Warm reds, cool blues, neutral grays — the colors you choose to represent your company say a lot about who you are and what you do. When you begin to design a logo, those colors are a big part of the process. As a representation of your brand, it only makes sense that your logo contains your brand colors and helps visually reinforce your products or services in the minds of your customers.
Every color carries its own meaning, and selecting the right ones for your branding takes careful consideration to ensure that they properly showcase your company’s best features. To help you make these choices, this Namecheap guide outlines what each color represents and how to make smart selections for your company, logo, and other visual applications.
As an extension of your brand, your logo colors are a key way to connect your business to the brand identity you want to convey. Here are four reasons why logo colors are important to your brand.
Color meanings are derived from color psychology, which is the study of the relationship between colors, emotions, and moods. This theory states that color has a significant impact on feelings, action, and other psychological reactions. When used thoughtfully in your brand and in your logo, certain colors can help foster connections between your brand and your customers.
As an extension of your brand identity, the colors used in your logo are essential to tying your logo to your company. They are core to communicating how you want customers to perceive your brand, whether you want to build trust, inspire passion, or encourage relaxation.
Here’s what these 12 popular colors mean when you use them in your logo.
Red is connected with desire, excitement, and energy. This color is often seen in healthcare logos as red is associated with hearts and other organs. In Chinese culture, red is the color of luck and good fortune. You’ll also see red used in fast food logos like KFC’s because it’s believed that this color stimulates hunger.
Recommended for: If you’re hoping to inspire energizing and invigorating feelings in your customers, a red logo may be the way to go. Red may also be a bold choice if you want to attract attention to your business and earn respect in your industry.
Positively cheerful yellow is a bright and bold way to call attention to your logo. Construction companies and safety equipment manufacturers will use yellow to signify caution and warning. Within the yellow spectrum is a wide range of shades. You can opt for a bright, highlighter yellow — although you may not want to use a color that bright in your logo, as it can be too difficult to read — or a more mellow dandelion color.
Recommended for: If you’re hoping to elicit feelings of happiness and positivity in your customers, yellow may be the right way to go.
This mix of yellow and red harnesses qualities of both colors, and the power and meaning behind the shade of orange you choose depends on whether it’s closer to red or closer to yellow. No matter which direction you go, this happy color is used to communicate excitement, friendliness, enthusiasm, and warmth. Also, just like its eponymous citrus, orange reminds your customers of the freshness of squeezed juice.
Recommended for: If you want your company to embrace feelings of happiness and friendliness, orange may be a good choice for you.
As the color of money and the color of nature, green is used to communicate prosperity, growth, motivation, luck, and tranquility. Green is associated with calming properties and can help people feel at ease. If you’re a financial services provider, work at a nursery, or produce organic beverages, green is an excellent way to quickly convey to your customer what you do.
As it is with orange and as you’ll see with blue, shade makes a difference when you’re using green. A darker shade indicates reliability and loyalty, while lighter shades imply growth and transformation. Choose wisely if you want to use green in your logo!
Recommended for: Businesses centered in growth and prosperity, like financial services, are good fits for green. It’s also a smart choice for businesses that want to suggest that their customers will be prosperous through their product or service outside of financial services.
Just like green, light blue can suggest a sense of calm and tranquility. As one of the most preferred colors among both men and women, it’s often used to indicate trustworthiness. You’ll see brands use light blue in their logo colors to show that they are inviting, welcoming, and calming, like a still sea or a beautiful blue sky.
Recommended for: Companies that need their customers to trust them with their personal information or to rely on them for performance can indicate those qualities with light blue.
Deeper blue hues stand for maturity, integrity, stability, and power. Brands that have stood the test of time or that have been around for many decades use dark blue to indicate their status. Just like light blue, dark blue also represents trustworthiness, a great quality for any brand to have.
Recommended for: Brands that prioritize trust and authority, particularly in a highly competitive industry, can use dark blue to showcase their core values.
Royalty and regal grace are what come to mind when a brand uses purple in its logo. Purple is used to communicate wealth, sophistication, quality, wisdom, and creativity. This is common across all types of products, from food to beauty to gifts.
Recommended for: Brands will use purple in their branding when they want to indicate the luxurious nature and high quality of their products to their target audience.
This bright and cheery color has long been associated with women and girls, but pink goes beyond dolls and cherry-scented soaps. Pink stands for sentimentality and can help your customers feel calmer.
There’s quite a wide range of shades to choose from when it comes to pink. Lighter hues are more associated with the romantic sentiments pink can invoke, while darker and more vibrant magenta-like shades are connected to confidence and fun.
