Think of the these famous brand colors:
Yellow + Blue = Ikea

Red + Yellow = McDonald’s

You can probably almost picture the logo with just the colors. Color can evoke a brand almost without the logo, type, or any other imagery. 

Primary Brand Colors

Primary brand colors (corporate colors)

Color is an integral part of your brand. Your brand colors can become instantly recognizable. 

“Primary Brand Colors” are the key colors that help make up your brand identity. These can also be called your corporate colors.

How many colors should be your primary colors? Limiting your primary brand colors to one or two helps make a more significant impact, makes it easier to remember you, and looks more unified. 90% of top brands use no more than two colors in their logo design. Your primary brand colors are almost always used in your logo. 

The language of color

Selecting these 1 or 2 colors can convey a lot about your brand. This palette is like a silent introduction. Humans have strong emotional and mental associations with colors. Because of this, your primary brand colors can say much about what industry or market you might be in without using any words. 

For example, bright, punchy colors suggest fun and excitement and work well for an amusement park or kids’ toy. In comparison, muted pastels offer peace and tranquility and will work well for a wellness studio or spa. 

Consistency is key

Once you select your primary brand colors, use them consistently. This reinforces the brand’s visual identity and allows customers to recognize the brand across all sorts of marketing and platforms. 

Your consistent colors help customers say, “Hey, I know that company!” 

Color formulas

To ensure consistency, know the color formulas for your brand colors. 

You’ll want to know the hexadecimal value for your website and other online applications. These ‘hex’ values are six-digit alpha-numeric codes.

Pantone color (PMS) or CMYK values are used for printing.

Always type in the number formulas rather than just picking something close to ensure complete consistency. Share your brand colors with anyone helping with your website or marketing to ensure they use your colors consistently. 

Secondary brand colors

You may need to introduce secondary colors, usually shades or hues that complement the primary brand colors. These may be required as an accent or as a more muted application. It is crucial these secondary colors also stay consistent. 

How to choose your brand colors

Picking out your primary brand colors can be a challenge. Branding Compass can help you find the best color. You’ll receive color recommendations and values based on what you tell us about your business.

Get started with Branding Compass.