We were presented with an interesting design problem the other day. The company was very well-known and branded nationally on a conservative blue color scheme. There was also some pewter in their logo.
The design was to be for a trade show display. But these must first and foremost grab eyeballs with dramatic colors and images. Reflex blue isn't going to do that. And it made no sense for the company to change their whole color scheme.
This is where the color wheel comes into play. There are other colors that will work with their basic colors and yet be much more vibrant. Done right, you end up with a group of colors that work well together, provide the correct kind of visual effect, look different than the competition and which have the correct emotional associations.
That group of colors is what is called a "color palette." This normally involves one or two main colors and one or more other colors to be used in smaller amounts.
The choice of a suitable color palette for a company or project, is one of the most important steps in marketing.
Art at work.