How to choose the perfect colour palette for your small business

Do your brand colours really matter? 

Are your potential clients going to care what shade of blue you used on your website?

Does your business colour palette have any say in whether someone buys from you?

It may astonish some folks, but the answer to all of those questions is yes. 

About Education put it better than I ever could myself when they wrote, 'colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause psychological reactions.'

The power of colour has never ceased to amaze me, not even when I was a kid. When I was six years old I loved the way yellow could cheer me up and make me feel happy. In fact, I went through a stage of wanting yellow everything! Yellow coat, yellow boots, yellow headbands, yellow socks... Even at six years old I subconsciously recognized that yellow made me feel good, so I wanted more of it.

The psychological affects of colour still aren't fully understood by today's scientists (which makes it all the more magical!) but there are certain colours that are universally known for having the same psychological affects on people around the world. 


Red is stimulating, lively and powerful. Some people also view it as demanding or intense. It's associated with love, warmth and comfort and is the perfect colour to use for things like call to actions on your website!


Blue is often associated with stability, trust and responsibility. It's a quiet colour; a colour that conveys peace and tranquility. In other words, it's the perfect colour for health-based businesses, or businesses that want to convey trustworthiness and calmness among other stable, professional qualities. 


I love yellow! It's one of my all-time favourites, so excuse me while I totally geek about it. Right. Here goes...

Yellow resonates with the left side of our brain. It's the best colour to stimulate enthusiasm and joy! Teamed with other bright colours, it can really help create a happy, colourful brand. 


Green is a colour of balance and harmony, which is why you'll usually see it used with healthcare businesses and psychology practices. It's a positive colour that goes hand in hand with growth and renewal!

You're probably thinking this all sounds a little woo woo, right?

But stick around. I promise I'm not just making this stuff up.

Some people don't understand how colour can affect people, or how it has any real impact at all. I get how it can seem that way. But evidence doesn't lie. Take a look at some of these amazing ways colour has affected people psychologically:

  • One study found that warm coloured placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-coloured placebo pills.
  • Researchers at the Nation Hockey League games discovered that teams who wore black were penalized more than others. 
  • Researchers at Creighton University found that people with blue offices felt calmer and more hopeful towards their work than people with other office colors. 
  • And finally, my favourite: research shows that red is associated with passion so it's the colour that men like the most on a woman they're on a first date with. However, blue is the most stable colour and women love stable men, so blue always goes down a treat with the ladies. (I don't know about you girls out there but that's true in my book!)

How to choose the perfect colour palette for your small business

So you get the importance of colour and the psychological affect it can have on people. But let's apply this stuff to business!

Before choosing a colour palette, ask yourself...

  • What psychological affect do I want my business to have on my customers?
  • How do I want people to feel about my brand?
  • What do I want people to think when my brand name comes up?
  • Which brands make be feel the best and why? How do they accomplish that?

Those are all things that your colour palette has a lot of control over. If you want your brand to leave potential clients with a good impression, you need to use a colour palette that expresses exactly what your brand stands for. Your colour palette needs to trigger the emotions you want from your clients and customers. 

But how do you choose the perfect colour palette to do that?

Here's a little graphic I made to help you find your perfect colour palette!

I've listed four categories above that all convey completely different emotions to each other. Depending on the emotions and vibes you want your brand to convey, you may fit into one of the categories in the graphic! Here's a more detailed breakdown of the emotion behind each category, and what types of businesses suit each category. 

1. Feminine, light and happy

A brand with colours like this conveys feelings of happiness, lightness, joy, friendliness and clarity. I find that light, bright and feminine colours are perfect for wedding-based businesses, party-based businesses or businesses that only target women.

2. Bright, bold and strong

The second palette conveys just as much happiness as the first, but it's a lot stronger and bolder. Bold, bright colours suit business owners with big, vibrant personalities! They're especially suitable for coaching businesses, accessories shops or stationery shops. Think Kate Spade and Whitney English!

3. Natural, deep and intimate

This colour palette is a lot more muted than the first two. It's deep, natural, dark, but not depressing. Businesses that choose a palette like this are usually trying to make their clients and customers feel a sense of belonging and calm, such as yoga instructors or crisis coaches.

4. Cosy and comforting

Lastly, we have a palette that is cosy, warm, comforting and friendly. These kind of palettes are a great option for business owners who fit into the category of 'natural, deep and intimate' but want a palette that is more welcoming and warm.

Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!