So, you’ve come to the point in your company branding efforts when it is time to choose the best color scheme for your business logo. Or you will be the designer of that logo, piled up with tons of logo designs, colors, and elements your client finds inspiring. And endless possibilities can oftentimes lead to counter effect – a pile of crumpled papers tossed around the bin. That’s why we present you with an ultimate guide, drafted by an expert logo design team, to the best color for logos in 2020.
Why is the choice of colors for a logo so important?
You may be asking yourself now “Why should I care? My logo is not important, what I sell is”. And not to forget the designers who sometimes give in to the wishes and behests of their clients, contrary to their own opinion. Limitless options make it easy for both sides in the process to lose track of fine logo design practices. However, there’s one thing to always bear in mind – logo is not merely a necessary illustration, it is your signature.
With now pretty much every industry niche being quite saturated, it has never been more essential to make your business stand out among the competition. Spot on branding is crucial to the success of your business, and it all starts with a fabulous logo design.
The colors you choose for your business logo will be the building blocks of your future corporate identity. Therefore, in designing a logo you have to consider the message you wish for the logo to convey, as well as the psychology and the meanings behind different colors.
Colorful, monochromatic, or a black and white logo?
In response to us being visually bombarded via the Internet, television, or physical ads such as billboards, graphic (and web too) designers have, in the last couple of years, shifted their art towards a more minimalistic approach. While there are pros and cons on each side, the answer to whether or not your logo will be colorful, monochromatic, or black and white lies in your business niche.
For example, a children’s toy store or a doughnut shop rely on attracting their customers using colors. Thus, going with a black and white logo would be a complete flop. On the other hand, businesses who wish to portray professionalism, expertise, and elegance should tone down their color choice. Here, a monochromatic or a black and white logo could prove to be a success.
Opting for colors will bring vibrance to your logo, highlight your brand’s message and strength, and ultimately, evoke emotions in potential customers that will lure them to convert. Another benefit of going with a colorful logo design is enhanced recognition among your audience. We all undeniably know the brand colors of Coca Cola and McDonald’s. Outstanding color choice and powerful brand message can do wonders for your business.
Why do you need a black and white logo?
There’s a saying in the graphic design community that says that the logo is good only if it works well in black and white. If the logo remains effective, memorable, and associative to your business even after stripped of its colors – know it’s a winner.
However, even if you go for a logo with colors, you’ll still going to need its black and white version for various purposes, such as scanning and faxing, partnerships and collaborations, or printing special products.
Colors or not, it all boils down to the emotion you want people to feel when looking at your logo. And that’s where color psychology comes in.
Color psychology – meaning of colors in logo design
The impact of colors on the feelings and behaviors of humans has been, for decades, in the spotlight of numerous psychological research. Surely, personal preference, context, earlier experience, and culture can affect the varied interpretations of the same color. Psychological research have, nevertheless, proved the existence of general connotations related to different colors.
White, for example, in the Western world symbolizes purity and innocence, whereas on the East it signifies mourning and bad luck. Moreover, a single color can sometimes represent conflicting ideas, such as red which is being perceived as both the color of love and aggression.
Understanding the implications and psychology behind colors can help you make the best decision for your company branding. Thus, let’s dive into the meanings of colors and emotional responses they prompt.
Red for the burst of energy
If you’re looking for a powerful, energetic, and passionate vibe for your logo design, red is your go-to color. The most attention-grabbing in the color wheel, red is intensive and exciting. It symbolizes love and romance, but also anger, blood, and danger. Red is shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure, which is why it is wonderful for the shopping and food industry. However, if you’re aiming for a more professional, mature, and classic style, red may not be the best choice.
Blue – the perfect balance of modern and classic
Professionalism, wisdom, trustworthiness – this is what blue stands for businesswise. If you aim to evoke the sense of dependability, stability, and reliability in customers, blue should definitely be your choice. The color of oceans and the sky, blue signifies authority, calmness, intelligence, and spirituality. Considered rather conservative, blue is unsurpassed for any business where honesty and trust play crucial roles – economy, law, medicine, transportation, technology, etc. Conversely, blue rarely appears as the color of food in nature, so it shouldn’t be used in the food industry.
Green is a step closer to nature
Green is an amazing choice for the food industry, primarily for organic, natural, and fresh products. It doesn’t put a strain on our eyes, which is why it is perceived as calming, and thus a suitable color for environmentally-friendly products. Besides, green is, especially in the US, the color of money, but also the color of growth and health.
