The importance of great logo design should no longer be an unfamiliar topic. It’s a subject covered by many different writers and blogs, all of which agree that a logo can either make or break your business. Therefore, it’s essential to get it right! But designing it can be a challenge. Of course, you can (and are encouraged!) find a designer who will create it for you but even then, you and your business will be left with a few decisions to make. One of them is choosing the color combination that your logo will feature.
Why is paying attention to your logo’s colors so important that we’ve decided to write an entire article about it? Because studies show that 90% of the time, people make their very first judgment about a company/product/brand simply by looking at and analyzing their color!
You can leave the aspect of choosing the colors to your designer but let’s face it – you are the one who knows your brand best. You know what it stands for, what values it shares, what customers it targets, what are their characteristics, etc. You can help your logo designer by deciding, for example, on the primary color your business will feature in its branding. If you feel that it’s overwhelming (there are so many colors!), have a look below to read all about color psychology and to get inspired by famous logo examples.
Color Psychology: What Do Colors Tell Us?
The choice of color in a logo depends on a few things but mostly it relates to the nature of the business, the values it shares and tries to present as well as the industry it operates in. Moreover, each color has a certain emotional effect on its viewers. You don’t want your customers to become, for instance, too energized if you run a spa and wellness salon!
Red, for example, is exciting, energetic, passionate, courageous and really likes your attention. Because of such characteristics, it’s often used in the entertainment industry. Many sports brands, as well as companies producing toys and other products for children, turn to red to encourage fun and action. Fast food brands, on the other hand, go with red to increase their customers’ appetite. Curious about other colors? Check our other article, fully dedicated to the meaning of colors.
Usually, brands choose to go with two or three colors in their branding, one of which is principal. Four or more colors in one logo design tend to introduce chaos and simply aren’t visually pleasing. But don’t think it’s a golden rule that will never work! Chrome is a brilliant example of a company that included 4 colors in its logo design. Or 5 if you count in the white space in between the red, yellow, blue and green.
Need more examples? Think about Slack. These brands, however, use a very contrasting, almost rainbow-like color combination. The purpose of it is to show unity, adaptability, and playfulness.
Best 3 Color Combinations for Logo Design
Considering how many colors there are and how many combinations you can make from them, it is overwhelming to settle on one color set in your branding. Blue is nice but so is black and white… You’re not the only one facing this problem. We prepared a list (with photo examples!) of blue, red and green color combinations for your logo design. Get inspired!
Blue + White
Blue is very often used in tech world branding. Why? Because it’s all about trustworthiness, responsibility, honesty, and security. The above brands, even though only one of them is tech (HP), they all want to share those values. Volkswagen tries to show their customers that they are a safe, trustworthy and reliable car manufacturer whereas Oral-B… wants to be perceived in the same way among toothpaste brands. As customers, we must develop some sort of trust towards the product we use every morning and evening to protect our teeth. That’s what blue’s job is. White, on the other hand, stands for purity and wholeness.
Blue + Red
Blue in combination with red is another very popular combination. Pepsi, Carrefour and Domino’s Pizza are just three examples of thousands. But as you can notice, it’s a color scheme used mostly by companies offering some sort of products for consumption, either beverages, food or groceries in general. As we mentioned earlier in the article, red tends to increase appetite and blue creates trust and loyalty. In other words, these logos make you hungry, excited but also trusting and loyal.
Red + Yellow
You already know what red stands for. Yellow also stimulates positive and energetic emotions. It represents happiness, enthusiasm, and spontaneity. It is pretty obvious why brands like Lego or McDonald’s would want to go for this exact color combination. What about DHL though? In comparison, you could think that it’s a rather boring service and the excitement isn’t justified. But if you look at the company’s competitors, they all feature bright colors. FedEx is orange and purple, UPS is yellow and brown and TNT is orange. Therefore, in this case, it isn’t as much about the meaning of the color but the industry standards and being differentiable from the competition.
Red + Black
Black is power. As well as authority, discipline, elegance, and sophistication. And it’s a good alternative to white. It’s pretty much used in every industry out there, either as a primary or secondary color. Formula 1 chose a combination of black and red to show power and energy. Netflix is all about excitement, passion, and attention. Their use of black refers to the screens we watch their movies on. The logo used by New York City, on the other hand, uses red as an obvious color for a heart and love. Black is elegant and clutter-free which reflects the New Yorkers love for simplicity. Another reason for black is its practicality. The logo is printed on the famous NY t-shirts as well as is placed on many more merchandise products and campaigns.
Green + White
Light green and dark green have a little bit of a different meaning. Light green restores energy and is all about growth, environment, nature, kindness, and harmony. Dark green is more ‘serious’. Although it also represents balance and harmony, it refers those values to stability, reliability, and safety. It is often used by real estate brands, banks, and non-profit organizations. Light green is usually seen among brands working in the environment or entertainment sector. Many companies, however, don’t care so much about the shades and simply go with the kind of green that suits them best. Starbucks, Carlsberg and WhatsApp are about relaxation, entertainment, and energy (but a calmer version of the energy represented by red).
Green + Yellow
When a brand wants to be perceived as positive, energetic yet relaxed, fun and spontaneous but also kind, dependable and in harmony, there’s no better color combination than green and yellow. Have a look at the brands above. Each one of them seems almost as if it’s kindly smiling towards you and welcoming you with open arms.
Using these colors additionally allows companies in the food and beverage industry, like Subway and Sprite, to show the potential source of their ingredients. What’s a more fresh and natural color than green? BP, as an oil and gas company, uses green and yellow to possibly decrease the negative perception of its industry.