I don't know about you, but I can get sucked into creating branding palettes for hours and love every minute of it. But when I was starting, there were some huge mistakes I was making and I notice it more and more now when reviewing websites and hope that this short list will help you "not" make those same mistakes.
Mistake: The more colours you use, the better it looks.
Why: Unless your business is a circus or maybe you're a confetti maker, the more colours you use actually makes your website look like it's all over the place.
Solution: Stick with 1-2 main colours, a couple of accent colours to help make things stand out, a colour for your buttons, a colour for text links and maybe 1-2 neutral colours for subtle backgrounds where you don't want to take away from your copy or images. These colours are very carefully chosen (see next point)
Mistake: It doesn't really matter what colours you use, as long as you like them.
Why: If your business is creating vegan recipes for first time moms, do you really think that black and silver would be appropriate for your website?
Solution: The colours you choose for your website, business cards, social media should all be chosen based on colour psychology. Colours can make you feel a certain way, so why not choose the colours that give positive feelings? For example, blue is regarded as a trusting colour. Not all blues though, cool blue is a better choice vs neon blue. Remember, your website is for your readers and visitors and if they hate the look of your website, they won't come back.
Mistake: Choosing your branding palette without keeping your ideal customer in mind.
Why: If you don't keep your ideal customer in mind and how you want her to feel when she's at your website or engaging with your brand in person, on social or at an event, she's likely not going to come back because the experience wasn't positive. Another way to look at it is if you're a meditation instructor, peace and calm is how you want your readers, visitors and customers to feel. How do you think they'll react engaging with your brand for the first time and your colours are all neon greens and hot pinks.
Solution: Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and imagine how she would feel when visiting your website. Do your colours align with your brand? Do your colours make her feel calm and peaceful?
Mistake: You feel that more colours makes your website "less boring"
Why: It all goes back to your ideal customer...what would she like to see on your website? If you think just having 2 main colours is boring, think of all the different tints and shades available. You can have one colours with 10 tints and 10 shades. The colours look different, but they are all in the same colour family.
Solution: Choose a colour that aligns with your brand values and makes your ideal customer enjoy browsing your website. If you make candle holders out of responsibly harvested wood, you can choose colours out of nature. Greens and browns and then take light and dark versions if you want to expand it. A website that can really help you create your colour palette is Paletton. Takes a bit to learn, but your colours will be co-ordinated.
Mistake: Choosing the wrong colour for your CTA's (call to actions)
Why: Picture your sales page, beautifully laid out with soft creams and peaches. Your copy is written well and there's lots of white space to make the page easy on the eyes. A CTA button needs to stand out so people are nudged to click and buy. If the button is the same colour as everything else, it won't be seen.
Solution: Use a complimentary colours to your primary and secondary colours. For example, if you're main colours are blue and green, use a red-orange for your CTA's. Using tools like Paletton and Coolors can help you with this. But the tool that I love is Canva (free to use) with a built in colour theory and colour wheel that you can use. You choose a colour, then choose the type of colour combination you want. Click here to try the colour wheel.
So there you go, hopefully you have a better idea of what to do and what not to do, but try not to get overwhelmed or spend hours playing with colour wheel tools. Think of your Ideal Customer profile and choose your main colours that they would like and make them feel good.
To get you started, I'm giving you a copy of the same worksheets I use with my own clients below.
Get a jump start on choosing your base branding colours
Would you like to get a free copy of the same worksheets I use with my own clients?