Choosing the Best Colors to Represent Your Business (Part 2)

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Ah, colors…there’s more to them than meets the eye!

If you’ve ever been advised to NOT wear red in a job interview (so as not to come across as power-hungry or overly confident), or you’ve been persuaded to paint a room in your house yellow (because it’s a mood-boosting color),yellow flower you know that the hues in your wardrobe, your home decor, and yes, even your business brand identity, do more than just make them look nice. Colors can literally shift people’s moods, influence behavior, and change perception!

Which is pretty awesome, because that means you can use the psychology of color to appeal to your target demographic, make your business appear more credible or trustworthy, tell your audience exactly what your business is about, and more.

To help you do just that, I’ve rounded up some great thought-provoking questions and color-choosing tips! But before you dive into them, be sure to glance back at the color symbolism graphic from Part 1 of this series, to understand the symbolic meanings behind the colors you’ll be considering.

Questions to ponder:

  • “What colors are most appropriate for my industry?”
  • “Which colors would best symbolize the defining values and/or characteristics of my business?”
  • “What colors would it NOT be a good idea to use, given the nature of my business?”
  • “Are there certain colors that are often associated with my line of work? Which ones would my customers most identify with?”
  • “What effects do I want my brand colors to have on my audience? Do I want to evoke a certain feeling, or put them in a particular mood?”

Tips & Guidelines for Best Color Selection

  • Choose two main colors, plus one contrast/accent color that you reserve for things that you want to draw attention to, like the “Buy Now” buttons on your website. Don’t go overboard (unless your business calls for it); four colors at most.
  • If your business is more traditional (like a financial/law/professional business), you could choose two shades of the same color (say, navy blue with slate blue), or pair one bold color with one neutral color (like aquamarine with beige).
  • If you have a hip, stylish biz (think style consulting, or up-and-coming fashion designer) or a wild-n-crazy biz (fitness made fabulous+fun, art retreats for adults who want to unwind by throwing paint at the walls, you name it…) pick bright colors, perhaps even a contrasting pair like neon pink + lime green.
  • Above all, when deciding which colors best represent your unique business, consider these three things: your industry/type of business you’re in, the character and unique aspects of your business, and what effect the colors will have on your target prospects.

Color confessional time! 😀 What are your official business colors? Are you happy with them? Or do you suspect they’re having a negative effect on your prospects, and you want to change? Chat with me in the comments below…

PHOTO CREDIT: Yellow floral still life by iboy_daniel via Flickr (CC).

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Barbara Austin March 5, 2013, 3:08 pm

    I’ll go first!

    The Sweet Dreamz Design purple + magenta-pink happens to be two of my favorite colors, but more importantly, purple stands for creativity, quality, and uniqueness (purple is less common in nature than, say, red, green, or orange), and the magenta-pink adds femininity and passion. Perfect combo for a gal whose passion is helping women entrepreneurs present their businesses to the world!

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