The Color Theory Behind a Successful Brand for Your Online Course

For online course creators. 7 minutes read

Creating a brand identity for your online course is essential. The colors you choose define the perception of your content, as there are psychological aspects not only to the topic you teach, but also how you present it. We will explore color theory — the different aspects of colors, their combinations, their psychological effects, and how they can be used within your online course brand!

What Is Color Theory?

Color theory is a field of study that explores how colors interact, their visual effects, and the psychological impact they have on individuals. Having an understanding of color theory will elevate the brand of your online course to your target audience. We will be looking at the elements required to create a consistent, recognizable, and visually appealing social image to attract your potential student. 

In order to understand color theory, you must understand the basics.

Color Construction

The color wheel is a visual representation of the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Learning this will help grasp color relationships, harmonies, and combinations. We will start with the basics of color, the effect each color has on the individual viewing it, and how it influences the image of your online course projects.

  • Primary colors: The three fundamental colors – red, yellow, and blue. All other colors are derived from them, no colors can create them.
  • Secondary colors: These colors are a mix of equal parts of two primary colors. Orange = red + yellow, green = yellow + blue, and purple = blue + red
  • Tertiary colors: Mixing of a primary color with its secondary color neighbor. Red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, etc (there are six total)

Think about your associations you have for each color, and we will dive into the way different colors affect your content. 

Flavors of the Rainbow

The seven colors can be remembered with the mnemonic ROY-G-BIV. The basic colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. When designing or redesigning the brand and image for your online course, you can focus on key main colors, some accent colors, and choose combinations that best represent your course topic. 

There are two basic categories for colors: warm and cool colors. Warm tones are vibrant and fun, while cool tones are deep and relaxing. All the colors have emotional and social representations, so see if any resonate with your online course and the message you want to display. 

Warm Colors


Symbolizes: passion, power, excitement, energy, urgency

Effect: grab attention and create a sense of urgency

Use: clearance sales, promote bold and powerful brands


Symbol: enthusiasm, creativity, warmth, playfulness

Effect: convey playful and friendly brand image

Use: grab attention 


Symbol: optimism, happiness, youthfulness

Effect: attract attention, create sense of warmth

Usage: promote cheerful and energetic brands

Cool Colors


Symbol: Growth, harmony, nature

Effect: Eco-friendly, sustainable brands

Usage: Wealth and prosperity, science-related topics


Symbol: Trust, reliability, calmness, professionalism, intelligence

Effect: Inspire a sense of trust, authority

Usage: Financial, healthcare, technology


Symbol: Luxury, creativity, spirituality

Effect: Evoke a sense of elegance and sophistication


Symbol: Femininity, romance, tenderness

Effect: Nurturance, sweetness, playfulness

Usage: Feminine audience, gentleness and charm


Symbol: Sophistication, power, elegance

Effect: Luxury, exclusivity

Usage: Authoritative, high-end


Symbol: Purity, simplicity, cleanliness

Effect: Sense of openness and space


Symbol: Nature, reliability, warmth

Effect: Evokes stability, comfort, earthiness

Usage: Appear grounded, 


Symbol: Gold, silver, bronze

Effect: Prestige, luxury, high value

Usage: Add a touch of glamor and elegance to your brand, exclusivity, sophistication

Color Harmonies

Certain colors coordinate beautifully together, and there is a general formula behind each type of color combinations that can be used in your online course and throughout the social media you use to promote it. You can use warm tones, such as red, orange, and yellow, versus cool tones such as green, blue, and violet (remember ROY-G-BIV?) 

There are many creative color combinations to inspire you for your online course branding. 

  • Complimentary colors: pairs of colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel, like blue-yellow, red-green. By using opposing colors you create a stark color contrast that is attention grabbing! They can be used to highlight key elements: call-to-action buttons, important information, and it makes those elements stand out from the rest of the design. 
  • Analogous: colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, like blue, blue-green, and green. Analogous combinations bring a harmonious and cohesive look. This creates a sense of unity, and brings on a sense of calmness and balance in presentation. 
  • Monochromatic: color combinations based on variations of a single color by adjusting its intensity, value, or saturation – like different shades of blue fading out. This is another elegant option to use throughout your online course content! This is a great approach for a clean and minimalist brand image.
  • Triadic: three colors are evenly spaced on the color wheel – like red, yellow, and blue (primary colors), or orange, green, and purple (secondary colors). Choose any color on the color wheel, and forming an equilateral triangle will produce the most fitting triplet combination. Triadic combinations are vibrant and dynamic, used to create visual interest and convey energy and excitement. Balancing these colors is important to avoid appearing overwhelming.
  • Split Complementary: this color scheme involves a bse color and two colors adjacent to its complementary color – like blue combined with yellow-green and yellow-orange. This provides a strong contrast while maintaining a balanced and harmonious look. Split complementary colors can be used to achieve variety and create visual impact without a direct complementary scheme.
  • Tetradic: two pairs of complementary colors – like blue + orange and yellow + purple. You can use a wide range of color options for a vibrant and visually rich design. This can be used for a lively and exciting brand image.
  • Square colors: similar idea to the triadic, this combination involves four colors evenly spaced around the color wheel, forming a square. These colors can be used together to create a bold, visually striking design, while achieving a balanced and stable look. The amount of each color should be balanced in relation to each other so that the overall design does not look too busy.

Bringing Your Color Theory Expertise into Your Online Course Content

Colors play a significant role in online course content and social media accounts and other marketing efforts that influence user perception, heightened interest, and promote higher student engagement. Here are some ways that you can apply color theory within your online course content and marketing campaign

  • Brand identity: consider colors that align with your brand identity to reflect throughout your online course design. Think of the associations each color has on your target audience and the message you relay to them.
  • Logo: be creative with the color combinations you use in your logo design! This is your online course signature and should be visually stimulating and recognizable.
  • Course interface: Once you have your basic color scheme you should implement it throughout your online course content to bring about cohesiveness.

The visual aspect of your online course can then be implemented throughout social media and other marketing and ad materials. Using the colors that are familiar to your online course enhances engagement, is a more effective way to convey information, and creates an immersive learning experience. Your brand colors elicit emotional responses from your target audience and your students, and enhance learning experiences by building associations. Maintaining consistency across your online course and social media channels reinforces your brand identity and promotes your call-to-action!

We hope this article was inspiring, and an effective guideline for your online course design! If you feel like you could use more help in promoting your online course, contact us at Class Growth. We can create a marketing campaign that will grow your online presence and improve your visibility and conversion rates. The more users that see your online course, the more will sign up for it. Schedule a call with our marketing team today.

Let us take care of marketing your online course so you can teach it!

Get your free Growth Session Call

Book a free “Growth Session Call” to have a 30-minute chat with one of our experts.

Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved. Classgrowth LLC

This site is not a part of the Facebook website or Facebook Inc. Additionally, this site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc.