Entrepreneurship 3: Colors Schemes

Color Schemes

Entrepreneurship 3

This lesson will help you earn points in the "Branding" line of the judging rubric.

In this lesson, you will…

  • Choose a color scheme to represent and reflect your brand

Key Terms

  • Color Scheme – a combination of colors that are used together

Color

You’ve already come up with a business name and have a sense of what your business’s personality is. In this lesson, you will pick some colors to further build the personality of your brand. Did you know that colors have emotions associated with them and can make people feel a certain way? Here are some color preferences. Since these associations vary in different countries or cultures, you should look them up to see what they mean for your target audience. 

RED Passionate, Aggressive, Important, Revolution
ORANGE Playful, Energetic, Cheap, Vibrancy
YELLOW Happy, Friendly, Warning, Wisdom
GREEN Natural, Stable, Prosperous, Honesty
BLUE Serene, Trustworthy, Inviting, Loyalty
PURPLE Luxurious, Mysterious, Romantic, Inspiration
BROWN Earthy, Sturdy, Rustic
BLACK Powerful, Sophisticated, Edgy, Formality
WHITE Clean, Virtuous, Healthy, Innocence
GRAY Neutral, Formal, Gloomy, Modesty

Use your understanding of your brand’s personality, and what you know about which emotions and qualities your target audience typically associates with colors to make this choice.

Color Scheme

Colors tend to work best when they have friends! To start, let's get a better understanding of how colors work together. You've likely seen a color wheel before, like this:

 

This color wheel includes 3 rows of colors. They are:

  • Hues, which are colors that have names like red, blue, green, orange, etc. These are found in the "middle row" of the color wheel.
  • Tints (hue + white) are found in the outermost row of the color wheel.
  • Shades (hue + black) are found in the innermost row of the color wheel.

As you can see, even after you've chosen a brand color, you can choose a variation of that color—whether it's a fully saturated hue (no tint or shade), is mixed with another color (such as orange-red), or is a tint or shade!

This choice can enhance how well your chosen color expresses your brand's qualities. For example, a highly saturated orange hue might indicate excitement and adventure. If the orange hue is actually yellow-orange, then it will give a lighthearted, happy feeling. However, if you choose a shade of this same yellow-orange, it could look murky or even give a feeling of illness! A tint of the same yellow-orange will look bright and airy.

Here are some ways colors are often matched:

Complementary color combinations pair a color with its exact opposite on the color wheel. These can be the most vibrant color combinations, especially if both colors are fully saturated. These can be overwhelming when used in large doses, but can bring attention to things that you want to stand out.

comp2x

Split-Complementary color combinations are similar to complementary color schemes, except that one of the colors is replaced by the two adjacent to it on either side. This reduces the tension that can be present in complementary color schemes, while still having a lot of contrast.

slip-comp2x

Analogous color combinations are colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel. These combinations help give a sense of serenity and calm. However, when using these you’ll need to be sure to create enough contrast so that your brand visuals are easy to read.

analogous2x

Triadic color combinations are made of 3 colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel. Even if you use tints or shades, these color combinations can be very bold and energetic.

triadic2x

Activity: Choose a Color

With your team, identify a color that best represents your brand’s personality. For example, if you want your target audience to identify your product as being exciting and new, you might choose orange as the color that best represents your brand.  Recall the words you chose to describe your brand from the ‘We Are and We Are Not’ activity in the last marketing lesson.

Activity: Pick a Color Scheme

Now you have a color. Congratulations! Don’t start making all of your visual materials yet, though. With your teammates, choose a color scheme. Use the color that you chose in the last activity as your primary color, from which all other colors will be chosen on the color wheel. Here are a few resources that can help make choosing colors easy: 

Don’t worry about choosing a color that isn’t available in the presets in App Inventor. There will be instructions below on how to add new colors to App Inventor.

Tip: Stuck? Start with a photo! Find or take a photograph of something that helps identify your brand. It could be a location, an object, or anything else! This blog post has great examples!

Reflection

Now that you have selected a color scheme, you can use it in your app, logo and business plan (if you’re in the senior division).  In the next marking lesson, you will choose a typeface for your brand, and after that you will create your logo.

Additional Resources

Custom Colors in App Inventor

Don’t worry if the colors you choose aren’t in App Inventor’s presets. Here’s how to make a new color in App Inventor: Make Custom Colors in App Inventor and how to Make Custom Colors in Thunkable.

To make new colors in App Inventor and Thunkable, you’ll need to know the RGB value of the color. You may already have this value from the color scheme tools above, but if you don’t, use this tool to find out the RGB values of your colors: RGB Color Finder. If you want to learn more about RGB values, visit the section below. It is helpful to save the colors you choose as variables so you can use them throughout your app! Here’s an example of how to do that!

App Inventor

Thunkable

RGB Values of Colors

If someone told you that a color is “light blue green”, you would have an idea of the color they are talking about. However, computers can’t understand this, so they rely on something called RGB values to know what a color is.

An RGB value uses three numbers to describe a color to a computer. The first number tells the computer how intense the reds are, the second tells how intense the greens are, and the third how intense the blues are. The numbers can be anywhere between 0 and 225. Here are some examples:

Black

(0,0,0)

White

(255,255,255)

Gray

(128,128,128)

Red

(255,0,0)

Lime

(0,255,0)

Blue

(0,0,255)

Yellow

(255,255,0)

Purple

(128,0,128)

Teal

(0,128,128)

Green

(0,128,0)

Navy

(0,0,128)

Maroon

(128,0,0)

Color Psychology Video

Check out this video to learn about color psychology.