How To: Choose a Color Scheme for a Brochure
Does your personality exude the color green with a natural lifestyle? Or are you more like the color black, living it up in luxury. Whatever your personality, use color to convey your meaning.

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Choosing the right colors for a brochure can be difficult, especially for new businesses that still need to establish an identity. These tips will help you come up with a good color scheme to use in your advertising.


The search for a well-suited color scheme starts with in-depth analysis. The first thing you need to know is where your business stands and what your brochure will be about.

Defining in clear terms what kind of message you want to deliver to your potential clients will give you the best clues to find the palette to use in your publication.

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If you already have photos you want to use in the brochure, you can use them as a reference to build a scheme. If the photos have a well-defined style, you will find all the hues for a consistent theme.

Picking colors straight from a photo is fairly easy. You just need a photo editor with a color sampling tool. There are also several online services that will analyze any given photo and extract a palette from it.

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Source: mybluelight-stock.deviantart.com


There are a couple of sites you should visit if you need help: Kuler and ColourLovers. They have palette generators that don’t require any knowledge of color theory or color psychology on your part, as they will automatically build a palette in seconds by following mathematical formulas.

You can fine-tune the results if you want, but this is not necessary. These sites are associated user communities where you will find hundreds of ready-to-use palettes.

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The core of the science of colors is a matter of applying precise formulas, so if you’re interested in this side of the process, you can just follow a few basic rules to create a good color palette.

With a color wheel in hand, you can build any color scheme from scratch knowing that:

  • Monochromatic uses variation in saturation and lightness of the same color.
  • Complementary uses two opposite colors.
  • Analogous uses adjacent colors.
  • Triadic uses three equally spaced colors.
  • Tetradic uses two complementary pairs.
  • Split complementary uses one color and two adjacent to its complementary.

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Choosing colors is not just a matter of how the brochure should look, but also about its message to the readers. Colors have specific meanings, and knowing what each color stands for can help you select the best scheme.

White is commonly used in advertising and focuses on beauty and medical services. Grays and blues are preferred by corporate businesses, while green is preferred by companies promoting natural lifestyle and organic products. Black is often associated with luxury items, and red often marks special offers.

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Building a palette for advertising purposes is about combining attractive hues that will look good together and reinforcing a message with the aid of the colors.

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About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
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6 Comments

  1. yellow yellow yellow!

  2. hmm, i rarely think about matching color schemes when we order our brochures, I just have our guy thow stuff together. then again, i have a terrible eye for art and such.

  3. Hello !!!
    How to get a brochure theme for technical products, including color combinations.

    • Kristi Maddox (Printaholic.com)

      Hi Neel! We are in the works of publishing a how-to article on this subject within a few weeks. Be on the lookout for this article!