How to choose the perfect color palette and fonts for your business

When we’re starting out with our brands, we want to create something that we’ll absolutely love and be proud of, but also something that shows we mean business and that people can trust us.

But when choosing a color palette or fonts, there are common mistakes people make that can influence how their audience feels about their brand.

So let’s dive into what you need to focus on to choose the right color palette and fonts and what not to do so you don’t make the same mistakes.

1. Choosing the perfect color palette

How many colors to choose:

If you’re not sure how many colors to choose, it’s usually good to go for a number between 5-8.

Choosing a Good Colour Combination

Now, let’s look at this color combination:

a very bright 5-colour palette

It’s a super colorful, fun color palette.

Here’s the problem: if someone is using their phone at 100% brightness (I don’t know why they would, but let’s just imagine that), their eyes will hurt for a second. These kinds of colors together are overwhelming.

And hence: background colors

These are the colors that people often use throughout their website. So for example for this website that I created for a client, the background colors are mostly brown and white:

website design

Background colors make it easy for someone to read your website or social media posts because it’s not overwhelmingly bright. So if I were to create background colors for the color palette I just shared in this blog, it would look as follows:

 a 5 color muted palette

A bit muted, right? But if someone opens this on mobile, they won’t get blinded.

Check out the Tint and Shade Generator website to find lighter shades of your color palette.

Using color psychology wisely

Color psychology is the study of how colors influence our emotions and behaviors. So colors often make us feel something. For example, blue is a color associated with trust, which is why it’s commonly used in businesses. Depending on the shade, it can also make people feel calm.

While I consider color psychology when choosing a palette for my clients, I don’t base my entire choice on it because it can make brands look too similar. Take environmental brands, for instance—they often use green, which can make them blend into one another.

So, it’s good to think about color psychology. For instance, one of my clients wanted to use red for her mental health practice, where she works with people who have experienced trauma. But red can also signal danger, which is why it wasn’t the best color to choose for her industry where the goal is to make the client feel safe and calm.

It’s good to use color psychology to steer clear of potential missteps and understand the positives and negatives of each color. However, don’t let it box you in.

Combining this knowledge to create a great color palette

The best color palettes are made up of both background colors and bright colors. The bright colors are meant to help you draw attention to important information like buttons that you want people to press or add dashes of color to your website. Here’s an example where the bright green does both:

a website with bright green colors

So the perfect color palette would look something like this:

a 5 color palette with muted and bright colors combined

So the core stuff to remember:

  • Aim for 5-8 colors.
  • If you’re using bright or neon colors, make sure to have lighter colors that can also be used on the background of your website and on your social media posts
  • Ideally, use bright colors to add ‘pops of color’ on your website, like on your buttons, and to highlight important information.
  • Consider color psychology but don’t let it box you in.

2. Now let’s talk fonts

I want to show you something first. Check out these 3 posts:

3 different posts that say the same thing but use different fonts which is "Life Gets Us All So Do The Best You Can"

All these three say the exact same thing but feel different.

The first feels fun, the second a bit playful or childish, and the third a bit more serious because of the elegant font. This is the power of choosing the right font style, and it plays a role in the personality of your brand.

That’s why if you want something fun, go for more retro, playful fonts; if you want to create a luxury brand, go for something more elegant, and if your brand focuses on children, the one in the middle would be perfect.

If you use Canva here’s how you can select a font style:

a tutorial on how to choose a specific font style in Canva

How many fonts can I choose?

The perfect amount of fonts to pick is 3. Anything above that is too much.

How to use fonts on social media and your website

The following tips mention social media but they will also apply to your website.

Considering the right font color

A common mistake people make on social media is using colors that don’t contrast well, making the text hard to read and leading to eye strain.

For example, while this might look pretty, it’s not very easy to read:

a social media post with a quote that says "Life Gets Us All So Do The Best You Can". The fonts blend in with the background cause of poor contrast

Especially when compared to the following:

2 social media posts with the same quote that says "Life Gets Us All So Do The Best You Can". The fonts stand out  cause of good contrast with the background color

So always make sure your content is easy to read. This not only keeps it looking great but also ensures that everyone, including people with visual impairments, can access and enjoy it.

Choose fonts that make reading effortless and pleasant

Let’s compare these two. This one is probably easier to read:

a social media post  that uses uses  sans serif font for the paragraph font

Compared to:

a social media post  that uses cursive font for the paragraph text

So when using long paragraph text on your website or social media, it’s important to choose something closer to the first image. If you choose to use a ‘script font’ or a cursive like the second image, it will be better to use it sparingly like so:

a social media post  that uses uses cursive font for the heading "Love" and sans serif font for the paragraph font

So the core stuff to remember:

  • Choose a maximum of 3 fonts.
  • Make sure the color contrast between the font color and its background is good so that the words are easier to read.
  • When creating long paragraphs of text, don’t choose fonts that are considered to be script or cursive fonts.

Have questions or need someone to take a second look at your branding?

Book a Design Clarity Hour Session. I offer these for female entrepreneurs who need guidance or tips when creating their branding.

And if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with others!

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