How to Brand Your Blog By Choosing a Color Palette
Branding is done by creating a concept that shows who you are and how you want to be seen. With so many blogs and business floating around the internet, the ultimate goal of branding is making yourself recognizable to others. A well-developed color palette is one of the first steps to take when deciding on a brand. Because professional branding can be quite expensive, one of the best things you can do is to create your own palette. For non-designers this can be overwhelming, but the key to a successful color palette is simplicity. The more colors you introduce the higher the chance you have of those colors clashing.
In some cases, a brand overhaul is needed and if you need to re-brand then go ahead and do it. But please keep in mind that frequently re-branding your blog isn't a good idea. Your brand helps establish who you are as a blogger and constantly changing colors will only confuse your readers and could potentially loose the ones you have. As a blogger or small business owner, you already have enough on your plate and selecting a color palette shouldn't be another stress inducer. If your current brand isn't working (or you don't have one yet), I will walk you through a very simple process of choosing and designing your own color palette.
SIZE UP YOUR COMPETITION
Start by looking at your competitors branding to familiarize yourself with the competition and get an idea of color schemes they are using. This will provide you with an understanding of what colors work and those to avoid. A successful color palette must appeal to your ideal audience. You should ask yourself the following questions to help you create a professional brand.
- Who are your direct competitors?
- What types of color palettes and schemes are they using?
- What themes or colors re-occur among your competitors?
Now that you know what colors appeal to your audience, it's time to get inspired. To help you understand what colors are most appropriate, start by asking yourself the following questions.
- What words describe your brand style? (modern, rustic, girly)
- What colors do you associate with those adjectives?
These are just some preliminary questions to help guide you in to the right direction. After you've answered these questions, begin searching for a photo that you love. This could be one of your own photos, a photo you’ve liked on Instagram or one you’ve seen on Pinterest. The photo you choose should evoke the feel and encompass the color of what you envision for your blog.
For example, I've selected the following photo for my inspiration.
CREATION AND DESIGN
This next step should be the hardest, but I will show you a little trick that will make your life exponentially easier! Adobe offers a website that will automatically create a color palette based on the best colors from your photo! How cool is that? To get started, open up Adobe Color CC and click the camera icon in the top right corner and upload the photo you selected
After uploading your photo, you will be brought to the color mood creation screen. In the top left corner, you can click through the various options to view other color palettes they've created for you.
PERFECTING YOUR PALETTE
Now that you've decided on your color palette, be sure to screenshot the palette. My favorite screenshot program is Gadwin Print Screen. It's a free to download program and allows you to edit and crop your image exactly how you want it. Be sure to save your palette somewhere so you can reference it.
You now have five set colors in your color palette rotation. Although five is a good number to start with, it's a good idea to have six colors in your final palette. If your palette doesn't have any neutral colors, I suggest adding at least one neutral, preferably two. Personally, the neutral colors I tend to stick with are grey or black - they seem to go well with pretty much anything.
If you're feeling adventurous and want to add a bit of pizzazz to your palette, you can add an interesting texture or pattern. Adobe Photoshop has some great patterns built in as well as the feature to upload ones you like. If you don't feel comfortable with Photoshop, you can always turn to every bloggers best friend, Canva to edit your palette.
As you can see, I added a dark grey (neutral) color and since rose gold is all the rage, I decided to create a rose gold dotted pattern. I now have plenty of neutrals and bright colors as well as a pattern to work with. Once you've created your palette, feel free to design a mood board to help you explore more creative inspiration and generate ideas. If you need to find out the hex codes of your color palette (and don't have Photoshop), you can upload your palette to Image Color Picker and click through each color for the code. Be sure to save your palette and you hex codes somewhere!
And that's pretty much it! You now have a complete color palette for your blog and a point of reference. Be sure to use this color palette throughout your blog, your social media, the graphics you create and in all variations of your logo. Once you begin marketing, make sure to use these it on all of your branded material and don’t use any other colors. This will create consistency in your brand allows you to be recognizable to your audience.
If you've created a color palette, feel free to share yours with me. I would love to see what you came up with!
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