Need to choose the perfect colors for your next graphic design project? Don’t worry, this article has got you covered.
For many non-professional designers choosing a color is often done in random fashion. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to come up with a logo for your new business or a non-profit looking to create a compelling social media channel, color choice is an important consideration.
It’s so important in fact, graphic designers as well as other visual artists study color theory and the psychology behind color extensively. This article will discuss the importance of color choice and how to pick the perfect colors for your next graphic design project.
What Are You Designing?
Before we get to color choice you need to figure out exactly what your graphic design needs are. Is this a one-off project or part of a brand identity? Will this design be used primarily in print or online? If you are designing a one-off piece for a yard sale you have a lot more freedom.
You can choose any color combination as long as it conveys your message. It better match your brand colors if this is a social media post for your business account however. Something else to keep in mind is that certain colors work better on the web versus print. Once you know exactly what you need designed and where it will be displayed you need to consider what your message is.
What Message Do You Want to Convey?
Each color has a different meaning. Before you choose a color make sure you are clear on what message you want to convey. For example if you are pondering color choice for a logo it’s imperative to know what your brand message is and whether that speaks to your target demographic. Only then should you start your visual branding process.
With a clear message in mind its time to find out which color aligns with your vision. Here are some of the most popular branding color choices and associated meanings:
1. Red – Red conveys danger, strength, passion desire and love
2. Blue – Blue is a popular branding choice because it conveys loyalty, trust, stability and confidence
3. Green – Green symbolizes growth, nature, fertility and harmony
4. Yellow – Yellow is a nice primary or accent color because it convey joy, happiness and energy
5. Black – Black is a formal choice and it also conveys elegance, power and mystery
6. Purple – Purple is a fun color choice and communicates luxury, nobility and royalty
Get Feedback to Find the Perfect Colors
Once you decide on a message and color find out if it actually speaks to your target audience. Just because you like a color or the color scheme aligns with your message doesn’t mean it will resonate with your core demographic.
To get some initial feedback present your design mock-ups to your colleagues, friends and family. After that round it’s advisable to get some unbiased feedback from potential customers. The color has to work for your stakeholders so this is a crucial step. If you are looking to scale your survey responses try Google Surveys. You can create a survey and then select the demographics for your respondents. Google charges a rate per completed survey.
Use Free Tools to Help With Your Color Selection
Coming up with the perfect color combination is much easier these days. Gone are the difficulties off trying to match a color by eye or manually entering hex codes. Here are a few free tools that will help you find beautiful color schemes that are safe for web and print:
Coolors – If you are feeling stuck creatively or simply don’t know which colors work well together use a tool like Coolors. It’s a color scheme generator that provides you with endless options. You can browse popular color combinations or generate your own by uploading an image or entering a specific color code.
Colorsafe – If you are designing a website or other web based design assets it’s important to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Colorsafe lets you find accessible color palettes for your web project meeting WCAG. With a tool like that you have the confidence that your colors will work across the web.
HueSnap – Sometimes you come across a color or color combination you just love. HueSnap will tell you exactly what color that is. Simply snap a photo, whether that’s off a brochure in a hotel lobby, a beautiful sunset or paint on a car. Once you take the photo the app will let you extract the colors from the image.
Eggradients – Gradients are popular and often used in graphic design these days. It’s pleasing to the eye so it’s no wonder it’s such a popular design technique. Using gradients properly is no easy feat however. Eggradients is a tool that lets you create beautiful color gradients with a click of a button.
Tackling a new graphic design project is fun no matter if you have any design experience or not. Removing some of the guessing work when it comes to color will make you more efficient and confident in designing new pieces.
To summarize, keep in mind what you’re designing, whether it’s for print or web, what message you want to convey, which colors match that message and then get feedback before publishing. Following these instructions will ensure you pick the perfect colors for your next design asset.
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