So, you have just started in your business or you're considering doing a branding refresh because your branding just doesn't feel right. You start to think about what you want your business branding to really look like, particularly the colors you'll include. You don't know where to start, so perhaps you think you should look to what's trendy or even research what your "competition" is doing. Perhaps you'll go on Pinterest and search for popular color palettes. However, although this may help, this isn't at all where you want to spend your time looking. When it comes to your branding, you want to look internally into your own personal loves and favorites instead, and make sure to focus on five things in particular. If you keep these in mind at the forefront for your branding, it'll set you off to a great start.
tip One - Avoid Trends.
It is always so interesting to see what is trending and becoming popular - but when you think about these trends, particularly when pairing patterns with colors, do you think that they will have staying power to last for 5, 10, or even 20 years?? Enough that you want your brand to revolve completely around it, or will you be on the trend train with all of the other brands that hop on too? You want your brand to stand out in it's own unique way, and creating a brand around a trend isn't where you want to start. I think this is most apparent with two patterns that rose to popularity very quickly in the past few years ... specifically, damask and chevron. Both of these patterns are bold and beautiful and unique in their own ways when paired with certain colors, but they were quickly incredibly popular and definitely trendy. How many brands did you see who added a chevron or damask pattern to their branding's color palette? And, if you look at those same brands now, do they still have it incorporated? Or, have they changed again? Did those brands stand out to you?
The same goes for color palettes. Right now, dusty blue is a trending color along with organic greens and dark, moody colors, which seems to be changing from the light and airy looks that people have had for a while. I personally love dusty blue, and this is one color I have in my own branding. I made the choice to add it over a year ago, and love that it is trending now, but I don't see myself leaving this color behind in the years ahead. Choose colors that you want to have for a long time to come incorporated. Perhaps greens + organic or moody + dark is really on-trend right now, but when you're five years older, can you see yourself with this in your branding still? If the answer is yes, great! If you catch yourself wondering, perhaps you need to keep thinking.
You want to be sure that your branding has staying power so that people begin to recognize color combinations together (that aren't even on your website, persay) and think of you, as it is an extension of your brand and business. And, you don't want to have to reinvent the wheel every couple of years to continue to build that recognition, so choose a design and a palette that you know isn't necessarily trendy ... choose something that you can see yourself looking at and other people seeing for a long time to come.
Tip Two - Choose colors that reflect your business.
I'll use my own self here again for an example since you're on my site so it's easy to look around. I am a designer who creates formal wedding invitations and feminine branding for business owners. My branding is filled with soft colors and a pastel palette. If I strayed from this and started designing collections that consist of a lot of dark, moody hues with bold, masculine block scripts incorporated instead of soft and light collections including swirling calligraphy-style typography, it simply wouldn't flow together. I would be speaking to a different audience as well - I am known for soft and classic designs, and want that to continue, so definitely don't want to incorporate dark or bold colors into my branding. Choose colors that will attract the people you want to work with, that reflect the style of work you create.
Tip Three - Have yourself reflected in your branding.
This may seem like an odd one, but your brand is literally an extension of you. Look in your closet and around your home and look at what you find the most of. In your home, are you surrounded with bold colors and bright patterns? Vintage pieces with a hand-painted look? Or are you surrounded with more neutrals and modern designs? When you look in your closet, what are you most drawn to? If you had to select only ten pieces of clothing to mix and match for a fourteen day vacation, which outfits would you choose? When you look at all of them together, what kind of colors or patterns do you see? The reason this is important is that when you meet with your clients, you want you, standing in front of them in person, to coordinate with what it looks like on your site and online - you want to essentially look like your brand. If you wear a lot of white and gold, you'll automatically feel or look slightly disconnected if your brand includes a woodsy and brown feel. If you choose a palette with vibrant pink, black, and a glittering silver, you'll feel pretty disconnected if you prefer softer pastels and soft colors. You want your brand colors to feel like you - so make sure to choose something you can see yourself in, literally as if you are trying it on for size.
Tip Four - Make sure it speaks to your ideal client
This is a big one. Your online presence, when people first come to visit your website, your Instagram, or your shop, is your own personalized home on the internet. When people come into your online home to learn more about you, you want them to feel comfortable, like what they see, and feel cozy enough to sit and scroll for a while. You don't want them to pop in and just pop right back out because something they see repels them in one way or another, if indeed they are your ideal client. There is a phrase "your vibe attracts your tribe", and this is so apparent when it comes to your colors for branding too. Choose colors that reflect the style of clients you want to work with.
Tip Five - Edit, Edit, Edit.
It is so easy to get into the zone for your branding and think "ooh! I'll add this! And this! And I can add this too! And this!" But when it comes to that, catch yourself, stop, and think about if you should scale back instead. I always think of Project Runway, and how Tim Gunn is continually telling the designers to edit or simplify their pieces (oh, how I can not wait for this show to return for another season this year!). It is so easy to create complex ideas and have variations of so many different things. However, complex is not always better - if your eyes are bouncing from one piece to another and it seems to be too much, or things simply don't seem to flow well, sometimes it makes more sense to step back and look at the bigger picture, and subtract some of the details. Do you need all of those pieces? Do you need to have four different patterns with ten different colors and fifteen icons? Or will you be absolutely perfect with one or two patterns, three or four colors, and a small handful of icons (or, do you even need any icons at all)? Sometimes, less is more, and simplifying can result in something absolutely beautiful.
And that's it! I hope that this helped you tremendously with thinking about branding for your business. If you found this helpful, pin this tipsheet below to your favorite Pinterest board!
Whether you are in the beginning stages of your business or you are looking for a branding refresh, remember to keep these tips in mind and your branding will be off to a beautiful beginning. If you are a creative business owner who is looking for a modern, feminine, beautiful brand and would like to chat with me about a beautiful brand for your business or talk you through the steps to get started on your own, I'd love to chat with you! Simply contact me here and we'll go from there.
Share Your Thoughts!
When it comes to your brand colors, what do you find the most challenging, or what is another tip you would share with someone else that's perhaps walking this path right now? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
See you next Thursday .... have a great week!