How to Make Your Own Instagram Color Palette

Instagram is all about the visual experience: Beautiful images and an Instagram color palette that pulls your feed together!

But what if you don’t know how to combine color shades? Or maybe your brand colors don’t fit into the most popular color palettes on Instagram. That’s okay! 

We’re bringing you expert tips and examples to tailor your palette to your brand. Learn how to get a color palette on Instagram with this quick tutorial!

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What is an Instagram Color Palette?

Are you scratching your head and wondering what the heck a color palette on Instagram even looks like? We’ve got you.

Your palette is a collection of colors that tie your images together. A color palette guides you in picking photos that match your brand. Plus, a palette also keeps your feed from looking messy!

And there are a TON of color palette options on Instagram.

neutral instagram color feed
@k.els.e.y‘s neutral Instagram color palette.

Some Instagram feeds use neutral shades with a pop of color in every photo. Others use several shades of the same color to create a cohesive look. 

But your Instagram theme is about more than aesthetics and pretty colors!

A consistent look increases brand awareness and trust in your company. Without a defined palette, you risk confusing your audience.

And, as Lucidpress reports, “71% of companies list customer confusion as the biggest negative impact of an inconsistent brand.”

So, a defined color palette can really help you stay on track! In return, your fans recognize your brand and feel comfortable engaging with your account.

Plus, did we mention creating color palettes is fun?

Ready to get started? Woohoo!

Let’s boost familiarity with your brand and freshen up your Instagram feed by choosing the best color palette for Instagram!

Making an Instagram Color Palette: Do’s and Don’ts

Learn how to get a color palette on Instagram using our recommended best practices. These dos and don’ts help you create and use an Instagram color palette with ease! 

  • DO: Add your existing brand colors to your theme.
  • DO: Pick a color palette that fits with the photos you frequently post.
  • DON’T: Choose colors at random (as you’ll confuse your audience and disrupt your feed.)
  • DON’T: Post photos on the fly! This increases the chance that your image won’t mesh correctly with your theme and colors.

How to Build Your Own Color Palette for Instagram

From your website to social media channels, your brand colors have meaning. Your best bet is to choose colors that get a response from your audience and ones that fit your brand style!

Right about now you may be wondering, what is my Instagram color palette? Well, let’s find out! ️‍♀️

All you need is one key color, and a little room to experiment. With these two things, you can build at least five different types of color palettes for Instagram

Step 1: Choose Your Main Instagram Color

The best color palette for Instagram is one that uses your primary brand or company color.

After all, you put time into choosing your brand color, right?

So, it makes sense to use it in your Instagram color palette. 

This way, when people click from your website to your Instagram feed, they know they’re in the right place!

And, it gives you some wiggle room.

If you want to switch Instagram themes later, it’s easier since you’re building off of one color from your brand.

monochromatic instagram feed with pops of colors
@creativeandcoffee has a recognizable pink Instagram color theme with splashes of color.

Step 2: Get Familiar with the Color Wheel

Remember the color wheels with seven slices of bright colors?

Or perhaps you’re more familiar with the colors of a rainbow:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV).

build an instagram color palette with a 12-shade color wheel.

Today we’re using an expanded version of the color wheel using 12 colors. This wheel adds: 

  • Pink
  • Red-orange
  • Yellow-orange
  • Yellow-green
  • Yellow-blue

A color wheel helps you map out how each shade relates to the other.

It’s a handy source of inspiration! (Feel free to pin our Wheel of Fortune to reference later!)  

Plus, you’ll gain a bit of confidence knowing that professional designers rely on the same wheel to make color palette selections.

Step 3: Brush Up On Mixology

Chances are, you’re not looking to use all primary colors. To help build color palettes of one or two key colors, it helps to understand which ways you can move up and down the color scale to pull new color shades and tints!

Here’s a crash course on how color mixology works!

If you’re looking for darker shades based on your key color, here’s how they’re created.

Deeper shades of color are created by mixing black into the primary color.

You can get a range of shades depending on the level of black you add!

Tint is created with the opposite!

You can get lighter versions of your key colors to use by just adding a little (or a lot!) of white.

Adding any neutral color (like black, white or grey) will reduce the chroma (read: colorfulness) of a color without changing the hue (the color it is on the color wheel.)

For a middle-of-the-road option, you’ll produce a tone by mixing your base color with grey.

Depending on the shade of grey you blend in, your toned color will be slightly lighter or darker than your base color.

You won’t get as many dramatic variations with grey, but you will get several strong neutral variants to complement your brand.

