Creating a great virtual first impression is just as important as creating a great first impression when you're meeting someone in real life.
Have you ever wondered why some blogs look like DIY hack jobs and others look ultra-slick and professional – even though they have an almost identical structure, layout and content?
Have you ever felt repelled from a website because something about it looked unprofessional?
The color scheme they were using probably has a lot to do with it.
It turns out there’s a lot more to choosing a color scheme for your branding strategy than just picking a bunch of colors that you like and appear to ‘go together’ nicely.
The first step to choosing a professional-looking branding color scheme is to go to a website called paletton.com – it’s a free tool that helps you choose color combinations based on exact mathematical relationships.
Make sure you’re on the coloriser page which has a color wheel on one side and a color palette on the other.
There are a few different ways you can use paletton to choose your colors.
1. Starting with a color hex code that you already know.
If you already have an established brand color and you’re looking for some highlight or contrasting colors to add a splash to your marketing, you would take the hex code for your existing color and type that into the ‘base RGB box’.
If you don’t know what the hex code of your existing brand color is, one simple way to find out is to add a ‘color picker’ add on to your browser, then click on a color on your website or a logo in your web-based email and the tool will tell you the exact color you clicked on – which you then would type into the BASE RGB box on Paletton.
Another way you might like to start is to activate the color picker tool and click on a really prominent color in your clothing or any dramatic scenery or furnishings in your website color image, and use that hex code as a starting point. That way your website will be a perfect color match for your fashion or decorating sense!
2. Starting from scratch
If you’re starting from scratch and looking for ideas you can start by clicking the dot on the color wheel and dragging it around the hue circle to a color you like the look of. You'll notice that the custom color combination changes as you drag the dot around.
Experimenting with different color sets
Once you have found a base color you like, the next step is to experiment with different color sets by clicking on the different circles above the color wheel and checking out how the color combinations look on the color palette on the right hand side of the screen.
As an example, this is how one random blue color (#323776) I chose looks in a monochromatic palette:
with an adjacent color palette:
with a triad color palette:
and with a tetrad color palette.
You can also experiment with the shades by dragging the middle arc dot in the center of the color wheel around, and if you're feeling extra brave you can hold the shift key down to move the shades individually. As you move things around you’ll notice the palette on the right hand side changes dynamically.
If you ever need to go back and start again, there’s a reset button up the top.
When you've found a color combination that looks good…
Once you’ve found a combination that looks good to you then the next step is to check out some visual examples of these colors being used together.
There are a few different options for looking at your custom colors. I don't usually bother with the ‘page layout' options because they're a little dated, but checking out the artwork and the animated examples is fun.
If you've finished experimenting and you're happy with your custom color palette, click on the ‘Tables/Export' tab at the bottom right of the screen to go to see the specifics of the colors you've chosen.
You'll notice that the export page (shown below) shows each of the colors and shades on your custom palette and includes both their hex code and RGB codes.
There are a few different options on the right menu for downloading your new color set, but I usually just grab a screenshot of the color palette and rename it based on the project.
Will this tip improve your business branding?
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Remember, just reading about ways to improve your business branding strategy won't actually improve your branding – you need to take action and implement it to actually benefit from the results!
P.S. If you tried this tip out, would you please let me know? I'd love to find out how you went and see if there's anything that needs updating on this post.