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How to pick the correct brand colours every time

graphic design Dec 27, 2020

Colour is everything in branding.

It grabs ours attention.

It evokes specific emotions.

It indicates a target market. 

And as a business owner looking to develop their brand and streamline their marketing, it is essential that the colours used across all your promotional materials remain consistent.

This is because consistent branding:

  • Assists with brand recognition
  • Increases professionalism 

There is one (well, actually there's likely to be several) special 6-digit codes which all business owners need to know about, which will make their designs consistent, professional and easy to create - hex codes.

Know your Hex Code

Your computer displays RGB colours. Every RGB colour can be represented as a 6-digit code, known as a hex code. This code basically tells the computer which colour to display! It is initiated in most programs (Photoshop, Canva etc) by the # symbol, followed by the 6 digits. 

For example, #ffffff is the hex code for white. 

No matter what design program you are using (Photoshop, Canva, InDesign, etc) if you type #ffffff into the colour picker, you will have white! 

Knowing your hex code is extremely important with branding. By knowing your hex codes, you can make sure that you're picking the correct shades in every design, every time.

 

Getting the Code

If you have employed the services of a graphic designer to help with your branding, then odds are they will have provided you with the hex codes for all the colours in your branding. If they haven't, be sure to get in touch with them to ask for them!

You can use the colour picker in programs like Photoshop to identify hex codes. Simply open a brand element (for instance, your logo) and use the Eyedropper tool to select a colour. Photoshop will display the hex code for that colour.

You can also search and identify hex codes via this website - https://htmlcolorcodes.com/ 

Applying the Colour

There are a number of programs where you might need to identify and apply your brand colours. As mentioned earlier, you might use Adobe Photoshop or Indesign, or Canva for your graphic design work. Each of these programs have a colour picker which will allow you to type in the 6-digit code and pull up your colours. 

Online platforms for other marketing purposes (such as MailChimp for email marketing; Wix or Wordpress for websites) also provide you with the option to input your hex code when applying colour to elements. It's pretty universal! 

Always save for future use

There's nothing more frustrating than having to 'pick' the colour out of a photo/logo every time you want to use it (trust me, I've been there!) 

Keep a written record of your hex codes (ideally in your style guide, or somewhere like Notes which can be accessed quickly) so that you can easily copy them into the colour picker of whichever program you are working on. 

Many programs (like the Adobe Suite) have the option to save colours to a Library, which means they live within the program for you to access across different designs - this is the most ideal situation, as it means your brand colours are always there on hand!

You can learn more about how to save and streamline your social media processes over here in my other blog article.

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