Step 4: Build Your Instagram Color Palette

Okay. Got your key color? ✅Did you take a gander at the color wheel? ✅Brushed up on mixology basics? ✅

Now it’s time to start building your Instagram color palette. Below we list five color palette ideas for Instagram used by professionals. These are five key styles that inform most professional color palettes you see out in the wild!

Start with your brand color, then pick the wheel that speaks to you. Which one says “this is MY Instagram palette?”  

Monochromatic Instagram Color Palette

Monochromatic means one color. But in this palette, you aren’t using only one color. Instead, you’ll pull different shades from the same color family. For example, you may choose all different shades of blue or green. 

On Instagram, the monochromatic scheme is popular because it’s easy to get started with.

It’s also not hard to remember when you’re building your feed.

Is it monochromatic the best color palette for Instagram?

Well, many Instagrammers would answer that question with YES!

monochromatic color palettes on instagram use shades from one color family

Complementary Instagram Color Palette

complementary insta color palette- use two opposite colors on the color wheel

The second-most popular type of palette is the complementary Instagram color palette.

This palette uses two colors that are direct opposites from each other on the color wheel. 

This combination really catches your eyes and stands out.

Graphic designer Victoria Hiraoka tells us why, and the best balance to make it work for you! 

“In this example, we have teal which is opposite of red-orange on the color wheel. A good rule of thumb is 60% of one color, 30% of the opposite color, and 10% neutrals.”

Victoria Hiraoka

Analogous Instagram Color Palette

In contrast to complementary, you choose two shades touching your main color on the wheel when building an analogous palette.

Here’s how it works!

Find your brand’s color on the wheel.

Then, choose a shade or shades from either side of it.

analogous colors on color wheel

Triad Instagram Color Palette

We’re not going to lie: the triad color palette for Instagram is tricky to pull off. You get a vibrant feed. But, it can quickly become a lot to take in. If you aren’t careful about visually planning your feed, it can quickly turn messy!

Up to the challenge? Triad palettes are complex, but beautiful, vibrant and artistic.

use three shades of color in your instagram feed

With a little practice and a lot of focus, you can really transform your feed with a triad color palette!

A triad uses any three shades that are of equal distance from one another on the color wheel.

In our triad wheel, notice that there are three colors between each shade we chose!

The best way to incorporate a triad color palette on Instagram is to use the 60/30/10 ratio. Then, sprinkle in some neutrals to tone those color splashes down and keep everything nice and balanced! 

Neutral Plus Instagram Color Palette

A neutral Plus Instagram feed soothes your viewers and contains just the right pop of color to appeal to audiences of all style preferences!

Neutral shades are also very on-trend right now, being one of the major graphic design trends emerging in 2020.

 “It might be tempting on this one to let the color overshadow the neutrals, but your color pop is best used sparingly.

The lower the percentage of your chosen color pop is, the more attention it grabs!”

Victoria Hiraoka
how to make a neutral instagram feed with pops of color

The Best Color Palette Generator Apps

There are so many options, we know! If you’re having trouble choosing just one color palette for Instagram, there are a ton of apps built to help!  We’ve narrowed this list down to our top three IG color palette apps. Get ready to get inspired!

App #1: Canva 

  • Available on desktop, iOS, and Android 
  • 3 Plans: Free, Pro: $9.95 per user/month, or Enterprise: $30 per user/month 

Canva is an all-in-one photo editing and image creation service. But, it has a robust color palette generator tool as well.

You can simply use an inspiration photo! Upload the photo and Canva will generate an Instagram color palette based on the picture.

Or use Canva’s color wheel tool for a custom selection. Plus, it’s free to search hundreds of palettes by colors, keywords, or themes!

App #2: Colordot by Hailpixel

  • Available on iOS 
  • Free on a desktop or a $0.99 iOS app download

Colordot is a unique and fun way to choose a color palette for Instagram.

The desktop and iOS versions are full screens. Just use your camera to capture colors.

Or swipe to change your hue, lightness, and saturation. This app gives you endless options to find precisely what you want!

App #3: Palette

With thousands of 5-star reviews, Palette is a fantastic Instagram color picker. It’s easy to generate a palette from any photo or web link.

Plus, it gives you HEX codes for use across multiple platforms. 

If you’d prefer to leave all of the crazy template-building to someone else so you can focus on other aspects of your business, Tailwind Create creates your templates for you! All you have to do is add in your business, select the images you’d like to feature, pick your brand colors, and presto, you’ll have dozens of templates ready in seconds!

Try out Tailwind Create for free!

