Your logo is an essential part of your brand identity. It’s often what makes a first impression on potential customers, and it helps you stand out from the competition. An effective logo can also convey important features of your brand, which is why it’s so important to put a lot of thought into the design.
The logo colors you choose directly impact the way that people view your brand. The right colors will grab attention while also telling a story about your business. In order to pick out the best color combination for logos, you’ll need to learn the basics of color psychology and color theory. This guide offers helpful tips for finding a great logo color palette to visually represent your brand.
A logo template has a variety of graphic design elements to consider. You’ll have to pick out the right font, decide what shapes or lines to include, and determine which logo format is the best fit for your brand.
But even if all of these logo details are thoughtfully selected and perfect for your brand, the wrong logo colors can completely undermine your efforts.
Logo colors are closely tied to emotional responses, which makes them one of the most impactful elements of the design. Here are some of the reasons why your logo color palette is so important.
Color psychology is an important part of creating the perfect logo for your brand. This field of study explores the way colors are associated with specific emotions, actions, and values. It’s fascinating to consider that the psychological reactions we have to colors are fairly universal. Plus, the insights from color psychology can provide useful direction when brands choose the colors for logos.
When designing your own logo, keep in mind that each color you include has a unique meaning. Learn more about what each color represents and how it will affect customer perceptions of your brand.
Passion, energy, and excitement are all closely associated with the color red. This hue is often used to symbolize love, desire, and romance — just picture all those Valentine’s Day hearts! Red is also thought to stimulate hunger, so it’s frequently used for food and restaurant logos.
Other associations with red include heat, fire, anger, and danger. This color is also a good lesson in researching color meanings in other cultures, particularly if your brand will have significant operations in another country. For example, red symbolizes prosperity and happiness in China, but it’s the color of mourning in certain parts of Africa.
Orange is closely associated with a number of positive emotions, including happiness, enthusiasm, and friendliness. Logos with this color typically have a vibrant and energetic appearance, especially when a bright orange tone is featured.
For some brands, orange can serve as a slightly less assertive alternative to red while still being bold and eye-catching. Some brands with memorable orange logos include Nickelodeon, Reese’s, and The Home Depot.
Yellow can have very different meanings based on which shade of the color is used. A bright yellow color is often used for construction company and safety equipment logos since it’s widely understood to symbolize caution. On the other hand, a warm yellow logo can signify happiness, positivity, and sunshine. Pastel yellow is calming and gentle, while a golden yellow creates the appearance of timelessness, class, and wealth.
Green symbolizes freshness, nature, and growth. This color is frequently used for eco-friendly brands that prioritize environmental concerns as well as brands that feature recyclable materials or sustainable ingredients. Some examples in this category include Whole Foods and Tropicana.
Being the color of money, green logos can also symbolize wealth, prosperity, and affluence. Green has also become one of the top picks for digital brands, with famous examples like Hulu, Spotify, and Android.
Light and dark blue colors have varying meanings when used in logos. Generally, lighter shades of blue represent tranquility, calm, and peace. That’s because this color brings to mind images of a still sea or a clear sky. Light blue is also associated with trustworthiness.
Darker blue shades are more closely associated with stability and maturity. It’s a popular shade for brands that want to appear established, reliable, and safe, including financial institutions and tech companies. Some of the most recognizable blue logos come from brands like Twitter, Facebook, and American Express.
Purple is most frequently associated with royalty, sophistication, and wisdom. In particular, deep purple hues are often used to express luxury and quality. Brighter purple shades can also represent creativity and innovation. Some examples of popular brands with purple logos include Yahoo, Cadbury, and Hallmark.
Pink is a perky and cheerful color. In lighter tones, it’s often associated with romance and femininity. However, this color definitely doesn’t need to be restricted to brands marketed to girls and women. Hot pink exudes energy and confidence, and it’s often used for modern, youthful brands.
Don’t underestimate the power of black. Despite being less “colorful” than the rainbow hues listed above, black can be just as impactful when used in a logo. It appears sleek, refined, and elegant. It’s also convenient since you never have to worry about getting an exact match when you display your logo on the web or in print. Black always looks consistent and sharp, which boosts the prestige appeal of this color.
White signifies cleanliness and purity, which makes it a popular choice for health-related brands. Its connection to innocence and virtue also makes it a good fit for non-profit organizations, charities that assist children, and other brands with noble goals.
Gray looks professional and formal without being quite as bold and commanding as black. It’s often associated with balance and neutrality, and it comes across as effortlessly sophisticated and modern. These qualities make gray a good choice for certain professional services, like accounting and law firms. It’s also a good option for a logo accent color when a high-contrast design with white feels too stark.
