How to Use Color in Logo Design and Branding

In a nutshell, logo design and branding is the act of assigning meaning through color, design and messaging to a business, institution or entity. As a logo happens to be the most frequently displayed symbol of a business, logo color plays a major role in the strength of the design and meaning of the brand. Although many brands attempt to incorporate additional sensory stimuli into their design and branding, it is believed that 83% of all business communication appeals only to one sense – the eyes.

Logo designers and branding agencies without fundamental knowledge of color and color psychology, are bound to overlook the choice of color in a logo or brand, effectually creating brands that may be beautiful, yet are absolutely ineffective for a particular business or its market.

How to Use Color in Logo Design | Color and Color Theory in Design

When studying color and color theory, we look to the color wheel and find relationships between color and light. If one understands the fundamental principles of color, they can combine and select colors and variations of color to best communicate meaning.

According to our lead designer Luisa Benevento, “Many of most successful brands rely on 1 or 2 effective colors. The advantages of two-color logos applications are simple:

1. The printing process becomes less expensive when printing offset (printing with pantone colors). This is usually applied to collateral, such as business cards, letterhead, envelope, or business cards with a two-color application.

2. Brand recognition is better achieved, unless the strategy is to use multiple colors.

3. If material is printed offset and pantone colors are applied, it’s easier to maintain color consistency throughout the brand’s pieces, which also helps to maintain brand consistency.”

What Colors Mean in Design

Color can make or break a perfect logo design or brand, so it’s important to know what colors mean so that your designer or agency can help you incorporate the right colors in your logo design.

  • Red evokes aggressiveness, passion, strength and vitality
  • Pink evokes femininity, innocence, softness and health.
  • Orange evokes fun, cheeriness and warm exuberance.
  • Yellow evokes positivity, sunshine and cowardice.
  • Green evokes tranquility, health and freshness.
  • Blue evokes authority, dignity, security and faithfulness.
  • Purple evokes sophistication, spirituality, costliness, royalty and mystery.
  • Brown evokes utility, earthiness, woodsy-ness and subtle richness.
  • White evokes purity, truthfulness, being contemporary and refined.
  • Gray evokes somberness, authority, practicality and a corporate mentality.
  • Black evokes seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness and being classic.

Your logo designer or branding agency can help you select a color scheme and variation that’s right for you based upon your brand’s positioning and market. Remember however, that just as much as trends in design come and go, color and the use of color is always changing. If all of your competitors use muted colors, traditional messages or a specific style of logo, it doesn’t mean it has to be for you. By branching out into new markets, reaching new customer segments and playing with the use of color and meaning, you may just create something amazing.

Have fun out there — Christina @SavyAgency