Schedule and Post Your Color Palette to Instagram

Of course, designing a gorgeous color palette for Instagram is just one piece of the puzzle. After all, it’s tough to visualize how just one picture looks in in your entire 9-grid.

Instagram feed planner app from Tailwind

That’s where Tailwind’s Instagram planning app makes life so much easier.

Our 9-Grid Preview Tool lets you upload all your photos in one batch.

Then, you can drag and drop your photos until you find the perfect arrangement of balanced, beautiful color!

Plus, once you’ve arranged your beautiful Instagram feed,  you can schedule your posts at the very best times for optimal engagement – all within our new Instagram planner app!

Itching to paint your Instagram life just a little brighter? Download our new app on iOS or Android now!

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A Guide to the Sincere Brand Personality

The sincere brand personality is one of the five dimensions of brand personality developed by Jennifer Aaker. This framework helps clarify the voice, tone, and presence of a brand to its customers – and is enormously helpful when it comes to marketing and positioning a product or service!

In this guide, we’ll talk about the brand personality of sincerity, the key personality traits it has, and some well-known examples of sincere brands out in the world.

Let’s dive in!

Sincere Brand Personality Traits

The sincere brand personality has four key traits associated with it in the 5 Dimensions of Brand Personality Framework. These traits include being down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. Sincere brands are usually responsible, committed to their customers, give a feeling of caring, and are geared towards family and/or home. 

Brands that focus on ethics, sustainability, and transparency are most likely sincere as well!

An In-Depth Example of a Sincerity Brand: Patagonia 

Now, let’s look at an example of a sincerity brand up close, to get an idea of how a brand with this personality embodies it throughout their marketing strategy, positioning and initiatives.

Traits to describe a sincere brand, from the 5 Dimensions of Brand Personality

Patagonia, a popular hiking and outdoor recreation company embody a ton of the traits mentioned here. Patagonia is responsible, committed to ethics and sustainability, and comes across as down-to-earth and honest.

In particular, Patagonia’s sincerity speaks to the outdoor enthusiasts who care about the environment, which makes up the bulk of their audience.

Here’s where their sincere brand personality really shines:

Mission Statement

Patagonia’s mission statement is honest and impactful – “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

The company’s mission statement calls out that earth is under the threat of extinction, and Patagonia intends to use the resources they have – business, investments, voice, and imagination – to do something about it.
It’s easy to see where the personality traits of honesty, responsibility, and ethics tie into the reason for Patagonia’s business model and how and what it provides to its customers.

One key learning about brand personality is not that it’s because that’s who your brand decided to be that day, but because you’ve built your brand around your audience and what they care about most. In Patagonia’s case – the planet and climate change.

Company Core Values

Patagonia has four core company values: Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, and not bound by convention. 

Footprint Reports

Patagonia is making progress towards reducing their impact on the environment and shares with customers how they’re accomplishing this. From environmental responsibility, social responsibility, to where and who the company does business with so consumers know how the clothes are made.

Patagonia also shares out the progress they have made as a company regularly to support their efforts and remain transparent and accountable to customers. 

Marketing Strategy and Campaigns

Patagonia’s sincerity as a brand is also reflected in their marketing campaigns. In 2021’s Holiday season, they launched the “Give a Damn” campaign – a multi-level educational and marketing initiative to encourage customers to give gifts to loved ones in line with the company ethos of doing business to help the planet.

These are just some of the ways that Patagonia displays their honest, down-to-earth, and responsible approach to branding and business. There are many more examples throughout their website, social media, and marketing campaigns.

And, there are many more examples of sincere brands in the wild! In the next section, we’ll list some more popular examples to help give you sincere branding inspiration!

Sincere Brand Personality Examples

1. Disney

Disney is one of the most well-known sincere brand personalities out there. With traits like decency, caring, cheerful, and being family-oriented, Disney aims to entertain and inspire the people of the world with its many product lines and entertainment.

2. Hallmark

Hallmark is another great example, embodying the trait of caring. Its many product lines – from greeting cards, gifts movies, and children’s products aim to create a more emotionally connected world.

3. Madewell

Madewell’s down-to-earth, no-fuss branding and quality products make it a fan favorite for clothing and apparel. Madewell’s focus is on making great jeans – and complementary products to go with them.

4. Universal Standard

Universal Standard was started by two people who were troubled by the lack of access to sizes for all bodies. Not only did Universal Standard challenge a limited sizing model for women’s clothing, it also dedicated itself to empowering women with programs like Fit Liberty and being transparent and ethical about sourcing and creation of its products.

