Branding 101: Where to use brand colors
Why are brands so obsessed with finding their own unique colors? Perhaps it’s because color creates a specific mood for your brand. Think Twitter, Netflix, or the BodyShop. Can you recall their distinctive colors without seeing them? We bet you can, since these brands are using every place possible to integrate their brand colors — from outdoor advertising to social media posts and company business cards.
Why do they do this? Or rather, why should you follow the same route?
When it comes to branding, your brand colors create an association with your brand. Using your brand colors across different channels and mediums only helps solidify the association of your brand with your logo and other branding elements. If you achieve this — you’re golden.
In this article, we explore how to stay color consistent and list the many ways for you to integrate your brand colors. If you’re just starting out with your color game — keep reading for practical tips and insights.
How to select your brand colors
If you’re wondering how to select your brand colors, we suggest you break the process into a couple of steps:
- Establish your brand identity. Is your brand serious or fun? Will you be conversational or official? Once you define your core goals and set a mood for your brand, it will be easier for you to go about choosing the right colors for your company.
- Discover color meanings. With white being associated with purity and green with growth, you want to dive deep into color psychology to find your go-to color.
- Get inspired. From art movements to movies and your competitors’ branding, seek inspiration to build a recognizable color system for your brand. And remember — although there are some strict rules in color theory, it’s experimentation that pays off.
- Choose your main color. Based on your company goals, brand mood, and research, select your primary color and build your brand identity around it. Check out what we’ve previously written about finding your brand’s true color.
- Create a palette with secondary colors. Once you have your main color ready, think of the secondary colors that will complement it. You may find our piece on color theory useful.
- Rule of thumb: come up with one major brand color and opt for 3-4 as secondary ones to create a palette.
Why use VistaCreate’s Brand Kits?
Now that you have your color palette ready, it’s time to organize it into a Brand Kit. Brand Kit is a place where you store your color palette, fonts, and logo so they are used consistently. If you have a designer, simply give your Brand Kit to them so they can create your branded visuals. If you’re designing on your own, explore Brand Kit in VistaCreate.
What are the benefits of using a Brand Kit?
- It saves time. If you’re working with VistaCreate templates to design your visuals, you don’t need to hand-pick colors and fonts for each design. Once you upload your brand elements to your Brand Kit, they will always be there for future designs.
- It optimizes teamwork. If you’re working as a team, it pays to have everything ready so that team members can use your brand palette, fonts, and logo anytime they need.
- It helps create professional, on-brand content. In VistaCreate, you’ll find thousands of unique templates, from social media posts to poster designs. Simply use the Brand Kit with them — and you’ll get your on brand visuals ready in minutes
Start creating your Brand Kit now with VistaCreate — and use it for your future designs!
Why staying color consistent is important
Some companies disregard the importance of color consistency. You might have seen this a million times — a company uses outdoor advertising in red, social media in pink and yellow, while emails are presented in green and blue. This has nothing to do with consistency. This approach just leaves the clients confused about what they’ve just seen. How are they even supposed to remember your brand if your colors vary from placement to placement?
Staying color consistent is vital for companies that strive to build strong, recognizable brands. Once you maintain your color consistency, it becomes easier for your client to distinguish your company among dozens of others. Color consistency builds a solid foundation of good branding.
Bottom line: stay color consistent to build a strong, memorable brand, and create proper perception in the minds of your clients, both existing and potential.
16 places to integrate your brand colors
If you’re building an online component of your business, note these 9 places to integrate brand colors for proper visibility.
First place goes to your logo, of course. It’s the core element of your brand identity. Recall the places where color is used — your social media, leaflets, office design… Ensure you start your color consistency journey by incorporating your colors in the logo.
Need inspiration designing your logo? Discover the many types of logos in our article.
Your website is a go-to source for customers, business partners, and potential investors interested in finding out more about your business. From your header, footer, and buttons, you want to include your colors on your website.
And don’t forget the app! Your brand colors should be present everywhere, starting with the app icon that will appear on your clients’ phones, leading to the buttons in the app.
4. Social media
Social media platforms offer plenty of places to integrate your brand palettes. Think your social media page background, avatar, and publications — all of this creates an opportunity to demonstrate your brand colors and do so in a coherent way.
Discover our top 8 social media design trends for more inspiration.
Running a blog? Make sure your blog header, featured image, and visuals inside the articles are designed in a consistent way.
For podcast authors, it pays to think of color consistency, too. Your podcast cover will appear among thousands of others in a library — and you want your client to distinguish you quickly.
7. Email marketing
Sending off emails? Design them with the creative use of your brand colors. Think of your email header, the content of the email, footer, and more — keep them coherent and on-brand.
Haven’t started with email marketing yet? Check out the list of tips on email marketing for small businesses in our article.
8. Paid ads
Paid ads are yet another way to reach your customers where they are likely to be. Be it a Twitter advertisement, paid Google ad, or placement on an opinion leader’s profile — your colors should be there.
9. Special online projects
Do you publish e-books? Or create PDF reports for your blog? Maybe you publish presentations with your yearly reports on your website? As with all of the above, you have to include your color palette, too.
If your brand goes beyond online, make sure you maintain color consistency in your offline materials as well. Let’s explore where you should use your brand colors here.
We just love packaging. And it’s yet another must have place for your brand colors. Think of all the tiny details that your packaging has — where can you incorporate your brand colors? Also, consider eco conscious packaging so your clients can reuse it.
2. Outdoor advertising
Do your clients see your ads as they stroll around the streets? Whether you market your brand using posters, billboards, or flyers, make sure your offline advertising is consistent.
People adore merch. The hats, bottles, and stickers you give away at music festivals — all of this creates an opportunity for you to stick in your clients’ mind (and pockets).
4. Office/shop design
If you’re lucky enough to have your office or an actual brick and mortar store, be consistent in their design too. Put your posters up on office walls. Get a special, branded coffee machine. Decorate a counter with some beautiful stickers. Experiment!
Your employees are part of your brand identity. Dress them up! Consult with a fashion designer to create a uniform that stands out from the crowd — and transmits your brand message.
6. Business cards
Here, you should not only think about your clients, but your business partners and investors, too. Business cards can be a great way to stick in your partners’ minds.
Last but not least — are you up to any offline events? This is a great opportunity to engage your customers in various exhibitions, festivals, and workshops. And don’t forget your merch.
Let’s summarize what we know about choosing brand colors and places to incorporate them.
- To choose your brand colors, define your strategy, your brand identity, and get a hold of color theory.
- Maintain color consistency to build a strong, memorable brand in the minds of your clients.
- For convenience, use VistaCreate’s Brand Kit to keep your color palettes, fonts, and logo in one place, and use it for creating a branded design.
- Make sure you integrate your brand colors both online and offline.
- For online, integrate your colors into your logo, website, social media, and all the other platforms you use.
- For offline, make sure your design is consistent by incorporating brand colors into your office design, merch, and packaging.
Interested in more? Discover 7 color combinations and how to apply them to your designs.