Have you ever wondered why certain colors, or color combinations, were chosen for a particular company’s logo? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not because the colors look good together, were the owner’s favorite color, or for any other aesthetic reason. The best logo color decisions are built considering the power of color psychology (sometimes referred to as Color Theory.)
In other words, the best logo color is the one that evokes the ideal feeling for that particular business. An effective logo design relies heavily on an effective color scheme. Whether you’re at the beginning stages of starting a business, or you’re simply looking to update your logo, this article can help.
In all areas of traditional and digital marketing, it is important to understand how your logo color scheme can be used to invoke specific reactions from customers. Color is a vital component of design that may make, or break, a brand’s effectiveness. Choosing the ideal color, or colors, for your business is one of the first steps you’ll take when defining your business branding.
In this article, we will showcase some of the best color schemes for logos and discuss the color psychology behind them.
What is color psychology in marketing?
Color psychology is the study of colors and how they impact human behavior. In business marketing and logo design, color is a powerful tool to attract attention, create an emotional response, convey meaning, or communicate a message.
Choosing a poor color palette when designing your logo can negate the effectiveness of even the best marketing efforts, whereas a good logo color scheme can effectively elevate your brand.
The power of color psychology and its role in marketing
Choosing the most ideal logo color combination for your business logo design, overall branding, and marketing materials can help you indirectly tell a more compelling brand “story.”
Color sets the tone for how the buyer perceives things. In the content below we break down the different logo color schemes and their psychological associations. Consider these associations when designing your logo and branding. Pick a color, or colors, that represent your intended association and use them consistently in your logo design, advertising, and website design.
Why use color psychology in your business marketing?
To attract attention
Bright colors or contrasting color combinations are more likely to catch people’s eyes. This can be helpful when you want to attract attention to your product or brand.
A commercial real estate company in my area uses bright yellow against a black background for its logo design. I’m not sure it’s the best logo color combination—especially because this company represents luxury, Class A real estate, but it sure gets people’s attention!
To create an emotional response
Certain colors can evoke particular emotions in people. For example a logo design using bright and vibrant colors may feel energetic or exciting, while soft pastels may feel soothing and calm. Warm colors can also make people feel more positive and upbeat, while cool colors can create a feeling of sophistication or mystery.
To communicate a message
Logo colors can also be used to communicate a message about your brand or product. For example, green is often associated with nature and environmentalism, so it can be used to communicate a message about your company’s commitment to sustainability. Brand colors can send a message through color tone, too, such as using pastels for feminine or baby products.
Quick Primer on Colors
It’s helpful to look at a color wheel when contemplating your logo design and logo color combination. A color wheel is a visual tool that helps people understand colors and their relationships to one another.
Here’s what you’ll find on a color wheel:
• The Primary colors of red, blue, and yellow.
• Secondary colors (colors made by mixing two primary colors): Purple, orange, and green.
• Tertiary colors (colors made by mixing two secondary colors): orange-red, orange-yellow, purple-red, purple-blue, green-yellow, and green-blue.
The Best and Most Commonly Used Colors in Marketing
Now that we understand the power of logo design color psychology, let’s take a look at the logo colors commonly used by brands. Compare these brands’ color choices to your intended colors. Do any of them resonate? Sometimes the best logo color is the one that simply feels right.
Red is a prominent marketing color because it is eye-catching and may elicit significant psychological responses. It is the color of strength, energy, excitement, and urgency. Or, depending on the context, red can also be related to love and passion, or anger and danger.
Keep in mind that red can also be anxiety-inducing if used too broadly. It may be the best logo color for your business, but you probably won’t want to use it for backgrounds or heavy blocks of text.
For instance, Adobe‘s logo is red to ensure that it is recognizable in all sizes and on all surfaces. Red is a powerful choice for logos.
Red color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
Green may elicit sentiments of harmony, health, loyalty, and safety, making individuals feel at ease and comfortable. It is a favorite hue among eco-friendly digital marketers and business owners. Also, as some individuals link green with money, customers may identify a brand with a sense of prosperity.
