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Brandmade – Colouring your World

What’s your favourite colour?

Mine’s a sage green with just enough grey to be misty and just enough blue to be ambiguous. I guess that’s possibly a little specific, but colour is my thing. However, while it’s the perfect colour to paint on my walIs at home, I haven’t used it in my logo because it might look a little bland in print.

Colour is completely subjective. I often wonder whether other people see it in the same way I do. Almost certainly not, because both physically and mentally, colour is all about perception. And so is your brand.

That’s why using your favourite colour in your logo is definitely worth a try, but should be thought through first. Colour has meaning, and therefore a particular colour’s relevance to a logo is worth considering before you make that final selection. A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece on colour theory for a design book and thought I’d share it here to give you an idea of what colours mean so you can be aware before making your choice.

Of course, rules are meant to be broken, so if neon pink is the colour you choose for your accounting firm, feel free. Just understand that some potential clients may read this as too casual. Or maybe you don’t want those clients!

That said, your colour can end up defining you. Cadbury chose a particular shade of purple in 1914 because it was Queen Victoria’s favourite colour. They have successfully traded on it for a hundred years to the extent that in 2013 they fought a huge court case to trademark it. They failed, opening the door to many confectionery manufacturers emulating their success. But it’s hard to argue with 100 years of colour association.

In any case, the colour or colours you choose for your brand, like your name and your logo, need to reflect and define your product, personality and customers. In order to do this effectively, I generally put together a mood board of images that sum up a brand and the colours tend to flow from there. Try piecing together magazine clippings or Pinterest boards and see where it leads you.

Still stuck? Head over to Adobe Color CC where you can come up with a colour scheme that works for you and be inspired by what others have created. Would their combinations work for you? Or are you going for something truly original? 


Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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