The World is a Colorful Place!
99% of the time, we view our world as a combination of multiple colors (rarely ever just one).
In branding and graphic design, we try to select color combinations that illicit a particular desired effect or emotion. The combinations you choose to represent your organization is your color palette.
We take a number of things into consideration during the branding process, including your company archetype (personality), brand voice (how you communicate), differentiation among competitor brands and how the logo, colors, type and other brand elements work with each other.
Even after all this, there are still an unlimited number of possible combinations.
Color schemes are models for building color combinations with particular properties and purpose. These schemes are based on classical color theory which is an interesting blend of art and science that developed over the course of human history.
A Monochromatic color scheme uses variations of a single hue (color). This is done by adjusting saturation and brightness or, in print, by adding white (tint) or black (shade) ink.
Mono schemes are smooth and comfortable, even for very aggressive base hues. However, because there is relatively low contrast, it can be harder to find accents and highlights. For this reason, we usually include the complimentary color (opposite the base hue on the color wheel) for areas where we need a “pop” of color.
An Adjacent or Analogous scheme has two secondary hues oriented symmetrically on either side of a primary hue.
Usually, all 3 colors are uniformly warm or cold, with the secondary colors used sparingly for highlights and accents.
Like the monochromatic, this scheme produces a tensionless palette that is soothing to the eyes.
This Triadic color scheme is vibrant, with high contrast between 3 colors, split evenly around the color wheel, with no clear dominance of 1 color over the others.
Here’s a Complimentary color scheme with highly contrasting (clashing) colors. Look familiar?
A Tetrad is an aggressive scheme with high contrast between 4 colors, evenly spaced around the color wheel. This scheme can be difficult to work with.
We don’t usually recommend using more than 4 colors in a palette.
This is not guesswork!
Our branding process involves research, analysis, testing and refining to determine your color palette. Your brand style guide will include a detailed explanation of your color scheme and palette, with usage guidelines.
Color is just one piece of the branding pie. We take just as much care when developing all the rest of the audio-visual elements that define how customers will perceive your business.
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