Day 14 - Color Love



Welcome to Day #14 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here and find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything.

"My colors look a little dated."

When it comes to choosing color, a lot of it comes down to personal preference but you can also use your target client as a guide. For example, most newborn photographers lean toward neutrals or pastels because it reinforces that idea of innocence and peace. Colors naturally communicate a message. That's why a lot of banks include classic traditional colors like white, brown, and navy. Or restaurants usually have some form of yellow, orange or red to make us think of our desire for food with a sense of urgency. So if there's a message you want to give to your clients, sometimes you can do that through the shades your choose. Let's say you want to show your clients that you lean toward an edgy, alternative style. You might stick with dark grays and blacks with punches of bright color. Make sense?

But back to the comment above - if you're afraid your colors are making you look dated, you can make a few changes to update your look. The first step is to do a little research. You won't know if your colors are dated without knowing what isn't. Keep in mind that colors change with each season of the year, but you can still look around at what color palettes people like right now. Yellows, grays, teals, royal blues, black + white, and bright reds have all been pretty popular recently. Greens, pinks, and browns are usually pretty safe too as long as they are the right shade. You can investigate by checking out fashion and home decor magazines or even just see what palettes others seem to pin a lot of on Pinterest. And then once you know what's popular, take a few of those shades and see if they will enhance your brand's message or just confuse it.

If you're looking for some good places to find color inspiration online, check these out...

Pantone Color Report - Every season Pantone releases what's trending. Here are the spring colors for 2013 according to these masters of color.

Design Seeds - Design Seeds is a blog that features color palettes drawn from strong images. This is my favorite place to find colors that complement each other well.

Snippet & Ink - the blog Snippet & Ink compiles wedding inspiration into boards that are always stunning. I draw color palettes and style ideas from these constantly.

My Color Love Pinterest Board- sometimes I find color inspiration just from browsing the web or Pinterest. You can follow my board here.

Homework: Evaluate your colors - Do they represent your brand well? Are they colors that other people gravitate toward? What message are you communicating with your colors?Choose 3-5 colors to stick with.