How to Choose a Beautiful Color Palette for Your Podcast
Posted by Zach Magnuson in For Designers, For Podcasters / November 14, 2016
Establishing a color palette for you show can be a daunting task. It takes an understanding of color theory and color psychology. What's a podcaster to do?
Establishing a color palette for you podcast can be a daunting task. It takes an understanding of both color theory and color psychology. Not to mention good aesthetic taste. You’re a podcaster, you live in the world of oration and audio levels. Visual design is not your interest or your forte.
Work with a Pro
My first recommendation to get a great color palette would be to hire a professional graphic designer. I realize that it’s not for everyone, but I urge you to consider hiring a pro if you’re serious about building a strong podcast brand. An experienced designer can be an invaluable partner to a podcaster. While you focus on the show itself, a designer can guide the visual side of things. This teamwork dynamic allows each of you to focus on what you’re good at to grow your business.
Color Palette Resources
For those who aren’t in a position to pay a designer, I’m going to share two sites that can help you choose a color scheme.
Coolors is one of those great tools that is as simple or complex as you want. One of the best ways to use it is to simple flip through random color schemes by hitting space bar. When you see something you want, you can lock that color and keep generating colors until you’re happy. You can also adjust individual colors or the entire set as you go.
Little touches like monochromatic mode, showing alternate color shades and an undo button are super useful. What really makes Coolors my favorite online color scheme generator is how user friendly it is. Everything is straightforward and intuitive. Fabrizio Bianchi, the creator of Coolors, even included a slick tutorial to make things easy.
If you have an image with colors that you would like you use, you can upload it and generate a unique color palette. Coolors even allows you to browse existing color schemes, which you can customize.
Once you’ve gotten your color scheme just right, you can export it in a variety of useful formats. If you create an account, you can save color schemes and come back to them later. There is an iOS app available and Coolors even has an Adobe add-on for photoshop and illustrator.
I would like to leave you with one tip before I set you loose on Coolors. Most young podcast brands will not need such an extensive color palette. In fact, I would try to limit your scheme to three or fewer colors. It’s not a bad idea to have a more expansive palette for future use, but focus on using on only a few colors. This will help keep your brand identity unified and recognizable.
In contrast to a powerful tool like Coolors, Color Claim is a simple catalogue of color combinations. Color Claim is a visual list of over 100 simple, but effective, color schemes. Each combination is designed with one primary color and one or two secondary colors that work well together.
There is no substitute for a custom color palette formed by a skilled designer. However, Color Claim may be the next best thing since each combination is submitted by Tobias van Schneider. Van Schneider is well-respected in the design industry and it’s hard to go wrong with any of his color palettes.
Feel free to tweak these color pairings if they are not quite right. I find Color Claim most useful as a launching point when I am exploring color for my own projects.
There is a lot to learn about colors; color theory and color psychology are each an entire field of study unto themselves. But when it gets right down to it, a lot of working with color comes down to feel and experience. There is no shortcut to gaining experience, but these tools can get started on the right track. Use them to find a palette that ‘feels’ right for your podcast.