This is a guest post from Debbie Morgan from Bold Web Design.
Colors are everywhere in our lives, so much so we don’t even realise the huge impact they play.
We use them for styling websites, the clothes we wear and even the packaging of our food. But, with so many colors, it can be hard to know which one would be best for a design.
This is one of the reasons why Bold Web Design created a new color palette tool to help with the creativity of brand colors. It’s a handy tool that displays the fortune 500 companies and their color palettes.
As designers ourselves, we know that you may need a little inspiration from time to time. You can use color palette generator tools like Canva, which enable you to add an image and generate a suggested colo.
This tool (and others like it) is very helpful if you have an image or favourite color in mind, but what do you do when you are starting from scratch? Look for inspiration!
Along those lines, we thought a tool that displays the branded colors for the Fortune 500 companies would be a helpful resource.
Created in WordPress, our color tool displays the primary and secondary color palettes for each company. We also enable you to sort and filter the 500 companies based on their sector. Once you find the company you’re looking for, you can click on the logo and find a display of at least four colors plus the HEX codes for your own work.
How Color Palettes Work
There’s a few basic principles when it comes to selecting colors. First, remember your primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow. Second, keep in mind the pairing between warm colors (red, orange, yellow) and cool colors (green, blue, purple).
When creating a color palette, you should also be aware of the different color models or schemes you can use to pair colors together:
Monochromatic Color Scheme
Using a single color, but with various hues (a “hue” is the term used for the name of a color, like blue or red). You can create an amazing color palette with just a single color and its different shades and tints. There are several companies that use a monochromatic color scheme in the Fortune 500, like Apple, but may also have a splash of color, for packaging or promotions. A lot of hotel chains use a simple color scheme, using mostly golds.
If you want to get a little bit more creative, then this is one of the easiest color schemes to use. Simply select two colors that are located on opposite sides of the color wheel. As a general guide, these colors will pair well together.
If you have a favourite color in mind, use it as your main color and then split it with two adjacent colors.
Analogous Color Scheme
This is becoming rather popular, it’s where you select 3 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These color schemes can provide a very bright and vibrate look, if you want to add more color to your brand, this is the way to go.
There are many other types of colors schemes that can be used, however you may find that you just want something a little different. You don’t need to stick to conventional schemes, but it’s always a good start.
Why Did They Use That Color?
Do you think McDonalds uses Yellow and Red in their branding by accident? Probably not. It’s well documented in color Psychology that red stimulates hunger, and yellow is cheerful.
If your thinking of using a certain color to portray a feeling or emotion, these types of guides are fantastic for more inspiration. All of the fortune 500 companies use their color palette to portray something to do with their brands identity.You’ll notice, for example, that most companies in the Health category use blue as their primary color. Blue is associated with calm calming and gives a feeling of trust, both excellent character traits of a medical organization.
Out of the 500 companies in our database, it’s hard to choose just a few of our favourites to share, but three stand out from the crowd: Chemours, Walt Disney and Ally. Their use of color is creative, modern and unique.
Orange is a bright, happy color, and with the use of their modern and unique logo, Chemours is our top choice. They are leading the way in their brand colors as well as in their industry.
I simply love the color palette of Ally. They’ve used an analogous color scheme with the use of purple, blue and green, but then they add a bit more wow with a splash of bright pink.
Using a split complementary color scheme, with purple, green, and yellow, Wayfair can portray so much with these 3 simple colors. Wisdom, warmth, and trust, and for a retail store, they certainly look modern and fresh.
There’s no one color palette to suit every design or brand, but that’s the fun of it! Being creative is what design is all about, sometimes we can step outside the box, and creative something truly spectacular.
Think about what you want your brand to reflect, and how you want your clients to perceive your company, this is a good start. Most importantly, have fun, experiment with different colors, hues and schemes, till you find the one that’s just right for you. If your really not sure, start with a single color, you can always add others later.
A note about the author: Debbie Morgan from Bold Web Design is a writer that loves adding a witty analogy to any concept. With experience in the design and marketing industry, she’s seen her fair share of designing do’s and don’ts but loves to bring color to her explanations of these helpful concepts.