11 Colours: Brown

Colour is really really important in design. There are only 11 basic colour terms although there are MILLIONS of colours so it’s essential to spend some time looking at your colours and making sure that they create the right impression for your business. 

This time it’s all about brown

Brown is a very solid, strong, serious, reliable colour. It’s comfortable, supportive, reliable and natural. It’s a homely, reassuring colour, providing safety, reliability and security.

Brown is a good colour for solving problems, contemplating solutions and removing stress. It has understated confidence and is a perfect colour – similar to grey – to let other colours stand out and do their thing. It works perfectly with green because while green is balancing and rejuvenating, brown is comforting and supportive.

It’s a great colour to show belonging – especially with family and friends so perfect if your business is home orientated.

It’s about having material belongings – having a comfortable life – the best of everything – it’s also good for showing a simple life – frugality, no waste, not being materialistic – “the good life”! Two opposites!

Because it’s the colour of earth, it’s seen as a very practical colour, down-to-earth, reliable, hardworking, genuine, honest, warm, common-sense and outdoorsy, natural, organic and wholsesome. however, the outdoors connotation doesn’t always work in favour with brown – it can be seen as dirty, heavy, dull, cheap, too serious, humourless,  boring and unsophisticated.

As you might have guessed brown is an ideal colour for businesses which are related to the outdoors or are seen as organic and natural – such as for organic produce or natural, handmade products.  Of course, it all depends on the shade you use. A mid brown is best for these types of business – something like the shades you get on kraft boxes and sacking.

Dark browns are is seen as more sophisticated ad is better for more elegant, professional products, especially combined with other colours such as creams or ivories as this would have an impact with the contrast and appear more stylish and classic.

Light browns make excellent neutral background colours and are good again for natural products and also to suggest openness, friendliness and approachability. Brown is a great colour to support another colour.

Of course, as with all colours, it’s essential to spend some time working on the shade that you’re using and thinking about which colours you’re using with it.

Do you have brown in your branding? What colours do you use it with? Please comment below and let me know!

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