Business Color Palettes - How to Create a Color Palette that Reflects Your Business

When you're creating a brief for a graphic designer, it's tempting to stick to the bare minimum: "Auto shop with older customers driving mid-range cars" is a good start, and it may do you some good. But if you know the target market you're aiming for, you can give your designer more to work with - such as suggestions for your company identity's color scheme.

According to psychologists, various colors tend to be attached to a consistent set of connotations that impact the way your customers will perceive you. By combining this chart and your understanding of your target market, you can provide your DesignCrowd designers with a good starting point - but always remember to leave it to them to find color combinations that are visually appealing. Your idea might hit the right emotions, but their cohesive palettes will draw the viewer in to begin with.

Color Palette Meaning Examples
Black Authority, power, stability, strength, intelligence. Conversely, it can be associated with evil and grieving. Black Palette, Black Logo Design, Black Web Design
#020202 #1C1C1C #3E3E3E #868686
White Purity, cleanliness, neutrality, safety and blank slates. White Palette, White Logo Design, White Web Design
Gray Practicality, strong character, aged solidarity. Gray is best used as a tertiary color in a palette, not the primary, to underline the design with a sense of trustworthiness and the long-standing. Gray Palette, Gray Logo Design, Gray Web Design
#333333 #8C8C8C #666666 #C0C0C0
Red The color that most easily catches the eye. Energy, movement, excitement, life, appetite. Red Palette, Red Logo Design, Red Web Design
#801E17 #BC0000 #D90000 #DA0000
Blue A calming color. Blue represents and cultivates focus, attention, and is an uplifting and motivating color. The overuse of blue can appear cold and detached. Blue Palette, Blue Logo Design, Blue Web Design
#23425C #004FD2 #002DB5 #1372EF
Green Freshness, particularly in food, nature, luck and fertility. It also represents money and growth, and is a forward-moving "go ahead" color in many systems, including traffic. Green Palette, Green Logo Design, Green Web Design
#061700 #299300 #1D6F00 #BFA81D
Yellow / Black Happiness, laughter, light-heartedness and optimism, and the promise of the future. Yellow Palette, Yellow Logo Design, Yellow Web Design
#000000 #FBB400 #FFFF00 #E2C707
Orange Flamboyancy, energy, warmth, fun, excitement and energy. Orange Palette, Orange Logo Design, Orange Web Design
#FF0000 #FF3B00 #FFF200 #FFFF57
Pink Has a proven psychologically calming nature and represents romance, love and gentleness. Pink Palette, Pink Logo Design, Pink Web Design
Purple Religious connotations, conveys wealth, respect, prosperity and nobility (think royal purple). Lighter shades have almost the opposite meaning, stirring up feelings of youth and femininity. Purple Palette, Purple Logo Design, Purple Web Design
#272037 #686281 #A386A3 #CFBCCD
Brown The color of the earth has come to represent reliability, goodwill and stability. When used with green, evokes nature and the home-grown. In some shades it can represent the dirty and unclean. Brown Palette, Brown Logo Design, Brown Web Design
#100C00 #391800 #733F15 #AB5F27


It's not hard to make matches between your brand and the psychology of color. What's difficult is creating a workable execution. For instance, in 10 Ways to Increase Website Conversion Rates we looked at the red and green pairing appearing to be perfectly suitable for food industry businesses, but it's hard to implement them together without stirring up a Christmas-like mood. So, when outsourcing or 'crowdsourcing' a design project let designers know what sort of color palette you'd like to work with and why - as long as they know what you're trying to achieve, they can help you get the best of both worlds.

Written by DesignCrowd on Saturday, May 21, 2011

DesignCrowd is an online marketplace providing logo, website, print and graphic design services by providing access to freelance graphic designers and design studios around the world.