In marketing, colors are so much more than a HEX code. They can communicate as much as your copy—if you know what you’re doing.
Imagine a banana-flavored candy wrapper without any yellow on it—the designer missed out on an important message, right? You might be able to read that the flavor’s banana, but you don’t know at first glance.
2022 brought us plenty of marketing trends to watch for in 2023, including color palettes to use in your marketing materials.
Here are four of them to try out this year and how to use them to their fullest potential.
The Importance of Color Palettes in Marketing
Color affects the emotions and tone in your marketing. But, it can be tricky to measure how it does that.
As Help Scout points out, color is a super subjective subject. We can guess what kind of emotion a color might evoke, but research suggests that a person’s reaction to a color depends on their experiences and preferences.
That data doesn’t mean that color doesn’t matter in marketing, though—quite the opposite. It shows you’ve got to get to know your customers, brand, and product and use color to make a message that fits them all. Do plenty of audience research to learn what colors resonate with your customers, then choose colors from there that match your brand and the message you want to get across.
Color is one of the tools you’ll need to create marketing that resonates with your customers. Learn to use it wisely, and your audience will be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Color Palettes Trending in 2023
We’ve seen these four types of color palettes gaining steam in marketing going into 2023.
As their name implies, earth-tone palettes include various shades of brown, sometimes paired with other colors found in nature, like green. The most common feelings that earth tones try to communicate are comfort, harmony, and cooperation with nature.
Let’s look at two earth tone palettes with different moods.
Look at how this earth tone palette includes two lighter browns and two darker browns for easy contrast.
Meanwhile, this palette throws a bit of a curveball by adding a splash of blue.
While a lot of marketing designs use earth tones to communicate comfort or modernity, these colors can be fun and vintage if you add a brighter hue. Look how Station Cold Brew uses a hit of red in its website and packaging to take you back to the old days of coffee:
Jewel tones represent their real-life counterparts with deep, saturated shades. Reds, blues, greens, oranges, and purples are all on the table as long as they’re intense and dark. Designs that feature jewel tones usually express sophistication, drama, or wealth.
A jewel tone palette can feature different shades of the same color, like in this purple example.
Or, you can go for the whole jewelry box with a mix of different hues like this palette.
In this landing page by Propcall, you’ll see how combining a jewel tone with black makes a page feel sophisticated—perfect for an industry like high-end property management.
The millennial pink trend paved the way for pastels to become popular in modern industries like tech and ecommerce. These light shades come in a wide range of tones that communicate everything from romance to peace. They often express calmer and happier emotions than darker shades due to their lightness.
Hues close to each other on the color wheel like these pinks, oranges, and yellows mix even better as pastels than they do in darker and richer shades.
Consider adding dark gray or black to your pastel palette to add a hint of sophistication.
Many modern websites use richer accent colors with their pastel palettes to add contrast, like in this event landing page by Lauren Hom. The bright green and pink pop against the pastel green background.
Neon/pop art colors
Looking to go bold? Use contrasting neon or primary (pop-art) colors in your marketing palette. Depending on the color combo, design elements, and context, these palettes can feel retro or modern.
For example, you could spin this palette as an 80’s color block or high-tech futurescape, depending on the images and typography you use.
You can also balance out the intensity of your bright colors with a neutral, like in this palette.
The website for the Playdate, a handheld game system, leans into its retro roots with contrasting bright colors like purple and yellow. Putting these complementary colors next to each other reminds us of the colors used in classic handheld games like the Game Boy Color.
How to Use Color Palettes Strategically on Your Landing Pages
Just as it did for the marketing samples you explored, color influences a landing page’s success. If you want to design a landing page that speaks to your visitors, you’ve got to appeal to the 39% who think color is your page’s most important visual element.
Follow these tips to rock your chosen color palette on your landing page:
- Choose primary colors and accent colors: If you pay attention to professionally designed websites, you’ll notice they don’t use every color in their palette evenly. Pick primary colors for your background and text and accent colors for elements you want to stick out like links and calls to action (CTAs).
- Use complementary and contrasting colors wisely: When you choose your color palette, grab a color calculator and explore the complementary and contrasting colors for your main color. As we covered in our guide to conversion-centered design, complementary and contrasting colors make great accent colors.
- Stick to three to four colors: Don’t go too crazy with the number of colors you use in your palette. Pick four colors at the max—any more, and your visitors might get overwhelmed.
- Don’t let your elements get lost: Since color palettes often include similar shades of the same color, be careful how you use them together. Make sure you have enough contrast to tell the elements on your page apart. For example, you wouldn’t want to put black text on a dark blue background.
- Make your CTA pop: Use a contrasting accent color on your CTA button to help it stand out from the rest of your landing page elements. You want your visitors’ eyes to go right to your CTA.
Match Your Palettes to Your Brand
It’s easy to get caught up in the latest marketing trend and forget to stay true to your brand’s goals and standards. If you decide to try one of the palettes from this blog post, make sure it fits your brand’s tone. For example, if you’re a rugged outdoor brand sponsored by Bear Grylls, a pastel palette probably won’t do the trick.
Go back to your brand’s main colors and think about the feelings you’re trying to evoke with them. Then, pick colors for your marketing that give a similar feel.
If you need to quickly reference your brand’s colors for your landing pages, save them to your Smart Builder style guide. You’ll have access to them whenever you want to make a new page.