Three-color palettes sufficient to define a brand

Again, I’m posting about color combinations you might wish to use to help identify your brand. Colors, both in combination and alone, invoke emotional responses.

Once you have established what attributes your brand should convey, you can then, and only then, ask a graphics designer to develop a palette for your brand. As I’ve stated before, the palette not only colors your logo, it should be used within promotional literature, store fixtures, delivery trucks and other touch-point objects associated with the brand.

Today I am going back to the handy little book, Color Image Scale by Shigenobu Kobayashi, where his three-year research with the Nippon Color and Design Research Institute is presented. They had “matched 130 basic colors and over 1,000 color combinations to 180 key image words, allowing you the expression of any mood, lifestyle, or taste through the creative use of color combinations.”

Using the book’s index I looked up the term “vigorous” as a mood I might want to impart to my brand. Listed were three different color combinations which I’ll attempt to match the designated colors below.

Note: Color matching the printed cmyk 4-color ink process to hexadecimal screen color designations is tricky, so the examples may vary from those actually printed in the book. And they may look different on your monitor than they do on mine, even if I stay with “web-safe” colors.

But here goes: three combinations to help me express a vigorous brand image.

 Three examples of three-color combinations suggesting vigor

There are several web sites that provide color-matching models that can be used for developing brand palettes. Though not as authoritative as Color Image Scale, they can be helpful, particularly if your brand is web-based.

Next blog on color will list them for you.

Martin Jelsema

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