What other sincere brands can you think of? Give them a shoutout in the comments below!

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The sincere brand personality is one of the five dimensions of brand personality. Learn the traits and see examples here!

December Marketing Dates to Remember ( + Post Ideas!)

December Marketing Dates header

‘Tis the greatest time of year!! Whether you’re a Pagan, Christian, witch, or Agnostic, December has something for us all.

This month is jam-packed with traditions and holidays that are meant to bring you and your loved ones together, along with opportunities to reflect on this past year. Including several opportunities to give back, from National Human Rights Month to Christmas Day. 

December is a beautiful opportunity to show the people who matter to you, that you love them and why you do. The reason for the season goes beyond gift-giving, and above all else, it’s about authentically connecting to your heritage and roots. And being thankful for the beautiful things in your life, whether they’re currently there, or they were once there and have since left.

So let’s all eat some yummy pears during National Pear Month, and eat all of the cookies on National Cookie Day. And don’t forget to drive responsibly this National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

And let’s finish this year with a bang on New Year’s Eve!

See ya next year, friends!

December is the month of…

  • National Pear Month
    • December recognizes the highly underrated fruit, pears. This fruit is highly versatile, being deliciously delectable whether it’s fresh off the tree, made into preserves, or baked into a bread gooey goodness. In the United States alone there are 10 different varieties of pears. Let’s all do our taste buds a favor and enjoy some pear slices along with a nice glass of wine and some fancy cheese.
  • National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month
    • This time of year is one of the most common times to party and drink. In fact, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals says this is “One of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving.” While it’s fun connecting with friends and family members during this special time of the year, choose not to drive impaired. It could cost someone their life. 
  • National Human Rights Month
    • National Human Rights Month encourages people in the US to stand for equality, justice, and dignity for all humans. It’s a reminder that people are people and we all deserve respect and our basic needs being met.
  • Spiritual Literacy Month ☯
    • Spiritual Literacy Month invites us to go deeper and broaden our minds of spirituality, faith, or religion. Spirituality is a belief in practice in something bigger than humanity.
December Marketing Dates Spiritual Literacy Month post
  • Worldwide Food Service Safety Month
    • This time of year is catered around food and eating making this the perfect time to encourage food safety both in the service industry and at home. Did you know one in ten people become sick every year from eating contaminated food? And it’s estimated 420,000 die every year from diseases related to unsafe food? Many of these illnesses can have long-term health problems! The more you educate yourself, the safer you’ll be.

December Monthly Post Ideas

  1. In honor of National Pear Month, you can post a charcuterie board featuring the fruit of the month. Along with some pairings that’ll make them really stand out!
  2. Share safety tips around the holidays for National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Some tips can include: planning ahead, designating a sober driver, arranging for an alternative way home, and offering non-alcoholic options. 
  3. Read a book you wouldn’t normally for Spiritual Literacy Month. It could be a chance to learn a different perspective and you can challenge your audience to do the same!
  4. Create a Reel with food safety tips for Worldwide Food Service Safety Month. Show your audience what it looks like to carefully and safely prepare food. Not to be dramatic, but, you could save a life!

Important Weeks in December

  • National Cookie Cutter Week (December 5 – December 11)
    • The first week of December leads right into the holiday spirit with celebrating sweet treats! Namely Santa’s favorite treat. This week celebrates all the fun that comes with cookie cutters and homemade sweets!
  • National Influenza Week (December 5 – December 11)
    • This week highlights the importance of the yearly flu vaccine. The flu usually peaks in December and February so the time to get the vaccine is now!
  • National Hand Washing Awareness Week (December 5 – December 11)
    • Let’s get hygienic! This week encourages making a good habit of hand hygiene in order to prevent infections and sicknesses.
  • Computer Science Education Week (December 13 – December 19)
    • This week is referred to as the largest learning event in history, aiming to get K-12 students excited about computer coding and the importance of computer science. 
  • Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)
    • Kwanzaa was created in 1966 and is a holiday that celebrated and honors African heritage and African-American culture. Kwanzaa ties together several African harvest celebrations and values as it encourages families to come together, eat, and light a candle each day for one week.
December Marketing Post Kwanza screenshot

December Weekly Post ideas

  • Get to baking with National Cookie Cutter Week! Make your favorite cookies, experiment with different shapes, get them beautified and ready for Instagram, then post it using #CookieCutterWeek!
  • Share yourself getting the flu vaccine to promote National Influenza week! You can also share some stats like, there are 49 million flu illnesses, and 79,000 people die each year from the flu or flu-related complications.
  • Create a handwashing Reel for National Hand Washing Awareness Week. Show how to do so properly, along with how long it should take, and the benefits of handwashing. 
  • Educate your audience on Kwanzaa and its significance, including the seven principles of this holiday. Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. 

