Ready to “brand board”
your color palette?!
As a creative professional, I love all colors and find they all will fit a purpose emotionally and physically. Physically? Yep. Colors are so powerful and can trigger the human mind to create some great choices and sometimes some bad ones! When we talk about brand identity what does that mean exactly and how can we know the perfect color palette to go with it? How do we base our decisions to get favorable results? Let’s talk about all of this in stages.
Here is a process!
First, Think about your business and your personality as an owner. What kind of energy does your company give off? (If you have no idea what your business feels like energetically then this is a time to stop and reflect. Dig deep into what this means to you.) Is the personality bold and sexy like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider? Or is it a serene and spa-like comfort creature that makes you dream of exotic warm sands in a place you’ve never been? Forget about your audience/fanbase for a moment and decide for yourself what energy your company sends out into the world.
This may be a transitional period in your career where this is the new energy you would like people to feel. That is okay too. In fact, it is great! Remember that your future self is not a fraud if you start becoming her now. A misconception of “faking it till you make it” (worst phrase ever!) is keeping good businesses from being great! Become who you already are and feel into what that energy can be described as right now and write it out. It can be one or two sentences and as long as you would like. When it comes to figuring out your brand identity and colors accurately, more is ALWAYS better!
You will take that phrase and put your creative hat on for a time-being! Yay! Okay, so, if your company *feels* like a Marilyn Monroe crossed with a Lara Croft then what does that look like? Put on your fashion hat for a second too! I know I know! I am so demanding and making you wear a lot of hats. Let’s play and pretend for a little bit. Okay? Now, what would your business character be wearing right now if she/he came to life?! Lace and leather? Boho chic? Romantic preppy? You don’t have to think about the colors yet. I want you to think about your character and the style and emotion they evoke in your daydream? Sit with this for a while and get that movie reel in your mind moving things along. Where are you and what are you doing? Are you on stage in front of thousands of people? Are you a famous actor or celebrity chef? Are you shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills? Are you in Bali teaching a master class for high-end 1:1 clients? Are you on the beach just relaxing? Remember this is your business character which does incorporate you and your ideas but also your audiences and who they are. Are there colors appearing now? What colors are you envisioning?
It is imperative to grasp because emotion, style, and actions are all related to your brands PERFECT color palette. Colors make us do things like purchase, click, follow and invest. It is a feeling we get and can relate to even if we have no idea what you do and who you are. We notice colors and their meaning instinctually and deciding on perfect palette cannot be taken lightly or rushed through.
Now it is time to have some creative fun! Woot woot!
Go to Pinterest.com and create an account if you do not already have one. Now go to your profile in the upper right-hand corner and click that! Now create a new “board” and make it “secret” so that only you will have eyes on this, so there is no pressure. Call the board “Brand Color Inspire” Now go back to your writing and read it all again, so it is a fresh emotion in your mind. Search Pinterest for color palettes, brand identities, fashion photography, nature images and art that feels like something that visually explains all the things you wrote down. When you find ones that resonate “pin it” to your new board. Don’t over think this! If it feels right then pin it. Pin with total abandon! Have fun and go down that virtual creative rabbit hole until you are satisfied and cannot or do not need to pin anymore.
Call the board “Brand Color Inspire”
Did I tell you that this is the exact method I use with my 1:1 clients? It is, and it has been so effective that I have had many requests to create a how-to video on this subject alone. This is a professional artistic process that can tell you a lot while having fun and learning about yourself and your company culture at the same time. Color is my most intensely researched skill and obsession. Knowing YOUR colors in business is vital to getting to the next level so you can run a lifestyle business that is visible and fruitful and feels like YOU.
Okay, this is the critical part of the process. What you will do now is bring up your brand colors inspire board and scroll all the way down to the very bottom of your Pinterest board where you will see your first pins you used. Don’t think about this too much and please don’t take your time here. Now, scroll up to the top fairly quickly and notice which colors stand out the most to you. There will be one or a few. What are they? Take note! Now think about those colors and slowly go through all the pins and delete the ones that didn’t make that cut. Go back to square one when you’re finished and with your new color palette in mind pin some new ones in place of the deleted ones. Now you should have a full board of pins that reflect a color palette, look and feel, you created on your own and is related to your business and YOU. At this point, you can take a break and log back in, in a few days to look at your board with “new” eyes.
Writing about the way you feel and react to your color palette after you’ve gone through all the steps is important. While you may find your color palette pleasing you could be missing one color or another to either balance out the look or introduce an energy or emotion that didn’t make the cut. For instance, I have had clients tell me that they are both soft and hard when it comes to their business personality. This is usually a fine line when you try to visualize that with colors and a fine-tuned brand identity. Make sure it is all there.
When you finally have chosen the overall color palette, it will be time to pick the actual colors with their corresponding color numbers so that you can use these interchangeably throughout your identity for consistency. A consistent look and feel will bring some brand recognition. Choose up to 6 colors but be aware that I usually stay under four if you are creating your logo or business mark. Less is more, and you can incorporate the other colors throughout your identity (like your website, biz cards, social media graphics) when you get to that point.
Colors are powerful expressions of our culture and mean things. Picking a color palette because it looks pretty or a professional told you to is NOT being in control of your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t choose black and gold *just* because someone you admire uses it and is very successful in your eyes. You started this business to live a life of self-expression, empowerment, and freedom. If you can’t even choose your color palette for *your* brand identity, what else are you going to skip over? Don’t opt to be like everyone else. Take your time and give your company space to breathe and become it’s own. Be purposeful and meaningful when it comes to your identity. This is my method I have perfected for over 20 years. If you’re looking for a professional to take you through a unique and creative journey, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments!