Colouring your purpose brand - The Fourth Space

8. Colour Combinations for Brand You

Colour in proportion

Colour Combinations for Your Purpose Brand - The Fourth SpaceIn the previous two blogs, we explored the impact of colour psychology. This blog focuses on colours in combination, starting with proportions. The same three colours can have totally different psychological effects depending on the proportions that are used. With that in mind, this blog explores colour combinations for Brand You.

For example, we take the word cloud and distill it down into words of varying size depending on the frequency of which they have been used. This is further condensed into three themes, which represent the essence of your soul and are converted into branding colours.

So, let’s take the example of three themes that might pop up during the “fireside chat”:

  • Everything is possible,
  • Dash of quirkiness,
  • Gravitas: based in science.


Colour Combinations for Brand You

In colour psychology terms, everything is possible can be represented by the yellow in colour psychology, or in cultural terms, sky blue might be more appropriate, as in “blue sky thinking”. Gravitas and trust associated with science is dark blue. Orange represents a dash of quirkiness and can be playful and fun. We start with three equal blocks of colour, a blue, a yellow and an orange. The yellow and the orange are powerful and engaging colours. In fact, when combined they could be perceived as somewhat overwhelming as a combination for brand that wants to be taken seriously and needs gravitas. Finally, using yellows and oranges can be seen as a bit frivolous and fun, maybe more appropriate in a children’s’ playground.


To keep the need for gravitas, the ‘sky-blue’ thinking replaces the yellow. That means we end up with a dark blue gravitas, sky blue for everything is possible and orange for a dash of quirkiness. But even using these in three equal parts, the orange could be overwhelming and detract from the sense of gravitas that the blues exude.


To avoid this, the orange is the accent colour. So, you might have 45% dark blue, 45%, light blue and 10% orange. This gives an overall feeling of gravitas and trust for the science side of things. Sky blue thinking allows a feeling of everything as possible, with just a dash of quirkiness.


Talking Shades

Colour Combinations for Your Purpose Brand - The Fourth SpaceThe difference between the dark blue and a light blue is day and night. Light blue is mentally soothing and converys a feeling of everything is possible. Dark blue gives a feeling of trust, steadiness and is mentally stimulating. Large, steady corporate companies used dark blue to appeal to a more conservative audience. Adding just 5% orange gives off a distinct message that this is something different. It’s something that’s engaging and that’s pioneering, but it can still be trusted. The final twist is to switch the orange for a celebratory gold yellow. The brand is not ready to “sustain” a fun, quirky orange yet.


So, we end up with a colour strategy that attracts the pioneers. It is a bit quirky and open-minded to all things being possible, but has a foundation of science and gravitas. In summary. Colour combinations for your Brand You


– Nick Horton, The Fourth Space founder
The Fourth Space : Understand,  Own and Launch Brand You





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