For example, Quickbooks is software whose products provide desktop and online accounting applications and use green digital campaigns to represent their business.
Green color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
Blue is a trustworthy color that helps relax individuals by reminding them of dependability, confidence, and security. Many social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn utilize blue as it is associated with intellect and communication.
If you want your brand to look personable, trustworthy, business-oriented, and clean, you might want to use blue in your logo design and marketing campaigns. It is the most popular color for the world’s most valuable companies, so it has a long history of success in marketing.
Blue has also been shown to have a calming effect on people. Studies have shown that the color blue can lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce stress and anxiety levels. From light blue to dark blue, this hue gives vibes of peace and tranquility.
An example of using blue well as a logo color is ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign’s use of the cool color combination of blue and white in its logo may help to create an overall feeling of calm and relaxation for its customers. For potential customers who think email marketing may be stressful, ActiveCampaign’s logo can help thwart that feeling.
Blue color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
Pink is often seen as a feminine color, associated with sweetness and innocence and is thought to be a calming hue. Pink can also be seen as a romantic color, often associated with Valentine’s Day and love.
While it is sometimes seen as a delicate or vulnerable color, pink can also be seen as strong and determined. In general, pink is a cheerful and optimistic color.
A logo design using pink color combinations can be ideal for the right business. Barbie, Cosmopolitan magazine, Johnson & Johnson, Mary Kay, and Victoria’s Secret are just a few of the brands featuring pink logos.
Pink color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
Purple is the royal color, representing elegance, prestige, sophistication, and respect. It is a popular color for high-end products that want to exude a sense of luxury. Purple can also be a mysterious color that works well for creative or eccentric brands. To name a few: Hallmarks, Cadbury, and Viber.
Purple color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
This vibrant color exudes confidence, creativity, and bravery. It also performs well with non-corporate brands due to its lighter tone. Adobe Illustrator is one of the most well-known orange logos. Since orange drums up feelings of creativity, it matches the software’s purpose of image creation.
Orange color combinations: Complementary, Triadic, and Analogous:
There seems to be black everywhere. A brand that embraces black as a primary color might look smart, strong, and elegant. Adidas, Nike, Gucci, Prada, and Apple are some premium brands that utilize black in their logos to make them seem sleek and sophisticated.
White, like black, conveys a contemporary mood and may assist in achieving a pure, innocent, and flawless impression.
Tips for Choosing the Right Colors for Your Business
Choosing the right logo color combination for your business can be a tricky task. After all, the psychology of color is a complex subject, and what works for one business might not work for another. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you choose colors that will resonate with your target audience.
Consider your industry
Consider the colors that are most often associated with your industry. For example, green is common in environmental and finance industries, and blue is often used in technology and medicine.
Beware of the potential emotional impact
Think about the emotions you want to evoke in your customers. For instance, red is often associated with energy and excitement, while white is often associated with purity and cleanliness.
Consider naturally good logo color combinations
Complementary colors are good to know when choosing a logo color combination. Your color combinations don’t have to be an exact complementary color match, so long as the colors look good together.
Sometimes the colors can communicate something unintended. For example, the complementary colors red and green look good, but can immediately feel associated with Christmas.
Make sure it looks good in print and digital
Keep in mind the digital age we live in—make sure your chosen logo colors look good on digital devices as well as in print! By following these tips, you can choose logo colors that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Logo Color Combinations
All colors shown in this article had examples of color combinations that were created using a free color creation tool on Canva’s website. You can also use an AI design software tool to help in picking colors that go well together.
It’s time to start thinking about color psychology and how it can be used in your logo colors, branding, and marketing. The principles we’ve outlined are a great place to start, but there is no one perfect formula for using colors in digital marketing.
Experiment with different colors and combinations to see what works best for your business and target audience. What colors work best for your business?