Choosing colors for your company or brand may be fun, but have you ever considered the meaning behind logo colors?
Colors are proven to influence our reactions and thoughts, and even stimulate the body’s hormones. It’s the reason why the food industry favors colors like red and yellow in their logos because they are appetite-stimulating colors. Color psychology is the use of color in a strategic way to provoke a certain reaction. Designers can benefit from incorporating color psychology into their logo designs. If you ignore the meaning behind your colors, your logo may come across as insensitive or dissonant.
Here at Kinetek we do extensive research with our clients to determine what the actual colors of a new or refreshed brand will be. We take this seriously, and you should too! So…read on and let us know what you think! Interested in a brand refresh, or need of a complete makeover? Check out this blog post!
What Do Your Logo Colors Mean?
The color red in logos is viewed as energetic, powerful, and passionate. It is an eye-catching color that grabs attention, which is why it is a popular choice. Red is commonly used in the food industry because of its ability to stimulate your appetite, but it also can enhance human metabolism, raise blood pressure, and increase respiration rate. Red is your go-to color if you want to grab attention. Many famous brands use red in their logos such as Coca-cola, KFC, and RedBull.
Orange is a very welcoming, warm color that often conveys trust and happiness. It makes the perfect choice for industries that are fun, yet professional like Etsy. Psychologically, the color orange can stimulate hunger, increase mental activity, and boost brain oxygen supply. We see orange in the tech, food, and sports industry because it emits vibes of passion, creativity, and understanding. However, you should avoid the color orange if you’d like your brand to be seen as luxurious, serious, or feminine. Some familiar orange logos you may have seen are Nickelodeon, Home Depot, and Fanta.
Yellow brings positivity and is often associated with sunshine, cheer, and energy. It is a friendly color that radiates youth, reasonability, happiness, and relaxation. Psychologically yellow should be used very strategically because too much of the color can cause feelings of fear or low self-esteem. Too much yellow on the other hand tends to evoke feelings of impatience and distraction. It can boost mental activity, inspire cheer, and potentially generate muscle growth. We often see yellow within the automotive and food industries. Common yellow logos are DHL, Lays, Denny’s, BestBuy, and Snapchat.
Gold is similar to yellow but much more powerful; associated with wealth, victory, wisdom, royalty, glamor, and luxury. Some infamous gold logos are Warner Bros, Chevy, Dove, and Lindt Chocolates.
Blue is a soothing color that’s often associated with freedom, intuition, peace, and imagination. The color blue brings tranquility to the body and can slow human metabolism. Blue is commonly used by software, government, pharmaceutical, and banking industries because it evokes trust, loyalty, and kindness. If your goal is to inspire confidence, however, you may want to pair blue with another color like red. Too much blue can be seen negatively because it brings down the mood. We often see these blue logos: Pepsi, Paypal, Lowes, Facebook, Oral B, and Ford.
Green is typically used to represent environmentally friendly companies, but not always. The color provides a calming effect, while also representing growth, hope, safety, and fertility. Green has a healing effect on humans both emotionally and physically. Our society also sees it as a symbol of money, wealth, and banking. You can often see the color in any sort of business. A few green logo examples are Starbucks, Spotify, Whole Foods, and John Deere.
Purple is a fun color that for many years was regarded as precious, noble, and luxurious. Purple dye was very costly back in the 1st century and was only worn by the wealthy. Since then, the color remains with an image of passion, vitality, power, and ambition. We see purple logos with Yahoo, FedEx, Hallmark, and Cadbury.
Because pink is a fairly modern color as opposed to the rest, it is associated with youth and style. Some feel that pink is associated with warmth and softness, however, we see pink in a variety of industry logos such as Baskin Robbins, Lyft, Pepto Bismol, and T-mobile which is a tech company. There is a sense of security with pink, however, I would use it carefully as it depends on your target audience and what they would gravitate towards.
The color brown tends to elicit trust, unity, and reliability. Brown will often balance your design, tie in earth tones that relate to nature, and make a brand appear more manly and rugged. It is the least used logo color but could make you stand out if used correctly. In psychology, it is related to strength and reliability. Brown is also good for nature-related businesses, or brown products like chocolate and coffee. A few brown logos are UPS, M&Ms, Cracker Barrel, Peets, and Louis Vitton.
Black is a solid and authoritative color that evokes elegance, mystery, and power. It is a corporate color that can either boost confidence or elicit feelings of emptiness. Black is often used by contemporary brands that are exclusive and capitalize on luxury. Some examples of black logos are from Gucci, Prada, Apple, Nike, Sony, and Chanel.
The color white is associated with light, innocence, beginnings, purity, and guidance. It is a popular choice with logo design because it represents coolness and simplicity. A simple, clean logo is a very popular trend right now. In color psychology, white evokes mental clarity, and cleanliness, and promotes your thought process. White is often used on top of another colored background (sometimes black, brown, or red) so it is not always the primary color, however, it is still used in the logo. A few white logos you may recognize are MAC, DC, ABC, Lego, Nike, and Apple.
Grey, or Silver, is associated with seriousness, class, and typically a timeless feel. It has a similar representation to black but is seen as more accessible since it’s not as harsh. We see gray in logos like Nintendo, Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, and WordPress.
What Are The Most Common Logo Colors?
In a study done by Danielle Verderame (2019) based on the Fortune Global 500 list, it was found that Blue is the most commonly used logo color. Blue overwhelmingly dominates the top 100, followed by red and black. These 3 are the highest used colors in logo design. There are multiple reasons for this including the history of print, market trends, and of course color psychology.
How Do I Choose My Logo Colors?
When deciding your logo colors, fully assess your company’s identity, personality, values, and goals prior and match them to colors that you feel best represent your brand. Consider your audience’s purchasing trends, preferences, and overall vibe. At Kinetek Media, we have a team of skilled, creative staff of graphic designers and media marketing experts who can help you to define your brand and logo with meaning. Get started here.
Something to keep in mind is that colors have different meanings in various parts of the world, and will not always translate the same. Logo designing and creation is something that you don’t have to do alone either. We are fully staffed with talented graphic designers who will help you to bring your brand to life visually. Click here to learn more about logo design and branding.