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Build Your Business Color Palette One Baby Step at a Time

A cute baby holding onto the wall while learning to walk

There aren’t too many people I know who would intentionally have three children at once. Let’s face it: every time a baby enters a family, there’s an adjustment period. Existing family members need to get used to the new addition. Everyone has to adapt.

It’s easier when children are added one at a time. The new baby comes along, and family members settle into their new routines.

Why not approach your business color palette the same way?

If you’re afraid to use color for your branding, and you’re not sure where to start, this approach will make it easy to dip your toe in the water.

Black and white and ___ all over

You remember the old riddle: What’s black and white and red all over?

It’s a newspaper, and it could also be your brand.

Start your palette with basic black text and a white background, whether you’re putting together a printed piece or a website.

Then pick one color — only one — to use with your pared-down palette.

Invite this one color into your business. Try it out in small doses at first, then apply it to more prominent areas.

Live with it, and see how you adapt to it. If needed, tweak it a little, then use it some more.

You may find that one isn’t enough. For the most versatility, add a second hue to your family of business colors.

How to add color number two

Choose a second color that complements your first one. Make sure they look related in intensity and tone.

Use this second one sparingly at first. Then, try it in combination with your first one. See how they look together. Do they get along? Do they fight each other?

These two colors — plus your basic black and white — may be all you need for your business.

But most business color palettes work best when they round out their brand with a third color that serves a very specific purpose.

Adding your accent color

Your third color can serve as an accent to your two main colors. Its job is to draw attention to whatever area of your website or printed piece you want to be sure your reader sees.

Do you have a call to action at the end of a blog post? A coupon in a printed piece? An email list on your website you’d like your visitors to sign up for?

That’s the place for your accent color. Bring it out and apply it wherever you’d like people to direct their attention.

Build your palette over time

Building a palette one-by-one over time takes some of the stress away from the process. You can slowly add to your family of colors and count on having time to adapt to each one as you add it to the mix.

Question of the week

What’s your favorite way to pick colors for your business? Do you have a tip to share? Tell me about it in the comments!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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