Shadowcat Rebrand: Colour

Over the next few posts, I’m going to take you through a different aspect of my own rebrand. Today, I’ll be talking about one of my favourite parts of the design process (who am I kidding – they’re all my favourite!), we’re talking colour palettes!

Colour has a huge part to play in the visual elements of branding. There have been studies that show colour drives engagement and influences buying decisions. Adding colour to blog posts, product guides, print advertising and other brand collateral increases readership by 80% – that’s huge!

A poorly chosen brand palette can be restrictive, limiting and frustrating. This leads to inconsistency as you compensate by adding in more unaligned colours, or lacks impact because you can’t create interest or depth or need.

So how do you choose an engaging, selection of colours when there are literally millions to choose from?

Grab a cuppa, and allow me to shed some light.


When I’m working with my clients, there are some key areas I consider before choosing colours.

These include:

  • What are the common colours within the client’s industry
  • What are the common colours within their ideal client’s industry
  • Is there an expectation (for example green for eco, blue for technology etc)
  • The personality of my client’s business
  • Where are they going to show up (web, print etc)
  • What feelings does the business need to communicate
  • Are there any other factors that could impact the core colour choices

With my branding, I wanted to keep the essence of what I’ve built to help maintain brand recognition. Although the palette is a development of my existing colours, there was a significant amount of consideration that went into my decisions.

First up, here is my new palette (I’m so excited for this!)

Now to break it down…

Overall Colour Palette:

The base colours I have chosen for my palette are…drumroll… black and white.

But Tammi (I hear you cry) when you specialise in capturing personalities, why would you choose such a simple combination?!

Well, dear reader, it is BECAUSE of that very skill that I decided to keep my own palette classic.

It allows my client’s work to stand out against my own brand, showcasing both them and my own stuff clearly and distinctively. I have the absolute best job of being able to create multiple brands and I want to be able to show them off in the spotlight they deserve without it clashing against my own identity.

Black and white keeps it clean, professional, neutral but high end and full of statement. Adding pops of colour adds depth and interest. Remember your brand is a full experience, for me, the colours need to work in harmony with my portfolio.

A bold palette choice with a huge amount of intention and thought behind it – even if it is ‘just’ black and white.


Adding colour to blog posts, product guides, print advertising and other brand collateral increases readership by 80%.

Colour Psychology

My, my, my – where to start. Colour psychology as a whole is how we as humans perceive colour. This is a huge topic that I’ll cover in more detail in multiple future posts. For now, here is a peek at the psychology behind my colour choices.

Seasonal colour psychology:

Psychologist Angela Wright began to explore how colour affects our mood, and found links between colours and human behaviour that are objective. These were simplified into ‘seasons’.

I am 100% a winter. Winter is the only season that uses black (so that’s a dead giveaway!) and is the palette of the expert. It’s clean, crisp and professional. Simple but high end. Fiona Humberstone writes beautifully about seasonal colours in this blog post if your curiosity is peaked.


The Winter personality is usually highly focused on the task in hand and excellent at both the big picture and drilling down into the detail

– Fiona Humberstone, The Brand Stylist

Traditional colour psychology:

This covers the common foundations of colour and is probably the one you’re more familiar with. Here are the key values typically associated with the colours I’ve chosen for my brand:

Black – efficiency, sophistication, high end, professional, uncompromising.

White – clean, simple, efficiency, purity, new, space.

Blue – calming, trust, communication, logic, clarity, logic, reflection.

Tan – down-to-earth, warm, approachable, friendly, sincere, reliable, natural, earthy.

Gold – success, achievement, triumph, luxury, sophistication, wealth, quality.

All of the above have psychological values that I want my business to inspire in my audience. This is how I want them to feel and that is what the brand experience is all about – how you make people feel. To inspire them to interact, engage and eventually to buy from you.

Personal Choice

Yes, there is a magnitude of science, theory and psychology that goes into colour choices. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your own influence too – after all, it is your business and your brand needs to inspire you as much as your audience.

For me, blue is my favourite colour (along with most of the world!).

I ADORE the black and white combo for it’s duality and timeless balance. It’s bold but understated and can be dressed up or down to suit the mood or audience.

Gold is for those beautiful print finishes that I can include in my printed materials because I am a paper nerd and need those foils in my world.

And tan. Tan is a new addition to my palette and it’s very specifically from a place of love because it is the colour of my tea. That right there is the glorious colour of Yorkshire Gold, well-brewed with a splash of milk. It’s a little easter egg to have included my tea obsession habit within my branding. It brings me so much joy!


Brand experience is all about how you make people feel; inspire them to interact, engage and potentially buy from you.

Wow, all of that I didn’t even begin to cover the shades I chose! We’ll save that for another day. Your tea is probably cold or gone by now.

I hope this gives you an insight into the depth a brand designer, like myself, dives to when choosing the colours for your brand. I’ve taken you from 9 circles to personal insights about me and my business, and you can see how my colour choices fully embody my brand values (see yesterday’s post here).

They have been chosen with intention, capture my personality, empower both me and my clients and through this post I have educated you.

And THAT is why branding starts with strategy.

Mic drop.

Ready to dive into a brand that showcases how magnificent you are?
Book a free discovery call here and let’s chat all things brand.

Yours intentionally – Tammi x

Sources for post:

Shadowcat Rebrand: Colour Header

Branding, Colour

join the


Brand + marketing tips, business advice, inspiration + more.
 Be the first to hear about blog posts, freebies + events.
I might sneak in the odd exclusive for you too.

weekly email. unsubscribe anytime. Cat photos as standard.

© 2020 Shadowcat Creative Limited | registered number 12544522 | DESIGN BY SHADOWCAT CREATIVE | template by high moon studiO