Discover Your Brand's Personality Using Colour Psychology
Clients often come to us super-excited to get started with their branding, but also totally overwhelmed with inspiration overkill, and heading to a platform like Pinterest can sometimes leave you feeling more confused than ever –- to channel Carrie Bradshaw for a moment…
And even if you have an existing logo, how can you expand out of that to create a richer brand experience that encompasses your social media, your website, packaging, company docs etc.?
Well, one great way to approach the whole conundrum is to travel back in time…
If you’re anything like us, in your teen years you probably read countless magazine articles on whether your skin has cool or warm undertones, and tried to figure out what “season” you were in terms of colour choices for fashion!
You might even have done one of those colour-matching workshops where someone held swatches against your skin to determine whether you were an “autumn” or a “winter”. Yup I did one of those. Guilty! And I can still remember what I was! And I still try to never wear black next to my face (washes me right out).
Putting aside the slight cheesiness of this approach that lingers by association, there’s real #science behind colour psychology, and what colours make customers, clients and users FEEL about your brand. Big businesses and branding experts know this, and will bank on cool tones to communicate professionalism and warm tones to express caring and welcoming. Dark colours can be perceived as more premium and masculine, while lighter tones are seen as more feminine.
So how can you determine which brand personality is going to be right for your business? Well, we’re actually huge advocates for a season-based approach to this. Here’s how we break down the four profiles that we use as a basis for building out a brand’s unique personality. These aren’t necessarily set in stone of course – you might feel like you’re a little bit of two separate profiles, and then you can work to combine (Delilah is very heavy on Spring with a sprinkle of Summer). If you don’t know based on gut instinct, take our Quiz to find out!
Overview: Spring brands are fresh, young, delicate and filled with light and inspiration.
Colours: The lightest season in terms of colour palette, the Spring Brand Personality is the home for fresh pastels and beautiful light neutrals like the palest of greys.
Fonts: Spring can be sophisticated, as well as light-hearted, so we love handwritten fonts, serif italics and logos and typography using fine lines or delicate icons.
Photography: Images will be suffused with soft light, with a dreamy, fresh, clean quality to them and using natural textures.
Tone of Voice: The Spring voice will be light-hearted, graceful and effusive, yet knowledgeable and informative without being lecturing.
Be Inspired by: Spring flowers and blossoms, morning light, blank pages, sunrises, bellinis, ballet slippers, lace, a crystal clear stream, sugared almonds.
If you were a Harry Potter House… Hufflepuff
Overview: Summer brands are bright, fun, zesty, happy and bold.
Colours: Summer brands use the brightest, most vibrant palette of any of the seasons, making use of saturated, in-your-face shades. Summer brands can also make use of brilliant gold.
Fonts: Summer fonts are clean sans serif, condensed sans serifs, and boldface serifs.
Photography: Imagery tone will be bright, making use of shiny surfaces, colourful backdrops and brilliant shades.
Tone of Voice: The Summer voice is fun, quirky, witty, bold and expressive.
Be Inspired by: The seaside, a watermelon martini, an iced latte, the sound of a boombox through a window, a fresh salad, sunflowers and pineapples, stripes, the smell of a barbeque, a straw bag, picnics, denim.
If you were a Harry Potter House… Ravenclaw
Overview: An Autumn/Fall brand is rich, warm, cosy and tinged with nostalgia
Colours: All the golden, warm colours of fall, from a soft yellow-green all the way through brass, pumpkin (and pumpkin spice!) to an intense firey red and including earthy natural colours like leather and tobacco.
Fonts: Autumn fonts are full of both warmth and gentle playfulness, leaning towards the more traditional serifs, curly scripts and fun, blocky display fonts.
Photography: Warm tones and golden, afternoon light, natural elements and sepia hues.
Tone of Voice: Welcoming, traditional, comforting, gentle.
Be Inspired by: Sunsets, apples, bonfires, hot coffee on crisp mornings, pumpkins, autumn leaves, wood, leather, plaid, orchards, cosy socks.
If you were a Harry Potter House… Gryffindor.
Overview: A winter brand is cool, luxe, sophisticated and dramatic
Colours: Dark, moody colours like charcoal, black, forest green and navy blue. Jewel colours also belong to the winter colour palette, as well as deep berry colours.
Fonts: Winter fonts are dramatic and elegant – think editorial caps serifs with scratchy handwritten accents and angular sans serifs.
Photography: Dark and moody photography with rich tonal accents suits a winter brand. If using bright, white light, keep whites cool, crisp and clean without warm tones.
Tone of Voice: The most formal of the brand families, winter brands are professional, expert and respectful.
Be Inspired by: Icy landscapes, silhouettes of pine trees, black marble, sparkling jewels, rich furs, frozen berries, whiskey, suede, ribbons, sleigh rides, spiders.
If you were a Harry Potter House… Slytherin, naturally. But not in a bad way!