You’re setting up your freelance business and you’re working on your brand identity. Or perhaps you’ve been in business a while but feel like you’re due for a rebrand to reflect how your business has grown and changed. The time has come for you to choose some colours that will perfectly represent you and your business.
This part of brand development brings mixed feelings. It can either send you into the realm of overwhelm and the depths of indecision, or on the other hand you may be setting up camp in confidence-town. Are you struggling with choosing a key colour to reflect who you are? Perhaps you feel like you know ‘your colours’ but just need a bit of validation on your choice.
No matter where you are in your colour choice journey, this article will shed some light on 4 important things to consider when deciding the best colour palette for your business.
1. Your individual preferences
Choosing your favourite shade as the primary colour in your branding may seem like an obvious choice, but is it the right one? As a solopreneur, your most important business asset is you – your skills and knowledge. Your business will last longer and you will be happier, if you can be authentic. So let your personal style shine, girl!
You’ll also be seeing this colour everywhere for the next few years at least, so believe me when I say, you must like the colour you choose.
Is your favourite colour ever the wrong choice? If your colour choice conflicts with any of the points below, perhaps reconsider using your favourite hue.
2. Your client’s preferences can matter
Another possible method of choosing colour is to be guided by your client’s preferences. If your favourite colour is a pastel purple, but your ideal clients are tradies, they might think they’re not the intended recipient of the sweet and subtle hues decorating your social media accounts. Or, if your ideal client prefers a more conservative style, perhaps a pastel might be a better choice than a bold and vibrant red.
I feel it’s important to mention, choosing based on your client’s preferences isn’t crucial. Think about it: Are there any businesses you still love and support, even though they don’t use your favourite colour? I’ll bet my last chocolate bar the answer is yes. You aren’t likely to lose any clients just because you didn’t choose their colour
3. Setting the right mood
Perhaps the most important consideration to make before selecting your colour, is to determine what feeling you wish to ignite in your clients. The services your offer and your business values can be enhanced by your colour choice. You’ll notice many businesses with a focus on sustainability and eco-
friendliness choose green. Or fast-food restaurants use warm spectrum colours like yellow, orange and red? This is a strategic choice because warm colours trigger hunger more than cool shades, tempting passers-byinto thinking they’re hungry and need to stop for a bite. Clever cookies, aren’t they? This is colour psychology in action.
Take some time to think about what feelings you wish to convey about your business. If you’re a newborn photographer then delicate, pure hues like pastel peaches or lilacs would give your customers the sense that you’re a gentle and sensitive photographer who will treat their family with love. If you specialise in working with men in trade professions, then incorporating yellow and black into your logo may help to convey that you relate to them and understand their industry. Why? Almost every tradie wears protective gear, most of which is yellow. If they associate the protective gear with your business then you’ll subliminally pass on the message, “I got your back mate”.
4. Print vs screen viewing
Now you have a good idea of how you can convey a certain message, exude confidence with, and appeal to your ideal customer with your colour. The next thing you want to consider is the technical aspect of colour choice. Don’t stop reading just because I said the T word… this is actually super important!
Did you know choosing certain colours will give a different result on screen vs in print?
To put it simply, printer ink or toner can’t produce the same vibrancy as a screen can. What does this mean for you? It means that if you choose a vibrant colour for your brand, there’s a high chance that when printed, it will look drab and dull in comparison. My advice is to choose a colour that looks beautiful and consistent, both on and off screen. When you choose your colour on screen, print it out and see what it looks like. If they look completely different you may need to make some changes.
There are my top 4 things to consider when deciding on brand colours:
- Your personal preferences – you need to like it
- Your client’s preferences – you want your clients to like it
- Your business values – you need to convey the right message
- Consistency – it needs to look the same in print and on screen
How did you decide your brand colours? Did you wing it, or take a tactical approach? Let me know in the comments.
Michelle Marks is the creative force behind Lilypad VA. Michelle delivers efficient, affordable graphic design, branding, business admin and bookkeeping support to freelancers, creatives, start-ups and small businesses.