Search icon
How to Choose Your Logo Colors: A Guide for Non-Designers
Topics  
Design  

How to Choose Your Logo Colors: A Guide for Non-Designers

13 min read  

16 Apr 2019

So, you’re looking for the best colors for your logo. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, right?

People pay attention to visuals more than to simple text because our brain processes visuals better than texts, more than 60.000 times.

This is why it’s important to make the right impression on your audience. By choosing the right colors, you can decide how you want them to remember you and make the desired impression.

The importance of colors has been proven by many brands. We associate most of the famous brands with their colors. For example, when we think of Netflix, we imagine red, Facebook is blue, Starbucks is green. These associations have been imprinted in our minds through perfectly executed campaigns.

logo colors

Source: Ebaqdesign

Now, we’re going to help you choose your perfect logo color. How? We’ll speak about what to consider while choosing colors, their meanings, and will share some tips on logo color combinations.

So, let’s get the ball rolling!

 

 

  1. How to Choose Your Logo Colors?

 

When we study different companies, we see the evolution of their logos as a part of their brand. Recently, Slack announced its logo redesign and the reasons behind it. One of the main changes was the color. Their previous logo had 11 different colors. As a result, it didn’t look good on different backgrounds. A simple color palette would be perfect for them. So, they came up with the current logo version.

slack logo

Let’s get back to you.

In order to choose the right color for your logo, you need to consider different factors like the industry, your logo style, and how you want your brand to be perceived by people.

 

Logo Design

What are the main characteristics of a good logo? A good logo is unique, memorable, recognizable, appropriate, scalable, practical, and simple.

Of course, logo colors are of great importance, but they are a part of the whole logo concept and can’t be observed separately. First, you need to come up with an idea you want to put behind your logo. Then, get the final version by polishing your design concepts and sketches.

Wisely picked colors have a great impact on the overall perception of your logo, so make sure you got it right.

best logo colors

Source: FastCompany

 

Industry

You might have noticed that in different industries certain colors are dominant. One of the ways of choosing your logo and brand colors is to analyze your industry. People subconsciously associate companies that use specific colors with the industries they belong to. Below you can see various industries and the most popular colors used by industry representatives:

best colors for a logo

Source: Canva

As you can see in the image above, the most used logo colors across the industries are blue, black, white, and red. And, if you take a look at each industry, you will see which color dominates there, e.g. in the Fast Food industry, the dominating colors are red, yellow, and white.

According to research, the popular marketing colors blue, black, white, and grey have classical associations, radiate friendliness and trust to attract more clients.

brand colors

Source: 99designs

In technology, the most used colors are blue, white, black, and red. These colors help companies look modern and innovative.

logo colors meaning

Source: 99designs

If you’re not satisfied with the colors used by the industry leaders and think that your brand needs something new and fresh, consider other color options based on your logo style and color psychology.

 

Brand Perception

One of the main goals of any company is to build strong relationships with their customers and audience in general. To do so, you need to show what your brand stands for and your core values.

Colors help to create the right perception of your brand in the minds of your audience. For example, the color red represents energy, confidence and evokes strong emotions. Green is fresh and healthy. Pink is associated with femininity and warmth.

We’ll speak about color psychology a bit later because you need to know what’s hidden behind each color before using them in your logo.

It’s a well-known fact that one of the main factors of successful branding is consistency. Consistency helps to create certain associations with your brand. So, once you’ve picked the colors, incorporate them into everything that’s related to your company including but not limited to your logo, website, and social media profiles.

Let’s take one of the famous brands as an example - Starbucks. You can see different shades of green on their website, social posts, and packaging. This is how they keep their brand consistency.

No matter what colors you choose, make sure that they fully match your brand and values because people will perceive your brand through them.

 

RGB vs. CMYK

When choosing colors for your logo, you also need to consider where your logo will be used. Take into consideration that your logo will be visible both online and offline. If you don’t know how color works, you will get an inaccurate color representation of your logo. In design, there are 2 commonly used color systems: RGB and CMYK.

color systems

Source: digitalprinting.co.uk

In digital design, the RGB color system is used. RGB stands for red, green, and blue. These are considered primary colors and their combinations produce other colors. This is why this system is called additive

The CMYK color system is used in print. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key(Black). CMYK is a subtractive color system because the printed inks subtract the brightness that is usually reflected.

Choose the right color system based on this information. No matter what colors you choose, make sure that your logo looks perfect both online and offline.

 

  1. Psychology of Colors

 

We’ve heard a lot about the psychology of colors. Do colors really affect our behavior? Or, is it just a myth? Studies show that the physiological and emotional effect of colors depends on different factors such as the customers’ past experiences, culture, natural environment, gender, nationality, etc.