As the color of earth, brown has a natural and rugged appeal that inspires many people to embrace their outdoorsy side. It also brings to mind antique furniture, which provides a sense of dependability and durability. A rich brown color has close associations with coffee and chocolate.
Brown is a relatively rare choice for logos, which could help your brand stand out. Examples of famous brands with brown logos include UPS and Hershey’s.
Color meanings can help you pick shades which carry meaning for your brand. However, if you choose two or more colors for your logo, you’ll want to make sure they have a cohesive look. Not all colors can be paired together successfully. But when you understand some of the basics of color theory, it’s easier to evaluate different color combos to find the best fit.
Color theory is something that graphic designers rely on to create appealing color schemes. The theory is based on a color wheel which features the colors arranged in a circle in the classic rainbow order. Color relationships can be determined by their placement on the wheel.
Complementary colors are situated opposite from one another on the color wheel. This type of combination produces highly contrasting colors, so they can be very effective at calling attention to your logo. Examples of complementary color combinations are blue/orange, red/green, and yellow/purple.
Analogous color schemes feature three colors which are adjacent to one another on the color wheel. One famous example of this is the Mastercard logo, which features red, orange, and yellow. Another example of an analogous color combination is yellow, yellow-green, and green, which is seen in the BP logo.
Triadic colors are three colors which are evenly spaced apart on the color wheel. For example, the primary colors red/yellow/blue create a triadic color combination. The secondary color combination would be orange/green/purple. This is a similar concept as tetradic color combinations, which feature two complementary color pairings for a total of four colors.
While color theory is a great starting point for your logo color selection, you can also look at different stylistic choices for creating your brand color palette. The following options may help your logo stand out among the competition.
If you want a highly energetic feel to your logo, consider using bright, bold colors like lime green, teal, or neon pink. Consider including a neutral accent color like white or gray to provide some balance with your brighter tones.
Lighter pastels have a soft, sentimental appearance. They can have a gentle, calming effect on viewers, which is fitting for businesses like spas or therapy practices. Pastels are also associated with babies, with light blues and pinks representing boys and girls, respectively, and pastel greens and yellows used for gender-neutral applications.
Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are associated with comfort and coziness. They can also represent passion, energy, and desire.
Cool colors like green, blue, and purple generally create calm, peaceful feelings. These colors can have a relaxing effect and are often associated with health and wisdom.
A color gradient is a unique effect that you can apply to your logo. This is a popular choice for adding a dynamic feel to a logo background or font. A gradient features a range of different shades that blend from one tone into another. The various tints come together seamlessly for a smooth color progression.
A monochromatic color palette features different tones of a single base color. For example, you could design a cobalt blue logo which features accents of navy blue, teal, and light blue.
Looking at other business logos can give you a good idea of how different color palettes represent a brand’s key qualities. Check out each color combination for logos described below to get some examples that you can use for inspiration when developing your own logo design.
The high-contrast combination of yellow and black looks strong and confident. The inclusion of black also keeps the yellow tone from appearing too intense. It’s used by brands like Best Buy, Hertz, Ferrari, and Amazon.
The combination of blue and white is particularly versatile. Soft blues are comforting, while darker navy blues are trustworthy and reliable. This is one of the best two-color combinations logo designers prefer for healthcare businesses, like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Oral-B.
This color scheme for logos is often used for restaurants and other food service businesses. It combines yellow’s happy feel with the appetite-stimulating effects of red. Examples of this logo color combo include McDonald’s, Lay’s, and In-N-Out.
A blue and orange logo uses complementary colors from the color wheel. It looks dynamic and exciting as seen in logos for FedEx, Firefox, Payless, and Visa. The logos for Tide and Burger King also show that yellow makes a great accent color for this color palette.
This trendy color combo looks modern and youthful. It can also be tied to feminine brands, although there are plenty of gender-neutral products and services which use pink in their logos as well. Some examples of brands with pink logos include Lyft, T-Mobile, Cosmopolitan, and Victoria’s Secret’s Pink clothing line.
Ready to begin designing your own logo? Namecheap’s Logo Maker makes it simple to customize a logo for your brand in just minutes. Logo Maker guides you through each step, offering helpful prompts to assist in picking out the best logo colors, fonts, and shapes. You’ll have dozens of sample designs ready to go in minutes. Plus, this tool’s versatility allows you to make design tweaks and download your logo in multiple formats for digital and print applications. Try it today to create the perfect logo for your brand.