There’s no rule that says only businesses can brand themselves with color. You can strengthen your personal brand by choosing a color palette that truly represents who you are.
It all starts with a single color choice. Don’t worry if making this choice sounds like an incredibly daunting task. You will find your color inspiration in the things you see every day:
- Your clothes
- Your furniture & decor
- Your car (or the car of your dreams)
Take a look in your closet. If you’re a bit quirky like me, it will be organized by color, starting with a crisp white button down shirt, and ending with a black wool blazer. If not, you’ll still notice that some colors will stand out.
What’s the most “popular” color in your closet? What color do you tend to wear the most? In my closet, varying shades of blue tend to dominate, followed by red. What color is your favorite shirt?
Think about choosing a single item from your closet that you love wearing. Now ask yourself this: What color in that item connects to who I am?
Furniture & decor
I’m not a decorator, and there’s a good chance that you aren’t either. Still, we’ve undoubtedly made many color choices that make us feel comfortable and happy in our surroundings.
Look at these items:
- Sofas and chairs
- Bedding and pillows
- Walls (if you had the luxury of selecting the paint colors)
Which colors do you see most often? Which ones do you gravitate to? Even if someone else selected the furniture and decor, you will still be able to find color inspiration in the things you like the most.
To determine which shade of blue would represent my personal brand, I went to the Pottery Barn catalog straightaway. That aesthetic has always appealed to me visually, so it was very easy to find the right blue.
If you were redecorating your room, what color choices would you make? Maybe your inspiration will come from an architectural magazine or an art gallery. It doesn’t matter where the color comes from, as long as it fits your brand.
Look at the car you currently own, or the car you dream of owning. Even if you live in a city and have no need for a car (like my sister in NYC), you’ve probably imagined the car you would want if money wasn’t a factor.
Maybe it’s a bright red sports car or a dark grey luxury sedan or an aqua blue classic. Think about what color you would choose if you weren’t being practical.
The colors of the cars we drive are often determined by necessity, not inspiration. For example, I chose silver because it doesn’t absorb the sun or show much dirt. Sometimes you get a better deal on the less popular colors.
Just think beyond what you need. What color is that dream car?
Turning your inspiration into a color palette
Once you have found the color that represents your personal brand, you need to create a palette. Fortunately, there are lots of great tools that will help you accomplish this.
I started by figuring out the hexadecimal color code of my Pottery Barn Blue using Gimp, a freeware application similar to Photoshop. Then I went to a number of different color palette websites to test out my shade and see which colors complemented it.
I started here: 10 Sites to Play with Colors and Create Color Palettes. Test out the various sites using your color code and see which colors should be in your palette. It’s a lot of fun.
Once you have your palette, you simply need to start using it in everything that represents your brand, like your website or Twitter profile page.
You don’t need a designer to be able to reinforce your personal brand with color. Just look around you and you’ll find inspiration in the things you see every day.