How to choose the right color shades/tints for branding?

I’ve read a lot about color theoretical methods to pick a harmonic color palette (e.g. for branding), but I always wondered how to pick the corresponding shades and tints (see Google’s material design color palette for example).

Is there a proper way to choose darker and brighter variants of the original colors without loosing color harmony (especially between a original color and a variant of another)?


This is exactly what the HSB colour model is for. HSB splits the colour into the values Hue (H), or colour type; Saturation (S), or (inverse) amount of white in the colour; and Brightness (B), (inverse) amount of black.

enter image description here

Hue is expressed in degrees, with 0° being red, and 180° being cyan.

Saturation and Brightness are expressed in precentages. 0% Saturation is just white, no colour, and 100% is no white, just the colour. 0% Brightness is all black and 100% brightness has no black left mixed in.

Any current design program has a colour picker that includes the HSB (or HSV) model. Pick the colour you want alternatives for, and play around with its S and B values. As a rule of thumb, decrease saturation for a lighter variant and decrease brightness for a darker one.

All these variants harmonise with your base colour naturally.

The HSB model is a great base to build entire colour palettes on, using only a few values of H and creating variants of those with S and B. If you use colour theory to choose your base values of H so they harmonise, then their variants created by changing S and B will also harmonise with each other.

Source : Link , Question Author : debite , Answer Author : Vincent

Leave a Comment