How I Create The Perfect Color Palette


For this week's design installment, I wanted to talk about how I compose color palettes for the brand identities that I create. 

BUT, first, I wanted to talk about why your brand colors are so important!

They are one of the most important visual signifiers to your audience and tell them visually that they are looking at content you've created. Having a color (or color combination) that stands out against all other brands gives your brand a uniqueness.

There are different types of color palettes too and while these may not be the types I learned about in school, they are the ones being used in the real world! And they have all been proven successful, so let's take a look the types of color palettes you can make and successful examples.


Types of Color Palettes

one color palette the skinny confidential

One Color {The Skinny Confidential Pink}

Iconic, am I right? Anything that is pink is on brand, and it works in helping create a community by using color. See a new pink face mask? You're going to tag Lauren in your post because you know she would love to see it! 

Her feed colors all incorporate "The Skinny Confidential Pink". Same with stories, web design, packaging, everything. She even talks about it in her captions, and it's a big deal.


one color and supporting color palette summer fridays

One Color + Supporting Colors {Summer Friday's Blue}

If you haven't heard of Summer Friday's before, you should go check them out! I'm going to be doing a full beauty review on their first (and only) product soon!

They have a very Millennial focused brand, and chose a color that is very different than any beauty brand on the market. Their dusty blue color is used in their packaging, on their Instagram feed, and throughout their stories. When you see anything with that color, you automatically think of their brand, which is exactly the point!

They also mix in cremes, white, and black to compliment the blue. This is where a good color pallete comes into play. Having a main color is important, but having supporting colors is also extremely important!

multi color palette drunk elephant

Multicolor {Drunk Elephant}

If you know the brand Drunk Elephant you know how amazing A) their products are and B) how amazing and bright their packaging is. I love how all of their products relate to a specific color and that their website and Instagram page are both so bright and full of life. It's definitely not everyone's style, but I still think, if done right, it can be extremely chic.

NOW what you've been waiting for, how to do this for your own personal brand or small business!


How To Make Your Own Color Palette

color palette moosboard

My first suggestion is to get everything that has inspired your brand all into one area, one mood board, somewhere that you can visually see everything together. 

For me this means a digital mood board with pictures I pull from Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, etc. This way you can start to see patterns and really hone in on what colors represent your brand visually. Below is an example of a mood board I would create for a sunscreen company aimed at millennials. 

Then you can start to create one of the three types of color palettes I described above. But, there are some tips/tricks for each specific palette, so I will use this one mood board to pull colors for each different type of color palette.

one color sunscreen moodboard

One Color

My tip/trick for this palette is to pick the color that shows the the absolute most in your color palette. When you are picking photos/symbols for a specific brand/business, you are picking photos with that brand/business in mind (obviously). So what you gravitate toward is most likely what you think best represents that brand, which in return means the color that shows up the most is what represents the brand the best!

moodboard sunscreen three types-03.jpg

One Color + Supporting Colors

For this pallets, I would use the one color you chose above and pick a range of 3-4 supporting colors. You will want this range to include softer more neutrals colors that are darker and lighter, so they can cover a wide range of different scenarios. You also want the light-medium colors to be pretty similar to each other, so they aren't completing for the attention or you one main color. You will want:

  • 1 color similar to black (or black)

  • 1-2 light neutral color (to be used for background and that the main color layers well over top of)

  • 1-2 medium range colors that can be paired with all of the palette (these are more accent colors that call attention to specific items)

moodboard sunscreen three types-02.jpg

Multi Color

Although multi color palettes can seem like you closed your eyes and pointed at the color wheel, they take a lot of thought. It is fairly difficult to find a tone of bright colors, pastel colors, jeweled colors, etc that go well together. So, when picking these brighter pops of colors, don't forget that they all need to work together even if they are all extremely different.


Hope you find this helpful when creating your own color palettes!! Let me know if you have any more questions



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how to create color palettes for your small business

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