Colour plays a crucial role in shaping your brand's identity, influencing how your personality and tone are perceived by your audience, and impacting the effectiveness of your messaging. Understanding colour psychology is key to making informed strategic choices that resonate with your target audience and position your brand effectively in the market.

Be Introspective

To begin, it is essential to have a deep understanding of your brand's values and mission. Factors such as your brand story, tone of voice, unique selling points (USPs), target audience, and competitors should all be carefully considered. These insights form the foundation of your brand profile, guiding your colour choices to align with your brand's essence.

Colour Impacts Emotion

Emotion plays a significant role in influencing behaviour, making it crucial to select colours that evoke the desired emotional response. While individual responses to colour can vary based on factors such as culture, gender, and personal experiences, there are general associations that can serve as a starting point for your colour palette. For instance:

  • Red: Passion, Energy, Excitement, Danger
  • Orange: Friendliness, Confidence, Warmth
  • Yellow: Optimism, Creativity, Happiness
  • Green: Health, Hope, Growth, Nature
  • Blue: Trust, Loyalty, Professionalism
  • Purple: Wisdom, Luxury, Spirituality
  • Black: Sophistication, Power, Elegance
  • Gray: Timelessness, Neutrality, Balance
  • White: Clarity, Simplicity, Transparency

However, it is important to note that colour selection is nuanced, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be suitable for every brand.

Suppose you aim for your brand to exude trustworthiness, professionalism, and maturity. Logically, blue may seem like the natural choice. Yet, upon examining the local competition, you may discover that numerous competitors already utilise a similar palette. In this scenario, it could be wise to consider alternative colour options to set your brand apart.

Creating a Colour Palette

Building a cohesive colour palette involves selecting core, secondary, and accent colours. 

Core colours serve as the foundation of your palette and are directly associated with your brand, think Vodafone’s red, or Selfridges’ yellow.

Secondary colours support the core colours and broaden your palette. Secondary colours are often (but not always) neutral colours such as black, white, grey, and brown, or tints and shades of your core colours.

Accent colours are used very sparingly and add visual contrast, drawing attention to specific elements within designs.

Colour Ratio

A useful guideline for structuring your colour palette is the 60/30/10 rule:

  • 60% of your palette should comprise core colours.
  • 30% should be allocated to secondary colours.
  • The remaining 10% should be dedicated to accent colours.

This ratio ensures balance and coherence within your palette, enhancing visual appeal and clarity.


In conclusion, a well-crafted colour palette is essential for communicating your brand's identity and message effectively. Remember to keep your palette simple and harmonious, allowing colours to work together seamlessly. By mastering the basics of colour psychology and experimenting with different approaches, you can create a distinct and memorable brand identity that resonates with your audience.