A color palette is a carefully selected range of colors used in design, branding, or artwork to create a cohesive and harmonious visual identity. A color palette includes primary, secondary, and accent colors that work together in various combinations. These color compositions are vital as they have the potential to evoke emotions. That’s why having a well-crafted color palette is such a big deal!
Social media and content marketing statistics for 2023 show that 84% of communication is now visual. And colors are powerful communicators. They help brands tell their stories, express their personalities, and make lasting impressions on you. Consistency in color choices, from logos to websites and all the way to marketing materials, builds brand familiarity and trust.
So, let’s dive into the art of selecting the perfect color palette for you helping you create a visual identity that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impact. We will also look at the color palette ideas trending in 2023 so that you can be inspired by them.
When coming up with color palette ideas, several factors come into play to create a visually appealing and effective combination. Here’s what to consider:
When choosing a color palette it’s a must to consider your brand’s personality. Because as we briefly discussed, colors have the power to evoke emotions and influence perceptions. As such certain colors don’t suit certain industries. While you don’t need to follow stereotypes, it’s still important to consider certain color implications as it finally shows off a brand’s personality.
There are different emotional responses across cultures and demographics to different colors. By understanding these audience preferences, cultural associations, and age implications, one can create a color palette that effectively communicates with and engages the intended audience.
Color psychology is an essential aspect to look into when you’re perusing through different color palette ideas. Understanding the psychological impact of colors enables one to strategically choose hues that align with the intended message or mood of the brand or design. This empowers designers to eventually create compelling and emotionally resonant visuals that leave a lasting impression on the audience you’re trying to target.
Experimenting with the Color Wheel is essential when going through color palette ideas for a brand because it helps discover harmonious color combinations. Understanding complementary, analogous, or triadic relationships aid in achieving visual balance and cohesion. This exploration ensures that the chosen palette balances the design and increases its aesthetic value while evoking the desired emotions and enhancing its overall impact and appeal.
Considering contrast and balance in colors is important because you can come to conclusions about which colors you’d like to have as primary colors and which would work as secondary colors in your brand’s color palette. Adequate contrast enhances readability and draws attention to key aspects of the design, making it more engaging. And too much contrast can also end up affecting readability. A well-balanced color scheme creates a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing visual experience that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.
Considering the platform and medium for which you are designing is crucial when exploring color palette ideas as colors can appear differently across various platforms, such as print, digital screens, or social media. Each medium has its unique color rendering, so choosing colors that translate well ensures a consistent and impactful brand presence.
You can do this by understanding the difference between CMYK and RGB, the 2 different color formats used in printing and web designs respectively. Thus, adapting the palette to suit different mediums enhances the quality of design and maintains a cohesive visual identity.
Limiting the color palette is a wise idea when selecting colors for a brand because it promotes visual simplicity and consistency.
A focused palette creates a strong and memorable brand identity, making it easier for customers to associate specific colors with the brand. It also ensures that the brand’s visuals remain cohesive across various applications, preventing overwhelming or confusing visual experiences. A restrained color palette also simplifies design decisions and enhances the overall effectiveness of the brand’s communication and messaging.
It’s very important to consider longevity and versatility when it comes to color palette ideas. Choosing colors that are relevant and timeless will contribute to a long enduring color palette. It will also make sure that your color applications remain versatile.
You may wonder how after you’ve considered all of this and established your color palette, can you adopt incoming trends. What if the color in trend right now doesn’t bode well with the colors in your branding?
Well, according to KIMP, one thing you can do is introduce the color in trend during a special occasion like a limited edition product launch. That way you have an excuse to sway from your color palette momentarily but in style.
So now that we’ve established the hows and whys, let’s move to the next segment.
The Pantone “Color of the Year” is an important trend to explore as it wields significant influence on various industries, including graphic design. Chosen by Pantone, a renowned authority in color, it predicts upcoming style directions, making it eagerly anticipated by professionals in design, fashion, and more.
This year, Viva Magenta takes the spotlight as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2023. As this vibrant hue impacts larger-scale industries and consumer preferences, graphic designers must consider its relevance when creating visuals, ensuring their work remains current and resonates with the evolving trends.
Not only does Pantone come up with the COTY, but they also present a complementing color palette that goes with it. Observe below:
As you can see, the remaining hues are leaning towards the cool side to balance out the brightness of the Viva Magenta.
Here’s a calendar front cover done using the Viva Magenta color palette:
Yep, that’s right. Retro color trends are making a comeback in 2023. The 1970s is the decade that people are revisiting for inspiration for retro colors. Calm and cool colors like beige, earth browns, avocado greens, mustard yellows, and powder blues are making a comeback.
The top three popular color palettes on Color Hunt prove this to be true.
Triggering a nostalgic feeling for a simpler time, the earthy hues in retro colors offer comfort, familiarity, and approachability – things we all don’t mind enjoying. Brands can certainly use these color palette ideas to bring this warm feeling to their audience.
Here’s a look at some designs done using retro colors:
This app design done by KIMP uses retro colors as accents to make the design seem soft instead of overpoweringly bright.
And the emblem logo below done by 99designs is a good example of using warm retro tones that take us back to simpler times.
The millennial kitsch color trend is used widely in 2023. It draws inspiration from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. The usage of this color palette idea is sure to bring back old memories for millennials. During this period, brands targeted teenage girls with exuberant, ornate aesthetics characterized by vibrant colors such as blue, pink, yellow, and green. This playful approach embraced cheerful and lively tones to create a distinct and memorable style.
This is the color palette for millennial kitsch:
This color palette is used by Mr. Beast, a famous YouTuber.
Earth tones are next on this list of color palette ideas. Earth tones are a timeless color palette so it’s no wonder that it’s still a top pick in 2023. Several brands like Nordroom have chosen earthy tones as their “Colors of the Year.” These grounding hues establish a profound connection with the real world, reminding us of the beauty in nature. By embracing these tones, design enthusiasts can infuse authenticity and a sense of harmony, evoking a tranquil connection to the natural world.
Here’s Nordroom’s warm yellow color palette:
Here’s a bit of inspiration for how it can be used:
The Barbie live-action movie is out and its surging popularity has brands adopting the Barbie color palette into their branding for publicity of course. Big brands like Burger King, Candy Crush, and Rue21 have all done campaigns in the name of Barbie.
Adopting the Barbie color palette in 2023 is a great idea because there are people who would absolutely love the collaboration.
Let’s take a look at the color palette:
And here’s a look at a new Coca-Cola product advertised using this pink aesthetic months before the release of the Barbie movie:
We have delved into the art of selecting a captivating color palette that aligns seamlessly with your brand’s identity. Our exploration then led us to the trending color palettes for 2023, each possessing its own distinct charm and impact. If you still don’t have a color palette you can gain inspiration from this blog on how to select one. And if you already have one, you can still use some of these trending colors to add a pop of unique color to your marketing designs.
Finally, by incorporating the tips we’ve shared, you can harness the power of color to evoke intended emotions, establish recognition, and forge a lasting connection with your audience.