Color Palettes can sometimes be the hardest part when designing a backdrop. Creating the right color palette can make or break your backdrop. Inspiration comes from many sources when trying to achieve the perfect color palette for your backdrop, but as you plan your event color schemes, be sure to take in account these important factors.
1. Client Preference
When hosting consultations, it is important to pay attention to more than just what your client is requesting. Notice their temperament, the atmosphere of the venue that they decided to meet in and even the colors they are wearing. In addition to taking into account what the client loves, be sure to also ask about what they don’t love. This is critical because that blue accent fabric may look exquisite in your backdrop design, but if it’s a color they hate it can surely be a huge disappointment. A great way to get a feel for what your client likes/dislikes is to bring a portfolio with sketches and a possible color palette for their event.
2. Industry Inspiration
One of my favorite places to find inspiration for my color palettes is Pinterest. Pinterest is the perfect resource when looking for design inspiration as well as color schemes. You can see how well colors were executed in previously designed images which can be a great guide of what to do or simply what not to do. You can also find inspiration in your competition. Maybe you see a great color combo designed by a competitor but perhaps you can put your own spin on it! I love doing this because it is like a personal challenge to stay up to date and know what my competitors are doing too.
This easy tip never gets old. Every December Pantone Color Institute announces its Pantone color of the year which always spikes conversation and inspiration. Many designers aim to be one of the first to create something lavish incorporating this color into their color palettes. It’s good to stay on top of the trends and in the loop of what’s hot in your marketplace. This not only presents you as someone who is relevant, but also flexible when it comes to your style.
Color plays a very important role in everyone’s life starting with the culture that they are raised in and even in their day to day moods. It is important to note the culture of your client when planning their color palette, because not all cultures see colors the same. For example, in western culture, the color white is associated with innocence whereas in many Asian cultures, white is associated with death. This is why many traditional Asian weddings feature a bride in red rather than white. Therefore, if you are planning an event for a client with a culture that you are unfamiliar with, be sure to ask what colors they want left out and do not assume that your clients have the same color associations as you do.
Have you ever heard of someone say they are feeling blue? How about tickled pink? Color is often associated with tone and mood. Certain color palettes will strike certain kinds of emotions, so it is important to be careful when pairing colors. Aim for specific colors that will convey the correct message of the event. When designing a color scheme for an event that you cannot determine the tone for, be sure to ask what message your clients want to convey. Heard clients are happy clients!
6. Online Tools
There are so many tools that will eliminate the guesswork from trying to know which colors pair well. It’s as easy as clicking a button! Just be careful that you don’t go overboard. I have found myself in color inspiration spirals where I consider changing my entire brand! My go-to tool is Colors.co because it’s so easy to use and super fast. It generates color palettes with the click of a button. It provides me with super fast color palettes that I can easily implement in any design. Another tool that I use is the Colorwheel which is a perfect tools for those who understand color harmony. If you are not quite sure of the different effects that color harmonies produce, check out my live training on “How to use the Color Wheel to Create Harmonious Backdrops.”
In the end…
In the end, color chemes are all about taking what you love and mixing it with color science/client preference. For every design, you should trust your gut. If you don’t like the color palette, you will find yourself dragging to complete the project. I know that when I am working with color combinations that I am proud of, I find myself completing things so much faster! If you find yourself struggling to pick out new fabric after you have created the color palette, check out my post on the 3 Mistakes that can Cost you BIG when choosing Fabric.