Building Your Brand Using Color Theory

How do you use color theory to develop your brand further?

Author: Grace Sovine
January 14, 2019

There are tons of factors to consider when building your brand. Who is your audience? How do you represent your style? What colors should you use in your design? If you’re looking at creating a logo for a new company or revitalizing your current brand, keeping color theory in mind can help you build a successful aesthetic.

Color theory sounds a little intimidating? Don’t worry – you don’t have to be an art student or a professional designer to understand how colors work together. With just a few basics in color theory, you’ll be informed and prepared to bring your vision to life.

Before we delve right into it, there’s something you should be familiar with: the color wheel.

You probably remember this from elementary school, but don’t write the color wheel off! This is a universal tool used in color theory, and almost every color scheme should use the color wheel as a reference to find the best combination.

Easy enough, right? Let’s get into it, then! Below you’ll find six easy rules using the color wheel to help you pick the best color scheme when it comes to your brand.

Image via LifeHacker

Analogous

Analogous colors refer to colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. A good example of this would be reds, oranges, and yellows, which is a common color combo for logos in the food industry.

Complementary

Complementary colors sit opposite one another on the color wheel and tend to make one another pop. A common combo here would be orange and blue.

Split Complementary

Here is where it gets a bit more complicated. In this case, you would pick one main color, and then incorporate two secondary colors that are adjacent to your main color’s complementary color. Let’s use green as a main color. Based on the complementary rule, red is the complement to green. In split complementary, we would look at the colors on either side of red to find this color scheme. So, the final color combination would be green, purple, and orange, as you can see in the the figure above.

Triad

As the name suggests, this rule includes three colors evenly spaced out on the color wheel. Something like green, orange, and violet would be a bright triad combo.

Tetradic

Tetradic colors are pretty easy – they just include two sets of complementary colors. This scheme creates a rectangle on the color wheel. Let’s say we kept our blue and orange combo. To make that set into a tetradic scheme, we’d add red and green.

Monochromatic

Last, but certainly not least, the monochromatic scheme. Simple, but powerful, the monochromatic scheme includes one segment of the color wheel in varying degrees of lightness and saturation.

Now that we’ve gone over some basic color schemes, there’s one more invaluable lesson in color theory that can affect your branding. We’ll skip over the primary colors and secondary colors lesson for today, but it is important to note the separation between warm colors and cool colors on the color wheel.

Image via LifeHacker

Each individual color on the wheel conveys its own emotion, but, generally, warm colors evoke feelings of happiness, enthusiasm, and energy, while cool colors evoke calmness, peace, and professionalism. When thinking of colors for your logo or website, thinking of the emotional and psychological significance can help hone your brand.

And that’s your crash course in color theory! Feeling smarter?

Of course, there are plenty of other lessons to be learned. If you’re interested in discussing your design goals for your company with a professional, please reach out to our team and we’d be happy to bring your vision to life.

If you have any questions about how to develop a brand or are interested in creating a new logo, just reach out to our team.

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