Your logo is a visual representation of your company or brand. There are a lot of different elements that work together to create the perfect logo, with logo colours being placed toward the top.
One of the most commonly searched for logo design questions is ‘what colour should I use in my logo?’
Colour can change a person’s perspectives or emotions. It is no secret that red is known to incite feelings of passion and rage. While yellow is known to make people feel hungry (McDonald’s anyone?)
To help you work out exactly which colours you should use on your logo, we have put together a guide of what different colours mean and how they have an effect on people.
Before choosing a colour
There are five questions that you should ask yourself before you start searching for a colour for your logo. The answers to these questions will help you work out which direction to head in.
- Does your brand come across as masculine, feminine or neutral?
- Do you consider your brand to be serious or playful?
- Does your brand target affordable luxury products?
- Do you consider your brand to be classic or modern?
- Do you focus on a mature audience or a younger one?
What Different Logo Colours Mean
Different colours have different impacts on human emotions. Ahhhh… the wonderful world of psychology! But it’s not as simple as choosing a colour based on its meaning. Combinations of different logo colours can create a whole different meaning when put together.
This is why it is important to choose combinations that play together rather than battle it out on the screen. Focus on one main colour and then ad in complimentary accent colours. Below we have summarised what each logo colour eludes to when it comes to the complexities of stimulating human emotion.
Red is the colour of anger, passion and excitement. Fast food joints use red as it is known to stimulate the appetite. McDonald’s, pizza hut, KFC and burger king all use red in their logos for this very reason. As does red bull. Red is an attention-grabbing colour. From stop signs to traffic lights, it can be seen as a warning or a command perfect as one of your main logo colours.
Orange is the perfect combination of red and yellow. It is a colour that is full of vibrant energy. One that helps you stand out from the crowd without being too loud. When using a colour like orange, make sure that the remaining colours in the logo are as neutral as possible.
Using yellow as the primary colour in your logo gives off a feeling of energy, affordability and hunger. Yes. Again, McDonald’s, burger king and pizza hut all use yellow alongside red. Two hunger stimulating colours. Avoid using neon yellow and focus more on pastels to create a calming yet youthful feel.
Green is the most versatile colour on the spectrum. In some countries, it is connected to prosperity and money. In most other countries, green is a calming colour connected to nature. This makes it the ideal logo colour if your business or brand is to do with agriculture, organic food, gardening or finance. Again, avoid shades such as lime green unless you have a website specifically designed for children.
Purple is the love child of warm red and cool blue. And purple is a colour that is commonly associated with luxury and indulgence. It presents itself with serenity and passion and is gender-neutral. This is why Cadbury dairy milk uses purple on its packaging. It is one of the few colours that tempts all genders without coming across as in your face or too bold.
Pink is a vibrant colour that also has a hint of luxury about it. While in the past, it was definitely more geared toward the feminine market. In today’s modern world, pastel pinks work well for both genders. If your brand or business focuses on baked goods or baby clothing, using pastel pinks and blues in your logo colours are a fail-safe combination.
Brown is another versatile logo colour with strong connections to nature. It comes across with a more serious tone than many of the other colours on this list. When combined with green, brown is the perfect logo colour for businesses and brands in organic industries.
Black is another colour that screams out modern luxury. It contrasts well with just about every other colour on this list and makes a truly a bold statement. The simplicity of a black and white logo creates a feeling of minimalist serenity. Now you know why so many high fashion brands use black as their go-to colour for logo design.
White and Grey
White is a difficult colour to use in a logo. Unless you are going for a black background, white is best used as a secondary accent for your logo design. The same applies for shades of light gray. But that is not to say that you cannot use white in your logo. It is to say that it is not as easy as other colours. White also creates a feeling of luxury. But used in the right way, it can give off an affordability feeling too.
Choosing The Right Logo Colours
With a whole rainbow of colours to choose from, it can be truly confusing trying to choose one.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong choice. Just because businesses stick to certain logo colours within your industry, that doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit.
So, how do you choose the best colour for your logo? At the end of the day, it all comes down to gut feeling. Play around with a variety of colours and listen to how you personally react to each one.
If you are looking to create a classy and enticing feel, you definitely want to focus more on pastels. For attention-grabbing boldness, make your way toward the darker end all of the colour charts.
The thing you will want to avoid is using logo colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. As an example. If you are using green as your background colour, yellow is not going to work well.
This is also true for colours that are opposite each other on a colour wheel. If you have ever been confronted with a blue and yellow logo, you will know how uncomfortable this is for the eyes.
A good rule to follow is if you are using a black or white background, feel free to use any colour you please. However, if you are using a primary colour as your background. You will want to make your logo and text either black or white.
The Psychology of Colours
It is important to remember that while many scientific studies have shown how logo colours affect emotion and buying patterns, not everyone is the same.
As an example, red is seen as a colour that stimulates passion and anger. Many people find it relaxing and calming. Blue may incite feelings of cool serenity in some people. While others may get feelings of rage? Why?
The answer is simple. Everything from childhood experiences to the way that each individual’s eyes see colour can change the way that they react to it. So, why are we telling you this? So you know that the above colour explanations are best used for reference rather than fact.
However you decide to proceed, have fun playing with different colour combinations. When you find the right one for your business or brand, you will know it. No hard and fast rules. Just experimentation and gut feeling.