Recommended for: Pink has wide-ranging implications for many types of businesses. You can consider pink if your target market is girls or women, but don’t discount pink in your logo if your brand is all about having a good time.
Brown evokes dependability and reliability in several interesting ways. For one, brown represents antiques and old wooden structures that have stood the test of time and have lasted from decade to decade. Just like the stability of the brown earth beneath our feet, natural and rugged brands draw the connection between this logo color and strong foundation, creating a sense of dependability.
On the flipside, brown is an example of a programmed association, or associations with color due to evolution. It may be hardwired in people’s brains to link brown with rotting food. It’s no coincidence that brown is at the bottom of the list when it comes to people’s favorite colors.
Recommended for: Brands heavily connected to nature or ruggedness may benefit from including brown in their logos.
Often seen as gloomy or sad, gray doesn’t always make the top of the list when it comes to neutrals. However, when used well in your logo, gray can suggest balance and neutrality, conveying a sense of professionalism and formality that’s good for common business services like law firms and accounting firms. Brands should be cautious about using gray as the sole color in their brand, instead opting to use gray as an accent color or the neutral in the color palette.
Recommended for: Brands that want to put a professional and polished foot forward can make a gray logo work for their business.
Sleekness, class, and elegance are all associated with black. Brands that use touches of black as part of their brand color scheme emphasize luxury, sophistication, and prestige. This great neutral can be applied to packaging, giveaways, card stock for when you create business cards, and many other places as a way to reinforce the quality of the product or service being offered.
If you choose to use black, it’s important to do so wisely. Black is not as memorable as other brighter and cheerier shades, so it may be hard to build an emotional connection with your audience if this color is your main one. Consider incorporating black as an accent color or a neutral instead of making it the star of the show.
Recommended for: Companies that want to communicate luxury and elegance should consider using black in their logo.
Pure, crisp, and clean, white is associated with innocence and virtue. It’s also associated with health, so you’ll often see white as part of a logo representing a healthcare center or hospital. Its connection to purity and innocence also makes it a popular choice for charities or organizations that work with children.
Importantly, a white version of your logo is not the same as a white logo. In this instance, an all-white version of your color logo is just for printing onto dark backgrounds so your logo remains visible on giveaways and other applications. (You’ll likely need an all-black version of your logo for the same reason.)
Recommended for: Charities, childrens’ organizations, animal shelters, and other organizations with notable and noble goals should consider including white in their logo.
Most brand colors used in a logo are a combination of three shades: a main color called a “base” color, a neutral color, and an accent color. This trio of colors is then implemented across all channels and all mediums, including your logo, to visually represent your company’s brand identity.
Your combination of brand colors should fall into one of four major categories, all of which turn to the color wheel to help guide choices that work together as a comprehensive unit.
Complementary colors are those opposite one another on the color wheel. Many brands opt for complementary colors as the opposing tones seem like they would not work together until they’re strategically united in the brand’s marketing materials. The results are memorable and eye-catching. You’ll often see complementary logos representing sports teams, food brands, chain stores, and more. The Los Angeles Lakers’ purple and yellow team colors are a great example of complementary colors.
Monochromatic logos select a base shade and lean heavily on it. Instead of selecting a neutral and an accent color, a monochromatic color palette utilizes the lighter and darker shade of the base color. The PayPal logo is a great example of a monochromatic color scheme used in a logo.
Think of the color wheel as a clock. The triadic approach selects colors at the 12, 4, and 8 positions; the 1, 5, and 9 positions, or any other similar equivalent. The goal with the triadic color palette approach is to imply stability by taking from equal sections of the color wheel. The Mozilla Firefox logo is an example of a triadic color palette used in a logo.
The analogous approach selects three colors that are next to one another on the color wheel. This means that your brand colors will all be in the same family. Three different shades next to one another on the color palette, such as yellow, yellow-green, and green, would be analogous. Use of this palette type implies a harmonious grouping that naturally belongs together.
What feelings does your favorite color bring to mind? What about your least favorite color? Whether consciously or subconsciously, your customers are similarly moved to think, feel, and act in a certain way by the colors you choose. As an extension of your brand identity, your logo — and the colors used in it — represents your brand in a particularly powerful way, both visually tying the logo to your greater brand identity and subtly nudging your customers to feel a certain way or take a particular action.
The Namecheap logo generator makes color selections for your logo a cinch. This free-to-use, intuitive tool takes you through several options for logo shapes and fonts, ending the process with several options for logo colors that best represent your brand. Organized by mood, you can choose between many options that reflect both what you want to convey and your personal tastes. Visit the Visual brand design suite of tools from Namecheap to get started on this process today.