Putting in time and effort to choose the right logo colours while designing your logo benefits your brand in the long run. The right logo colours will help you attract the right customers, communicate your brand values and help customers remember your product. Colour palettes are generally more memorable than your logo font or even your chosen iconography. Here are some steps to help you with the process of choosing the right logo colours for your brand.
How do I get to the right logo colours?
The black and white: what’s everyone else doing?
The first thing to do is to have a look at your competitors’ colours. If your industry is saturated with a particular colour, ask why and consider the pros and cons of being the same or of being different. The South African telecoms industry is a great place to look at an example of brand strength built on colour. If I had to ask, name the red telecoms company? Now name the yellow one? I am sure you know exactly which brands I was asking about. It is safe to say that launching a new red telecoms brand into the South African market would be a bit of a risky strategy (unless you wanted to piggyback off their market recognition, but that’s a whole other topic). In some sectors, you may feel that you HAVE to go with a specific colour. Eco-friendly products have become synonymous with light, bright green. That, however, doesn’t mean that your recycled product logo must be green. It does mean that including green in your overall brand could be helpful to communicate the eco-friendly nature of your product.
The creative orange: what do I want people to feel about my brand?
Time to get a little creative. Think abstract. Choose words you want people to use when describing your company. Is it going to be a fun place to work? Do you want to exude sophistication? Is your brand a serious Sam – always dependable and safe? Once you have decided on these core values of your brand and business, you can use them to help guide your colour choices.
Green for go: choosing the right colours for your logo?
We all relate to colours on both a conscious and a subconscious level and these associations have become part of what is widely known as the psychology of colour.
Here is a quick and simple overview of the most common colours used in logo design and the words associated with each:
Bold, passionate, strong, attention, love, exciting, action, aggressive, youthful, loud, danger, dynamic, sexy, urgent, romantic, warm, stimulates the appetite
Happy, friendly, creative, healthy, warm, exciting, energetic, dynamic, youthful, expressive, child-like, playful, enthusiastic, fruitful, stand out from the crowd
Optimistic, progressive, confident, playful, creative, friendly, accessible, cheery, caution, ideas, bright, sunny
Natural, organic, youth, education, adventure, calm, wealth, environment, harmony, life, fresh, recycled, eco-friendly
Dependable, trusted, conservative, honest, secure, calm, mature, serious, peaceful, professional
Royal, magic, creative, luxurious, cutting edge, wisdom, mystery, unique
Luxurious, sophisticated, formal, stylish, elegant, expensive, authority, modern, slick, powerful, precise, definite
Mature, serious, mysterious, luxury, sophisticated, elegant, balanced, formal, stable, neutral, calm
Economical, youthful, clean, clinical, fresh, simple, spacious, easy, high-tech, pure
ColorPsychology.org is also a great resource to research in-depth classifications of colours which best align to your brand’s core values and goals.
Creating rainbows: add colour to bring your brand to life
Now that you have your core logo colours, you can have a look at the bigger picture. There are lots of tools available to help with choosing colour palettes and for some colour inspiration. One of our favourites is Design Seeds. You can browse hundreds of variations, but don’t be limited to what has already been created. Brand colour palettes are varied, and they can be a spectrum of one colour or a combination of many colours – whatever works!
Stop sign red: make sure you didn’t misread the signals
It is always best to test your results, and colour is no exception. Here are a few things to consider before you jump into the actual design process:
- If you are planning on launching your product to a different cultural group, are there any colour associations you need to be aware of?
- Is green cheese really going to send the right message?
- Are your colours too bold and in your face or maybe too soft and pretty?
- Is there enough contrast in your colour palette?
You now have quite a bit of info to give your designer when they start working on your new logo. Here is an article about some branding mistakes to consider while working on the design of your new brand. Contact us if you’d like to some more assistance with design.