Important Days in December

December 1 – Rosa Parks Day

  • On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. While the law didn’t allow bus drivers to require black passengers to give us their seats to white passengers, many bus drivers at the time demanded they did when the bus became full. On this day Rosa Parks was told to give up her seat and she refused which lead her to get arrested, and found guilty. Many African American leaders including Martin Luther King Jr organized a Montgomery Bus Boycott in response which lasted several months and devastated the transportation system in the city. 

December 4 – National Cookie Day

  • Did you know cookies first appeared in Persia in the 7th century? They were founded shortly after Persians began using sugar. The sweet invention spread to Europe throughout the 14th century, before arriving in American in the 17th century. This day honors the many version of this treat.

December 10 – Human Rights Day

  • This day honors the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) formed by the United Nations. Inside this declaration are 30 articles that outline basic human rights for all people and all nations.

December 16 – National Chocolate-covered Anything Day

  • December 16th is dedicated to all the chocolate fanatics out there! Use this day as an excuse to drizzle chocolate over whatever your heart desires!

December 17 – National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

  • Even though this holiday was founded in 2011, it has since gone on to become an international celebration encouraging holiday lovers to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters.
December Marketing Dates post ugly Christmas sweater

December 21 – Winter Solstice ❄

  • The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. From December 1st until the end of February marks the coldest time of year for the Northern hemisphere. 

December 21 – Yule 

  • Yule is the same day as the Winter Solstice and began being celebrated thousands of ears before Christmas. Christmas borrowed many of its traditions from this Anglo-Saxon holiday, namely gift-giving, decorating with holly, mistletoe, feasting, and decorating evergreen trees.

December 24 – Christmas Eve

  • December 24th kicks off the modern-day Christmas traditions. The traditions vary from person to person as some focus on the holiday from a religious perspective, and others don’t. It’s also the day when Santa Clause flies across the world delivering presents. 

December 25 – Christmas

  • Traditionally, Christmas is celebrated as the day Jesus Christ was born. However, it’s celebrated culturally too. The most popular tradition is gift-giving, acknowledging the Magi who brought gifts to Jesus after his birth. 

December 31 – New Years Eve

  • New Year’s Eve marks the last day of the year, closing a chapter and bringing in a new one. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what went right and what could have been better during the past year. Along with an opportunity to strategize by making goals for the upcoming year. 

December Daily Post Ideas

  • Rosa Parks was one incredibly brave individual who instead of shrinking she decided to let her voice be heard, and she knew she deserved to be treated better. For Rosa Parks Day you can share her story, and how her small act of courage had a lasting impact on the city of Montgomery, Alabama. 
  • Share your favorite cookie recipe for National Cookie Day! In order to spread a little kindness you could bake cookies for some friends and encourage your audience to spread the sweetness this holiday season!
  • Have a chocolate dipping party for National Chocolcate-covered Anything Day! See what new concoctions you can come up with and share the final results with your audience!
  • Wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day and don’t forget to use #UglyChristmasSweaterDay! Just remember, if it didn’t get documented on the ‘gram, did it even happen?
  • America spends on average $465 billion dollars on Christmas gifts each year. Instead of sharing what you got on your feed, what if instead you shared a kind act someone did for you? Help remind your audience of the reason for the season which is gratitude. Share that despite what life looks like, there’s always something we can be thankful for.

This month, choose to slow down…

For years we’ve been wrapped up in hustle culture, pushing ourselves to burnout, and leaving us feeling like we’re not enough. That we can’t accomplish all we desire, that we have to spend money to show our love, that the things we have currently aren’t enough for us to be happy.

But, what if instead of focusing on what we don’t have and want, we focused on what we have and love? What makes our lives easier. What makes our hearts feel at home. What inspires and excites us. 

It can be easy to get tied up in the idea of giving and receiving from others during the holiday season but don’t forget that your own soul wants to give to you the most. And your soul wants to receive the most what it can only get by you. Specially, you honoring your energy, not pushing yourself, and giving yourself the love you deserve from deep within. 

Make a list of the things you’re thankful for in your life, once you start writing them down I bet they’ll end up being more than you realized.

Happy holidays, friends!

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Learn what special holidays are worth adding to your content calendar for December! From Yule to #NationalHandWashingMonth, we've got it all!