Snapshot of Walthamstow

How do you select colours for your brand?

Cadburys ran a quarter of a century campaign to own purple. Specifically Pantone 2685C. A 1995 trademark however does protect the purple when wrapping chocolate bars, but not things like hot chocolate or cakes. Nestle opposed any further expansion of the TM.

And Dyno-rod, well they have a thing for Day-Glo orange don’t you know (a small glazing firm in Sheffield certainly learned about it in 1999 when Dyno-rod came a knocking).

UK bank logo exampleAll sorts of brands make a point of ensuring the colours they use do some heavy lifting and help differentiate them from their rivals. Think of a sector and you can usually define the key players by colour. Take banking brands for example here in the UK. Santander; Red. Lloyds; Dark Green. Natwest; Purple (not Pantone 2685C though). RBS; Blue. HSBC; White and Red.

Choosing colours is often one of the more subjective elements of a brand. It’s rare that only one colour will “work” as the solution for a brand or that as a designer I’m compelled to use a specific colour, though this can be the case when putting together a rebrand and the old brand colours have value.

So how do I go about picking colours? Is it some sort of huge colour-wheel-or-fortune that I spin? Wouldn’t it be great if that was a workable choice? The answer is very rarely the same for each different brand, it something that develops as you resarch the project and begin to get a feel for the client.

In one example, when working on a project in Walthamstow, down in London village, it became apparent that the character of the borough itself would direct the colour apect of the brief. I had a grand tour of the area alongside a sunny March day with the customer and we were able to have a good few hours exploring and chatting.

This helped across the whole project of course, and with a bucket full of photos from my visit and a desire to bring out the locality within the brand, it especially aided me in selecting colours. Add in a splash of confidence & ambition from the customer and I was able to select a range of bold colours to apply to the branding.

Colour swatches on images.

BRAND STORIES by Kieran Harrod


Why I travelled to Aberdeen when I could have stayed at my desk in Derby…

A project that I could have completed “from my desk” but developed into something much better with some on-the-ground research.


Small Touches, Big Difference

Finding those little touches that bring the brand together as a whole.

Why choose Kieran Harrod Graphics for your Branding or Logo Design?

Kieran takes a unique approach, diving deep into the story that made you, you. What’s the story behind your thriving business that has led you to invest in logo or branding design? In consultation with you, he experiments with a multitude of relevant elements, including your physical environment, your product or service, your mission and values and your USPs. This process means that your resulting brand will have a wealth of meaning to your stakeholders, as well as a beautifully compelling visual design. 


• Award-winning Brand Designer
• Over 20 years graphic design experience
• UK & International logo design experience
• Unique passion for creative ideas grounded in integrity
• Brand design that connects on a human level
• Tools and advice on applying your brand graphics
• Intense and committed focus on few, high-quality projects at any time
• Use elements of your story & environment to create a brand that MEANS something


Give Kieran a call now to discuss your brand values – and his next available project space.

Kieran Harrod Portrait