ZOOMacademy Preview: Your brand’s visual identity – Color

Straight from ZOOMacademy, this design tip looks at your brand’s visual identity and the role color plays.

This is part of the Introduction to branding course, A step-by-step guide to understanding and creating a brand. You can view the full course on the Academy today.


Color is one of the most memorable parts of a brand’s visual identity. When thinking of some of the world’s most recognized brands, such as Coke, Facebook, Netflix, or Starbucks, the color schemes quickly spring to mind.

The reason that these colors are so effective and memorable is that these companies not only select colors that strongly represent their brand attributes, but they have consistently used their colors year after year. It’s that clarity and consistent use that will make color an effective tool for your brand.

To define the colors that will be part of your brand, you’re going to create a color palette. First, you’re going to think of one color that best matches your brand attributes. This will become your primary brand color.

Colors come with an array of different meanings, and while we could look at how colors can represent different industries or types of companies, or even really hone in on the cultural meaning of colors – we’re going to put our focus on the psychological meaning of color. This particular focus enables invoking a feeling/response that you want to associate with your brand, and is the most effective way for you to be remembered (if you do not have an emotion as part of your brand attributes, it’s worth adding).

Here is a quick guide to color psychology to help you select the colors that best represent your brand.

This primary brand color is the one you will work with to have people associate with your brand. You should protect the usage of this color and elevate it to a point of importance. In other words, you use it only when its job is to represent your brand, but you don’t overuse it in less important places. For those, you will add secondary or support colors to your color palette.

The goal of your secondary brand colors is to complement your primary brand color. Those complementary colors, together with your primary brand color, should also represent your brand attributes.

For help finding colors that complement your primary brand color, you can use tools such as https://coolors.co/

Continue with the Introduction to the brand course on ZOOMacademy.