Jessica asks:

“I found a palette that I like from your branding course and I know you recommend using it as a starting inspiration, so I turned it into a custom palette for my brand. I love the colors I picked, but I’m so in love with it I don’t know if my customers are going to think it’s a good combo. I’m starting to wonder if I should pick something a little more ordinary. Should I pick the color palette I like, or the one I think my customers will like?”

Great question, Jessica.

In general, as an ittybiz owner, you should choose colors you like, if for no other reason than you, personally, will enjoy looking at them and working with them every day.

Starting, running and facing a business is hard enough. You should give yourself every small advantage you can.

The exception to this advice is if you know damn well you’re a weirdo.

If people have ever referred to you as crazy (but in a good way) … if you consider “eccentric” to be the highest praise… if you’ve ever considered making your own clothes because you can’t find anything cool enough in stores… you are probably too weird to be in charge of your own color scheme.

You are welcome to ask friends, colleagues, mastermind buddies, etc., but watch out for people who a) blow smoke up your ass, or b) are significantly more conservative than you are.

A few additional bits of advice about colors:

1. Most brands have 3 or 4 colors (a major, a minor, and an accent, or 2 majors, a minor and an accent). Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your colors so you have an idea of how much airtime each color will be getting.

2. If any of your colors could be considered primary (red, blue or yellow), modify them slightly for a more branded effect. Making them richer is an easy way to do this, but you could also make them brighter or muddier, depending on what you’re going for in your brand.

Here are some examples from the 100 color palettes in Plug & Play Branding:

Color Palettes

For all practical purposes, the only differences between these palettes are tone and color order.

3. Not every color should be on every thing – and this especially applies to your logo. For most of us, if we put every brand color in our logo, our business would look like a tragedy occurred at the Pride Parade. It’s okay to use your accent color on your buy buttons, but not on your ebook covers, and vice versa.

4. In most cases, richer is better. Light colors can have a wallflower effect, and if you’re already a shy, introverted ittybiz owner, you don’t need any more wallflower in your branding.

Good luck with your colors, Jessica, and thanks for writing in.

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