Yellow for accessibility and playfulness
A warm, happy, and optimistic color that stimulates the mind, increasing logical and analytical processes. Although it symbolizes open-mindedness, luminosity, and cheerfulness, too much of it causes feelings of anxiety, fear, and self-criticism. Yellow keeps people moving, therefore, choose it wisely where you want your customers to move. Adequate uses of yellow are fast food restaurants, outlet stores, and entertainment businesses.
Brown – reliable and natural
Darker hues of brown stand for seriousness and trust, whereas lighter, earthier tones signify friendship, warmth, and nature. It’s a mature and reliable color that shows off the strength and comfort of your business. This color is a fine choice for any outdoor, farming, nature activities.
Orange is adventurous
Taking the best of both worlds (red and yellow), orange stands for socializing, optimism, and self-confidence. It sparks motivation, creativity, and joy for life, making us talk and spend more. This is why orange is often a choice of restaurants, travel agencies, and children’s toys.
Purple – luxurious and mysterious
Sexy, rebellious, powerful, sophisticated – purple color is not for just any business. As it symbolizes extravagance and wealth, use purple if you’re aiming primarily more well-off customers, lovers of antique, handcraft, and especially women.
Gold is for the winners
Prosperity, abundance, and wealth are what the color of gold is made for. Similarly to the purple, gold should be used to symbolize money. Gold is magnificent for marketing and packaging, however, it tends to look khakiish when used on websites – a fact to keep in mind.
Gray to show control
Conservative, long-lasting, and classical. Gray is a great choice for tech, legal, and financial industries as it implies reliability, endurance, and security. However, certain hues of gray may look dull and lifeless.
White and black – eternal classics
White is the color of purity, innocence, fresh beginnings, and blank slates. Black, on the other hand, symbolizes strength, formality, and sophistication. Used separately or together, both colors are majestic for any business trying to look sleek, modern, and classy. They’re elegant, luxurious, and sophisticated. Moreover, black and white complement all colors, in case you opt for tweaking your logo design sometime in the future.
How many colors should your logo have?
Less is more – and it’s definitely true when talking about color combinations for logo design. Besides, it’s an excellent idea to keep it to two to a maximum of three colors for your logo. Anything above that will look exaggerated and complicated.
Best color combinations for your logo design
As we’ve already mentioned before, black and white is endless color combination. However, they may not always the best fit for your business niche. Still, if you’re aiming for a moderate vibe of your logo, a monochrome color scheme could do the trick. Monochromatic schemes use only one hue but can use various shades, tones, and tints of that hue to create the cleanest, simplest, and most memorable logo design. PayPal, Apple, Nike, and CocaCola are only some of the companies known for their amazing monochromatic logo color schemes.
The two-color combination is probably the color scheme most used for logo design. The industry standard, a combo of two colors creates an eye-catching effect. Some of our favorite two-color combinations are:
- blue and yellow/orange – Yellow and orange are vibrant, lively, and energetic colors, thus they tone down the seriousness and pragmatism of the blue, giving the logo a fun, modern edge. Blue remains indicative of trust and authority, but yellow/orange amplifies confidence and grabs attention.
- black and orange – this combination promises an adrenaline rush, as black evokes mystery and power, whereas orange lends the sense of thrill.
- purple and yellow – the perfect combination of extravagance that simply grabs your clients’ attention and evokes the feelings of energy, creativity, and optimism.
- black and gold – for the ultimate sense of luxury, wealth, and elegance, eternal and mystic black will suit the sophisticated gold perfectly.
For a three-color combination, we suggest consulting a color wheel and trying out analogous or triadic color schemes. The first uses colors that are adjacent on the color wheel, creating a harmonious feeling pleasing to the eye. The latter color scheme uses colors equally spaced around the wheel. Triadic combinations of colors are orange-green-purple or red-yellow-blue, used by Burger King.
Let’s wrap up
Your logo is the starting point for the entire branding process of your business, and thus, the color scheme you decide on for the logo design will transfer to every piece of your corporate identity.
An exceptional logo is memorable, distinctive, appropriate, and ultimately simple. Its elements should tell the story of your brand, and its colors apprise the message and evoke the feelings you wish your clients to have when interacting with your business.
Black and white are eternal classics and a principal square one for assessing the efficiency of your logo, but going colorful benefits you in terms of provoking a wide range of emotions in your potential customers.
Colors of your logo are a powerful tool that will enable your brand to leave a lasting impact that creates a more substantial connection with your audience. Therefore, take some time to consider what each color says about your brand, try out different combinations, and reach out to an experienced graphic designer who will assist you in making the best color choice for your logo.