One of the most striking things about good branding are the colours used. Depending on the impact you wish to make with your brand, the colour wheel is a great place to start.
Canva has an excellent colour wheel that allows complimentary, monochromatic, analogous, triadic and tetradic combinations of colour. If you are looking to build your brand and figure out how to make your logo stand out, this is a great place to start! Click here to try it out!
Colour theory is an absolutely interesting subject. Having been invented by Isaac Newton, who started experimenting with sunlight and prisms in the 1660s, it has become one of the most useful tools when it comes to branding.
Some colours look a lot better with each other than with others. This is called colour harmony. By utilising a colour wheel you can establish a number of different colour harmonies that will help give your brand a visual hit that will be appealing to people.
The type of colour wheel that Canva uses is an RGB colour wheel. It is different from the RYB colour model and will provide exceptional results for people viewing your brand imagery through a computer, tablet, phone or TV screen. For a free tool it’s absolutely exceptional and it should be used by anyone considering going into graphic design or building their business brand identity and logo.
Knowing what colours you want in your brand can be absolutely integral for standing out, it can also save you a tonne of money.
My First Rebrand
My first ever rebrand was for a small restaurant that I was working with mainly doing web design work and the occasional social media post. At the time I had no idea about colour theory, but I was asked to help.
I spent a lot of time with the people at the restaurant working on different colour schemes for their logo. Our first mistake was to use too many colours. 5 colours is far too many and far too ambitious especially for a first time rebrand, and looking back at the amount of time we burned, the hideousness of the logo, and the frustration our poor graphic designer probably went through I realise how much we burned in terms of resources.
Here are the things you benefit from if you are using a colour wheel:
Time: Using a colour wheel will save you a tonne of time working on the project. Rather than wasting the time we spent trying to sort things out with our graphics designer who had tried to show us a colour wheel, we could have immediately presented them with a fantastic combination of colours that would have immediately benefited the business, run and gunned with it and saved a lot of headaches. We could have used the time writing blogs and coming up with better ways to market the business.
Money: Because we were paying for design work by the hour, it racked up the costs of our logo by an insane amount. This money could have been spent elsewhere and helped promote the brand.
Energy: By the time it was finally done, we were tired and restless. It was a stressful and negative experience for all of us and burned us out. Yet again, energy that could have been used elsewhere.
Sometimes you want a quick, cheap and energy efficient solution. Since my first rebrand, I have had three rebrands come off fantastically for business owners using the colour wheel I should have looked at in the first place. Two to three colours look great!
So what are the different types of colour combinations on a colour wheel?
Complimentary: These colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel. The colours compliment each other and make each other appear more prominent. You can get some fantastic results using a complementary colour scheme for branding!
Monochromatic: Sticking to one distinct colour using shades, tones and tints of it, monochromatic looks are relaxing and harmonious. They are excellent for brands that deal with psychology, therapy, meditation and relaxation.
Analogous: Using three colours that are side by side on the colour wheel, and having one as your main colour, using the other two as highlights, you can create a fantastic look for your brand. You need to be careful not to overwhelm the audience by adding two much of the highlights. Just be careful how much of each colour you use.
Triadic: This uses three colours evenly spaced out on your colour wheel. The look is generally balanced, bold and can be very striking. Personally I avoid triadic looks when it comes to branding as I find them to be a little too bold at times, but if that’s what you’re going for, you can get some great looks!
Tetradic: Using four colours, evenly spaced out on the colour wheel creates the Tetradic look. You should ideally prioritise one colour and use the others as background to support it. Personally I avoid tetradic logos as I find more than three colours in the scheme can make a logo look horrendous.
Try out a few colour schemes using the colour wheel and see what it can do for your company if you decide to go for a rebrand.
I hope this helps!
I am the CEO of Fantasoft an up and coming digital marketing firm based in the UK. I work as a blogger, SEO specialist and Web Designer, and my hobbies include making small films and writing music.