Free and Easy Tools to Do Your Colors Right

When it comes to designing a brand, colors play an essential part. The colors you choose have a huge impact on your brand as a whole.

Many business owners and bloggers choose their colors based on their own taste. What a mistake!

If you want to throw away one of the most important tools in your design arsenal, then choose what you like.

If you want to be smart, go a little deeper.

Use the power of color psychology. If you want to sell more and have a thoughtfully designed brand, choose wisely.

In this post I'll tell you how and I'll show you some free and easy tools to help you with this fun experiment.

Free and easy tools to do your colors right & why colors matter and help you sell more

What colors mean (in a nutshell)

YELLOW

Yellow is optimistic, happy, friendly, extrovert and self-confident. It can also be needy, impatient and make some people anxious.

What colors mean - color psychology - yellow

Orange

Happy, healthy, vivid, abundant, creative, energetic, communicative. As a mix of red and yellow, attributes of both come together in orange.

Color psychology - what colors mean - orange

RED

Red can be strong, energetic, warm, determined but also aggressive, defiant and angry. It's the color of warnings and prohibition.

What colors mean - color psychology - red

Pink

A definitely feminine color. Pink can be soothing, romantic, affectionate, reassuring, nurturing, suggesting hope, confident but also girlish and silly.

What colors mean - color psychology - pink

Purple

Purple is luxurious, spiritual, uplifting, suggests harmony and balance. A lighter version feels calming and relaxing.

What colors mean - color psychology - purple

Blue

Blue is intelligent, clear, cool, efficient, loyal but also cold, unfriendly and conservative.

What colors mean - color psychology - blue

Turquoise

Turquoise is friendly, creative, healing, calming, expresses a clarity of thought. Also self-centered, boastful and idealistic.

Color psychology - what colors mean - turquoise

Green

Green is abundant and expresses harmony and well-being. It's the color of growth and spring, relates to prosperity and persistence. 

Color psychology - what colors mean - green

Brown

Brown is down-to-earth, stable, organized, confident, reassuring, relates to quality, security and protection. It can also be boring and unsophisticated.

Color psychology - what colors mean - brown

Grey

As the combination of black and white, it is a compromise. It's unemotional, neutral, solid and stable. It can be sophisticated and glamorous but also dull and lifeless.

What colors mean - color psychology - grey

Black

Black can be mysterious, powerful, conventional, protective. It implies control and authority but also sophistication, elegance and glamor.

Color psychology - what colors mean - black

White

White is pure, innocent, perfect, fair, complete, ethereal and sophisticated. Also hygienic, cold, empty, sterile. 

What colors mean - color psychology - white

Silver

Silver is associated with female energy, it's elegant, glamorous, sophisticated, respectable, responsible and patient. Also high-tech, dull, lifeless, indecisive.

Color psychology in branding - what colors mean - silver

Gold

Gold is associated with wealth, success and triumph. It's abundant, luxurious, sophisticated, quality, elegant and wise. It carries masculine energy and can be selfish or opportunistic.

Colors in branding - color psychology - what colors mean- gold

Colors and branding

People are emotional buyers. You often decide without consciously thinking your choice over and rationalize your decision later.

Colors work on the unconscious level. When you see a brand, you rarely look into what its colors mean.

On the web, when people open your website, they form their first impression in 0.05 seconds. Yes, you've read that right, it's not even a second.

So all the colors, typography, photos and other elements contributing to the visual representation of your brand have to be compiled during a serious design process.

When I was doing my design course, I learned about color psychology, but the last piece of the puzzle clicked into its place when I met Fiona Humberstone's amazing method. 

Besides taking into consideration the meaning of colors, Fiona uses a system that categorizes business personalities according to seasons.

The season your brand fits in defines not only the choice of your colors but also the texture, pattern, typography and any other elements.

Spring goes with light, bright colors, summer with cool and muted, autumn with warm and intense, and winter with strong, clear and cool colors - the latter is the only one that can contain pure black.

So when I do branding, I always map the business with a questionnaire (I always did) and now try to think their personality over according to the seasons.

Fiona uses Pantone chips to choose the colors for a brand. These are quite expensive and this process needs a good eye.

If you want to choose your colors right, you can use amazing free tools too.

Here's the list.

Free and easy tools to do your colors right

1. Adobe Color

Earlier named Kuler, Adobe's free tool is my favorite to go to when I need to play with colors.

It lets you choose your own colors, play with combinations according to schemes like analogous, complementary, compound and so on, and you can even create a color palette based on an image.

If you have an Adobe CC subscription, you can save your palette to your Library and reach the colors from your Illustrator, Photoshop or Indesign software.

You can also explore palettes saved by others.

Adobe Color - Colors in branding

2. Paletton

This online application has been developed by a Czech designer.

You can set a base color by typing its hex code and - like in Adobe Color - you can play with the different schemes.

Paletton will give you several shades (darker versions) and tints (lighter versions) of the colors in the given scheme.

You can export your palette as HTML, CSS, SASS or save it as an image or as a .aco file to import into Photoshop.

Colors in branding - color psychology - free color scheme generator

3. Coolors

Coolors is an online application but it's also available as an app for iOS or Android.

You can work with five colors at the same time. Change the hex code of one stripe, lock it so that it won't change and press the spacebar. Again. And again. Isn't it fun?

If you have your colors, you can refine them changing the hue, saturation, brightness and temperature.

Exporting is limited, Coolors doesn't offer as many versions as Paletton.

Colors in branding - free color tools - Coolors

4. Colourlovers

This site offers not only color tools but also a community of several million color lovers.

Its greatest advantage is the palettes these members have created and the tags they joined to the palettes, so you can search targeting these.

Use these for inspiration. I don't recommend copying a given palette for your own brand - a lot of them are copyrighted by their creator, anyway.

If you register, you can save your palettes.

How to choose colors for your brand - color palettes - Colourlovers

5. Color-hex.com

It's not really a palette generator, rather a color code converter.

I go here if I want to check the CMYK code of a color whose code I have in RGB or hex code, or if I want to look up the tints or shades of a color.

How to choose the colors for your brand - free color tools

What's your favorite tool for choosing colors and creating a palette? Share it in a comment below!

Have fun playing with colors!

Annamari