is an essential element of design, and one of the most important elements of your visual brand. A carefully curated color palette can lift your brand up to the next level. It has the ability to support your brand in being unique, recognizable, and memorable. Obviously, the right color palette can attract your dream clients and awakes emotions. The right color scheme can make them feel positive, energized, or comfortable.

Stand out from your competition.

Colors make your brand unique, recognizable, and memorable.

Step 01 – Know who you are

In the beginning, it can be quite hard to define your color palette and narrow it down to the ones that you love the most and your dream clients as well. Really, it doesn’t matter if you are a designer yourself, or a brand, it can be tricky to pick the right colors for your design project. Before starting with branding, we ask brands several questions and deep dive into their brand personality to make sure we really meet their needs. You need to know who your brand is before you or a Designer starts working on your visual identity. Maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start. The questions below are just an extract of the kind of questions we ask our clients and might help you get going.

1. What is your brand personality?
Imagine your brand as a person. How would you like it to be? Examples might be: calm, introvert, extrovert, modern, warm, relaxed, friendly, serious, sophisticated, vibrant, playful, elegant. Think of other adjectives that describe your brand the best. Don’t think about yourself, think about your brand.

2. What are your core values?
Think of what makes you as a brand unique and what is important for you, such as your products being sustainable and fair. Other brand values could be respect, innovation, comfort, ambition, balance, stability, or mindfulness. There are hundreds of values we could think of, ask Google for more if you struggle to answer this.

3. What’s your season?
This is a fun one, but imagine yourself selling beautifully crafted beach umbrellas. It would probably be summer, right? It’s so important for a Designer to know where you’re coming from and where you position your brand.

4. Who is your ideal client?
This is when we start working on personas. A persona in the context of marketing refers to your ideal customer for your business. They are defined by a mixture of any of the following attributes or activities: shopping, look, habits, location. Start creating a Pinterest board and think of a name for one of your ideal clients. Pin everything you think this person might like and you’ll soon see it coming to life.

Step 02 – Pick your Colors

Colors play a huge role in your brand. They’ll attract your ideal clients and help them to identify with your brand. A good color palette awakes emotions and leads to the buying process. Obviously, colors aren’t everything, your logo, typography, and brand patterns are an essential part of your visual identity, but colors are the most obvious visual aspect, that your clients will recognize.

Below we listed colors with each of their characteristics as well as the qualities they transfer. Every color can be perceived as different by others. So please don’t get distracted and stay focussed on your own story, believe in your brand, and the message you want to get out there. Again, think of who you are and read through the questions you just answered. You might think bright red is your favorite color, which doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your organic cosmetic brand. Start thinking of bigger brands, you’ll notice that many organic brands use very natural beige, brownish, or green tones, whereas modern sports brands love a powerful red.

When you’re done, start picking the colors you think would be a good match for your brand and start to align them with the meanings behind the color. Don’t worry if they don’t match in the first place, this is only the beginning. The most important thing is creating a color palette that goes hand in hand with your brand personality and values. 

An inspiring book is – Upstart! Visual Identities for Start-Ups and New Businesses*
which showcases an exciting range of visual identities and some fresh branding. This might help you to get an idea of how others integrate color concepts into their core businesses.

Step 03 – Create a mood board

While color is important to the overall brand experience we often see brands struggle to decide on a color palette that tells their brand story. They aren’t sure how to use how many colors. So what did you think of the colors above? Is there anything in particular that matches your brand? Again, we want to make sure that the palette you choose starts to represent your brand so your ideal clients feel attracted. So let’s refine your color scheme.

When creating a new visual identity for brands, we start creating a detailed mood board to narrow down the looks we want to achieve with our designs. This can be helpful to narrow down and finalize your color palette. We start picking colors from photos, so we can create the visual impact we want to make. This can be on –Pinterest. Make sure your colors are cohesive with your mood board, to consistently represent your brand aesthetic.

Step 04 – Define your Brand Colors

For this, we take advantage of these amazing free sites –Colors.Dopely or –Adobe Color. Especially Adobe Color is worth a visit. It is very user friendly and comes with helpful features. All you need to do is to upload a photo from your moldboard and it’ll automatically pick out the colors for you. Also, you can get inspired by color palettes created by other people. If you’re new to this, Adobe Color is probably the easiest way to create color palettes for brand identities. There are different types of color palettes that you can use for your branding, such as monochromatic, complementary, or analog colors.

1. Complimentary colors mostly include both warm and cold colors. We recommend having a good mixture of bright and dark colors, to make sure you’ll have enough contrast possibilities in design.

2. Monochromatic colors may seem a bit boring in the first place, but through consistency, through all channels, it can add a very unique touch to your brand.

3. Analog colors usually use either only warm colors or only cool colors. All sitting next to each other on the color wheel.

Step 05 – Finalize your Color Palette

So how many colors do you need? We usually decide on 1 – 2 Main Colors, which are often based on your logo design. Additionally, we like to use 1 – 2 accent colors and 1 – 2 light neutral colors. Both of us have a strong digital design background, this why we always think of colors that can be used properly both on print – and screen designs.


1. Your main colors:  This is simply the color that represents your brand the most. It should be your go-to when choosing the color for your website or marketing material. 

2. Your neutral colors: Neutral colors are often underestimated but they are so important to shape your design project. For websites, we personally don’t think the text on photos is always a good choice. That’s why we prefer using light neutral background colors, to frame your story. The light colors can also be used for brand patterns or paper for your marketing collateral.

3. Your accent colors: Accents should not be in the main focus but well complimenting your main colors. For websites, this would be your Call to Action – Button or highlight color when hovering over links. For print, this could be an element that appears here and there, such as on packaging.


Now, here we are. This could be a good start on how to create your color palette. We hope it helps you to define a color palette that resonates with your target audience. We’ll show our current favorite color palettes in another The Edit Post.


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