What is a colour theme?

A colour theme or colour scheme is built on the idea of visual consistency. On Instagram, it holds your feed together. Remember in elementary school when you were taught your primary and secondary colours? Well, this goes a little more in-depth from that. When building a colour scheme, you use a colour wheel to select a palette for all your future posts.

Based on the colour wheel people usually gravitate towards Monochromatic, Analogous and Complementary colour schemes. But in simple terms we are looking to create is a colours palette that expresses a mood, presents a specific theme or represents an environment – we want something that is visually appealing to the eye, does not clash or blend in too much and [I’ll say it] is not ugly.

It’s your brand’s aesthetic.

Complementary – Made from a primary colour and secondary; these colours generally contrast with each other. They are across or opposite from each other on a colour wheel.

Analogous – Three to five colours found next to each other on a colour wheel. Usually, there is a primary colour as part of the foundation for this group of colours, creating a common ground like all cool or warm colours.

Monochromatic – These are the same colour hue; they are just different shades. They are different tones and tints, so adding more or less black or white to the colour makes it darker or lighter.

Maintaining a consistent colour scheme is hard but, the outcome is *chefs kiss* amazing!

Maintaining a Colour Theme

Using a colour theme makes visual and graphic design convenient. Once you choose your colours, creating graphics online goes way smoother.

But, your colour palette does not need to be extremely strict! Just because you choose those specific colours does not mean you can’t go a shade lighter or darker.

When you start considering photography it would be hard to stick to a precise theme, because not every image is going to have those exact colours.

That’s when creativity comes in. Finding new ways to make elements in your photo pop and be original while staying true to your theme is a challenge – but it’s a fun challenge.

Maybe each one of your photos has a pink detail in it big or small. Maybe you use the same elements for a graphic post but you switch the colours, so each post is unique.

Bigger picture: As a brand, if your using the same background when taking pictures of your product, unique compositions in a photo can express personality without using a single word. Build individuality by adding and changing the elements that surround your product.

At the end of the day, what we are looking for is consistency. You don’t have to choose a whole list of colours; maybe you choose one colour.

And your colour scheme does not have to be built of colours respectively. They can be filter combinations or a mixture of both filters and colour schemes.

The use of filters can help emphasize different features in photos and evoke different moods. What we are really trying to achieve is the idea of you know what you are doing, because we know you do! It’s just that every post should have an intention and organizing your posts, editing them, making sure your post fits a theme help construe that motive.

What is YOUR colour theme?

Your aesthetic on social media plays a role in catching a user’s eyes and, more importantly, brand awareness. You are really building your brand’s portfolio and identity [no pressure]. Inviting the idea of familiarity with a consistent theme can be helpful to your audience.

So, when you think of McDonald’s, what colours come to mind? Was it red and yellow? McDonald’s uses red and yellow on everything: food posters, title cards in advertisements, their logo – everything.

Some trendy colour scheme concepts to look into from over the years are pastel, neon, matte and nudes. You will notice these colour trends in fashion and overall retail.

Look into large brands observe how they incorporate their colour theme into their work. Also, consider looking at large influencers in our society. Take a look at how they run their social media pages.

Notice any filters they use? is it subtle? is there high saturation?

Your colour theme for social media can be as simple as the colours found in your company logo, or on your website. Maybe you want to go in a completely different direction…that’s fine too! Just make sure you’re happy with the colour you choose.

Pro Tip: Go to a paint store like Home Depot and grab a couple of paint chips/samples in the colours you are interested in (they are FREE!!). Lay them out mix and match – pick the colour that you are drawn to. This is just a hands-on way to look at your colour options.


And honestly, don’t be afraid to transition into a different theme because the current one did not work for you… after at least 6 months 😉