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In House Design – Color Palettes

After establishing our logo, we needed to take a look at an overall color palette we could use.

A company’s color palette is one of the more interesting pieces of the identity. It can be a little abstract (using colors to symbolize aspects of the company), but is still very tangible (its usage can be seen and identified right away).

Your palette typically consists of one or two main colors, and several tertiary, or accent colors. The goal is to create a versatile, but unique set of colors that will serve you in a variety of usage situations, while always retaining that special brand feel.

Approaching a color palette in house means you have to consider input from all angles, but it’s important there’s a single, firm voice that makes the final decisions. While there are objective meaning and connotation to certain colors, this piece of the identity is fairly subjective, so opinions will be varied.

Here’s what DigitalDay is using as our color palette, it’s a nod to marketing pieces we’ve had in the past, but has a fresh, clean look, and enough variety that it should serve us well for some time to come.

Choosing colors for their meaning is a huge subject, but it’s important that you consider what image you want your brand to project, and what each color says about you. If you’re in a field where strength and stability are important, you’re probably going for a richer, more traditional set of colors than a spunky new startup. Warm, rich earth tones might work great for your organic food business, but those same colors used with a medical consulting firm will give a dirty or messy look that doesn’t fit the market at all.

Consider your audience’s culture as well, in certain cultures specific colors or combinations can have a negative or even offensive connotation, so it should be treated sparingly if you work with these audiences.

Lastly, consider the overall context of your brand and its business. You might like red for the attention and emotion it conveys, but if you operate a funeral home, red can also symbolize blood or wounds, and could be very off putting for your customers, given the situation which brings them to you.

As you can see, an effective way to present palettes (inside the company and beyond) is with some sample usage and options. It’s difficult to visualize how the colors will work when just looking at boxes. An effective color palette will guide your marketing communications, ensure consistency, and help align everything you do with your brand.

With a little twist on some social networking we’re sharing our colors with you, here’s our palette on ColourLovers and Adobe Kuler. Enjoy!

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