Color Series: The Proportional Color Palette

A proportional color palette is an effective way of ensuring consistency and balance.
square with different colored lines

The visual aspects of a brand are what creates the overall “brand identity,” a way for audiences to create perceptions about your brand based on the consistency of images, language, font, design, and of course, colors. Color plays a crucial role in both the creation of an identity and a logo as it creates consistency across brand platforms, and triggers a sense of familiarity with key audiences. Starting with a color palette, a defined group of colors to be used in all branding efforts, that helps to define your brand is essential to consistent marketing.

However, an even more effective way of ensuring consistency and balance is by creating a proportional color palette. This is a color palette that displays the exact amount of space a color will use in a company logo, and any other place where brand identity might be displayed. This kind of color representation can provide a more accurate view of how your brand will be displayed visually. A proportional palette is truer to actual output of color that audiences will experience.

Brands can have the same color palettes, however the amount of color used in logo and brand identity differs so much that the two brands look nothing alike. For example, a brand such as Citi that uses blue as a primary color and red as an accent color sets a completely different tone than a brand, such as Tesco, which uses the opposite pairing.

Often brands within an industry tend to cluster around the same color palette. For example, financial services brands tend to favor all hues of blue. However, the proportions of use within the same color palette can make a huge difference in the appearance of brand logo and identity. Since brand colors are generally not used equally, dividing color into different proportions and space gives companies a better understanding of what their primary, secondary, and tertiary brand colors are. That way, they can execute them as a branding element in an effective way, that is balanced, rather than randomly highlighting certain brand colors in some appearances of the brand, and not in others.

Color plays such an important role in creating a sense of brand familiarity and building loyalty in the minds of key audiences. By executing brand colors through a proportional palette, companies can truly put forth the most accurate tone and feeling they want their brand to represent.

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