DIY Design: How to Choose Colors for Your Small Business Logo and Brand

Whether you’re considering an elegant palette of Tiffany blue and black for your small business logo, or a more buttoned-up navy blue, consider the following factors when choosing colors for your logo and brand identity.

Accepted Color Formats for DIY Small Business Logo Design

red-green-blue-graphicThe graphic design industry uses various color formats that facilitate consistency across the industry. Even as a DIYer, some knowledge of the most commonly used formats will come in handy.

Your computer monitor, just like television screens, is made up of three colors: red, green and blue (RGB). Digital items, logos, websites, Powerpoint presentations and even some printed signs and trade show exhibit displays use the RGB model.

cyan-magenta-yellow and black graphic (CMYK)


Items that are produced on an offset print press use the cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) model. Each color requires a specific plate to produce a realistic effect on paper, so that your photo maintains a realistic impression ‘like you are really there’ impression.

Spot Color 
spot color graphicItems that are printed using the silkscreen method and one-two color offset presses use specific ink colors. Many specialty advertising printers, silk screen printers, vehicle lettering, and short run offset printers offer a standard spot color palette. These are the standard rainbow of colors similar to a 12 piece Crayola® box with maybe a few more thrown in. You can choose navy blue, yellow, white, red, etc. and they are named the same way we learned them in kindergarten.


spot-color-graphicPantone Color Matching System®
Another option for spot color is the Pantone Matching System (PMS). PMS is the graphic design industry standard for ensuring the color of your small business logo will be the same in each printed item you order, every time. Even when you purchase items at different years, from different print resources, you will still maintain a consistent color for your brand.
Pantone® has thousands of colors to choose from for your small business logo. The colors are categorized and named with 3 or 4 digit numbers. (Connection Group logo uses PMS 873 Pantone Metallic Gold). If you want to go even further with using your brand color, Pantone offers wall paint and fabric swatches in your brand color too. Specifying a Pantone® color may be slightly more expensive than choosing a standard color. However, using Pantone colors for business cards or one to two color print pieces is often less expensive than full color printing. Plus, it will help establish your brand color.

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