thebusinesstoolkit
5 / 5
Blog Topics

Logo colors cheat sheet (How to choose your own)

Colors are powerful and emotional, and we all have unconscious connections to specific shades. Our individual affinities to distinct hues are based on experiences and memories that over time create positive or negative associations. So when it comes to branding and choosing your logo colors, there is certainly more than meets the eye.

Recognizing the importance of logo colors can make or break your brand. Here we will outline the influence of different colors and various combinations, plus how to choose a logo color for your brand

 

Logo color meanings

Let’s break down what each logo color means and can represent in your branding efforts:

Red

Red is visceral. It is eye-catching and hard to miss, making it a popular choice for logo design. One of the primary colors, red is associated with energy, passion and power. Have you ever noticed that red is often used in food logos? This is because red is believed to be an appetite-stimulating color. Red can often be seen in the entertainment industry in band logos and in fashion logos as well.

On the flip side, red may also be tied to anger and danger. If you are looking for a logo color that is calm, peaceful and serene, red is likely not the color for you.

Yellow

Friendly, approachable, cheerful and uplifting, yellow is popular  for industries that want to express happiness and delight. At the same time, yellow is very noticeable and hard to miss (like yellow taxis in the street), so it can be a good choice to stand out in the crowd. On the same note, yellow can also be linked to warning signs and caution, so it might not be a good fit for every industry.

Green

Green is most commonly used by eco-friendly brands or industries related to the environment like farming, horticulture, recycling and renewable energy. Since it is associated with nature, it is also a popular choice for organic and natural brands aiming to give a clean, holistic and fresh feeling.
Green logos are also popular among food and beverage brands, tech and communications companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

Blue

A strong, dependable color that conveys trust, reliability and professionalism, blue is often used in financial, technological and medical logos. Blue is also tranquil and serene, making it a popular choice among health and wellness brands and those who want to convey a sense of calm.

Purple

Royal, luxurious and decadent, purple is often associated with wealth and wisdom. It is also a playful and inviting color that is approachable. Purple can be seen in a myriad of industries but is common in cosmetic brands, candies and confectioneries, fashion and child-centric brands.

White & Black

Classic and unfettered, black and white logo design is always a timeless choice. Black exudes elegance and sophistication, while pairing it with white achieves a minimalist and effective look. In fact, experts recommend starting logo designs in black and white before adding any colors. By starting out with these simplified shades, you will focus your attention on the overall look and feel of your logo without considering color. The addition of color should enhance your logo design, not define it.
Black and white offer versatility and suit letterforms and wordmark logos well, but they can be applied effectively in all shapes and sizes.. Sticking to a refined black and white palette, many leading brands stand out from the crowd without any other bells and whistles, which helps shape their brand identity even further.

Gray

Made from black and white, gray is neutral and calming. Gray exudes professionalism, sophistication and modernity. It also pairs well with almost any color, making it versatile and used in many industries and logo designs.

 

Multicolored

While the general rule of thumb is to stick to a maximum of three logo colors, there are obviously instances where breaking the rules has its benefits. Often used by creative, multidisciplinary or child-centric brands, multicolored logos are bold, attention grabbing and hard to forget.

The reason most designers and marketers will say not to use multiple colors is that it can become overwhelming, over-saturated and busy. If you look at the examples of successful multicolored logos, they all use balance and refinement, often picking a focal color and playing with brightness, saturation and the combination of complementary colors.

How to choose a logo color?

Before you can select your palette, you need to first understand your overall brand messaging. What do you want your logo to represent? What message do you want your brand to convey? A strong brand identity will help you answer these questions and, in turn, reach your target audience in a more effective way.

When designing your logo, keep it simple with no more than three colors. Understanding color theory is key – it helps you pick hues that complement each other and reflect your brand’s vibe.

Explore color palette tools to experiment with different combinations. Logo makers often offer pre-defined schemes that align with color theory, giving you a quick preview of how they’ll look in your design.

Here’s a breakdown of common color schemes:

1. Monochromatic: One color in different shades, achieved by adding black or white. For instance, red, pink, and maroon.

2. Analogous: Colors adjacent on the wheel, like blue, blue-violet, and violet.

3. Complementary: Pairs opposite on the wheel, such as blue and orange.

4. Triadic: Three evenly spaced colors, like red, yellow, and blue.

5. Tetradic: Four colors evenly spaced or in two sets of complementary pairs, like red, green, blue-violet, and yellow-orange.


RGB vs. CMYK

In digital mediums like screens and cameras, RGB, consisting of Red, Green, and Blue, serves as the primary colors of light. Conversely, in print, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, collectively known as CMYK, represent the primary colors of pigment.

When designing your logo, it’s best to start in CMYK mode, as it’s easier to transition from CMYK to RGB. For instance, if you plan to print your logo on business cards and then adapt it for digital use, starting in CMYK ensures a seamless transition with minimal color shift.

To maintain consistency across all branding materials, consider using colors from the Pantone Matching System, which helps prevent printing irregularities. While not obligatory, using Pantone colors can streamline your visual identity across various platforms.

Need help designing a logo? Talk to our brand consultants that will guide you every step of the way.

 

Share

Related Articles

3 weeks ago
How to Brand Your Business
Logo & Branding 3938
3 weeks ago
Logo Design Mistakes to avoid
Logo & Branding 4117