How colourful should your branding be?

March 23 2023

Branding is a vital component of any business, and it’s often said that the colours you choose can make or break your brand’s success. But just how colourful should your branding be? Well, it’s all about balance!

Like a well-plated dish, your brand’s colours should be complementary and harmonious. You want your branding to be visually appealing, but not overwhelming to the point where it gives your audience indigestion. Too much of a good thing can be bad.

Use lots of colour if:

  • Your brand personality is vibrant, energetic and fun
  • It’s a personal brand, and you often wear lots of colour
  • You want your audience to feel bright, enlivened and enthusiastic
  • You need to engage children
  • Your competition doesn’t use much colour!

Obviously, there are times when it makes sense to use lots of colour in branding. For instance, if you’re in the business of selling rainbow cakes, you wouldn’t want to limit your branding to shades of grey. The more colours, the better in that case! The same goes for any business or organisation that needs to be associated with vibrance, energy and fun.

Another consideration is if you’re trying to target a younger audience. Kids love bright colours, and if you’re selling toys or running a daycare, you’re going to want to use every colour in the crayon box to capture their attention. However, be warned, too many can also lead to sensory overload and a sugar-induced crash. So, keep it strategic and well-researched.

Use less colour if:

  • Your brand personality is calm, sophisticated or serious
  • You want to exude tradition and authority
  • Your brand needs to feel minimal, restrained, or mysterious
  • Your competition uses lots of colour!

Elegant brands like Chanel or Tiffany & Co. use only a few select colours in their branding to create a sense of exclusivity and refinement. It’s like a fine dining experience – you don’t want to be overwhelmed with a myriad of flavours, you want to savour each bite.

The same goes for minimalist brands like Apple or Muji. These brands use a limited colour palette to create a clean and sophisticated look that speaks volumes about their design sensibilities. It’s like a perfectly crafted dish with just a couple of ingredients.

The answer to how colourful your branding should be is not black and white (or any other singular colour). It’s about finding the right balance that reflects your brand’s personality, values, and target audience. And working what ‘right’ means for your business, usually takes time deep in research and strategy.

Colour is just one of the many ingredients that go into creating a successful brand. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and have fun with it. 

If you need tailored advice, check out the Branding Review

Photo of Candice leaning against a textured white wall in the sunshine and smiling. She has long curly hair and a colourful jacket on.

Candice is the founder of Design Salad, a strategy loving design studio helping climate-consious women business owners shine brighter than ever before.

Design Salad specialises in thoughtful brand strategy and unique brand identities infused with artistry. 

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