A question we get asked repeatedly by new clients is: “How do i pick colors without feeling so overwhelmed?”

While there is no single approach to picking the perfect color palette, there are four things you can do to make the process feel a lot less overwhelming—and so much more fun!

1. Remember, less is more.

In our experience, a balanced color palette usually contains five colors. Initially, such a small selection might feel limiting. But don’t worry! If you choose colors that work well together, your new palette will be versatile and visually appealing.

At Miel Creative Studio, we have a tried-and-true process to get you started:

  • First, pick two or three core colors you feel best represent your brand. These colors will make up the foundation of your new palette!
  • Next, pick a bright, striking color that compliments your core colors. This will be your accent color, and when used sparingly, it will make your color scheme more attractive. We recommend choosing a vibrant color so that it will add contrast to your color scheme.
  • Finally, don’t forget about neutrals! The addition of just one or two neutral colors will make your palette stand out right away. If you don’t know what a neutral color is–don’t worry–just keep reading.

2. Feeling stuck? Use an online color tool!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are numerous online resources you can use to streamline this process. Coolors, a free online color scheme generator, is one of our favorites because it provides an easy way to produce different color combinations. If you lack motivation, you can also browse their color palettes for inspiration. Coolors even has a feature to check for color blindness accessibility!

3. Contrast is key.

The secret to a flexible, functional palette is contrast. Color contrast is important to consider, especially if you care about accessibility. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility defines color contrast as “the difference in light between…anything in the foreground and its background.” Why is this important? Because you want everyone to be able to see your color scheme in action! If the colors in your palette do not clearly differentiate in value–how light or dark a color is–your audience will have difficulty distinguishing between them in a design.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be! Coolors has a Color Contrast Checker that makes it easy to check whether or not all the colors in your palette have an appropriate contrast ratio.

4. Don’t forget about neutrals!

To create a well-rounded color scheme, always include one or two neutral colors. These are essentially hues that lack color or saturation. Black, white, grey, and brown are the most common neutrals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of values within your palette!

Neutrals are essential because they complement the bolder colors in your palette to create a more balanced feel. If only saturated colors make up your palette, the result will be boring! The addition of just one or two neutrals will make brighter hues look more vivid. Your final color scheme will be more versatile, which is useful when developing an effective brand.

We hope these tips help you pick colors more intentionally. A carefully considered palette will elevate your brand’s identity and impact your audience. More importantly, choosing colors will (hopefully) be a more enjoyable process. Who knows, eventually you might even look forward to it!

The M Dash

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