This is why you need to define your target audience and align your colors with your brand personality and the emotions you want to evoke.

There are 6 basic principles in color psychology:

  1. Specific meanings can be attributed to different colors
  2. Those meanings can be based on learned meaning or biologically innate meaning
  3. People perceive and evaluate colors automatically
  4. The evaluation forces color-motivated behavior
  5. Colors influence people automatically
  6. Color-motivated behavior also depends on the context

Now that we have some primary knowledge of how color psychology works, let’s see the common definitions of some colors:

  • Black: Black is considered an elegant and serious color that shows power, intelligence, luxury. If not used correctly, it can be associated with negative concepts such as sadness and even death. This color is commonly used as a background or for monochrome logos.
  • White: White is pure, clean, simple, and fresh. It’s a neutral color which is often used as a background to highlight the other colors. Also, white is popular in industries like healthcare, technology, and luxury products.
  • Grey: Grey shows professionalism, stability, credibility, and is associated with technology. It’s a practical and neutral color mostly used as a secondary color or a background.
  • Blue: Blue is tranquility, trust, and stability. It’s the most popular color used for Fortune 500 companies. Besides, this color is one of the favorite colors of both men and women.

color meanings

Source: Intercom

 

  • Green: Green is associated with growth, health, and nature. Green logos mostly imply that your company is eco-friendly and your products are organic and fresh. Sometimes, green can refer to money and be used for financial companies.
  • Red: Red is passion, power, energy, and confidence. It’s a dynamic color that evokes strong emotions, attracts attention, and creates a feeling of urgency. Companies from the food industry use this color because it increases appetite.
  • Orange: Orange is considered cheerful, friendly, and creative. It shows enthusiasm and stimulates the brain. Besides being friendly, sometimes it can be considered aggressive.
  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of happiness and joy. It’s fun and full of optimism. Yellow can be used to grab the attention of consumers and encourage them to take action. Sometimes, it’s associated with caution.
  • Purple: Purple is considered the color of success, luxury, courage, and wealth. Besides, it can present mystery and magic by playing with imagination. This color perfectly shows the balance between the physical and the spiritual.

To choose the perfect color, think about the associations and emotions that colors unconsciously create. By choosing the right color you will create the right perception of your brand.

 

  1. Logo Color Combinations

 

When it comes to choosing between single color or multiple ones, you need to know that single-colored logos are more minimalistic and can be used on any background. Besides, the picked color will be easily remembered and associated with your brand.

Multi-colored logos are more complicated because the overall impression will depend on the color combination. You can match 2 or more colors, depending on what you want to achieve with it. So, how to get the right color combination for your logo?

 

Ready-to-Use Color Schemes

Ready-to-use color palettes can be of great help for the beginners or for those who don’t know how to match different colors.

Use natural color combinations which can be quite unique and beautiful. If you don’t know where to start, nature is the best place. Here’s an example:

color palettes

Source: Visme

There are many websites that provide well-chosen color combinations for any use. So, color palette libraries can help you find carefully selected combinations for your logo.

color combinations for logo

Source: Color Hunt

When you use logo maker tools, they usually offer their own color combinations provided by professional designers. Here’s how it looks like in our logo maker:

logo maker color suggestions

Our editor gives you an opportunity to choose a ready-made palette, or change the color of each component of your logo manually.

The generated color palettes may not have the power to reflect your brand identity, so in this case, it’s better to choose the colors yourself.

 

Custom Color Combinations

You’ve definitely heard about the color wheel, right? If you want to choose your logo colors manually, you must know the basics of the color theory.

color theory

Source: Lifehacker

The primary colors of our wheel are red, blue, and yellow. After mixing these colors, we get secondary colors like orange, green, and violet. Colors have tints, which are created by mixing colors with white. When colors are mixed with black, they make up shades.

Another way to categorize the colors is by dividing them into warm and cool colors.

Now, let’s speak about the rules for matching colors. Again, we’ll have a look at the color wheel and will combine the colors based on it:

  • Complementary colors
  • Split complementary colors
  • Analogous colors
  • Triadic colors
  • Tetradic or double complementary colors

how to combine colors

Source: Lifehacker

You can start with simple combinations, because simplicity is essential in everything, including your brand and logo colors. Keep it simple but powerful by choosing the colors that fully reflect your brand.

Whether it’s a ready-to-use color palette or a custom combination, it must communicate your key message to your audience and be associated with your brand.

 

Conclusion

If you want to create your logo yourself, then you need to learn more about how to do it right. One of the main characteristics of a powerful logo is its colors. In this article, we’ve shared some useful tips on how to choose your logo colors based on your industry and brand perception, how to combine different colors by using the color wheel, and how to find ready-to-use color palettes. Now, it’s time for you to use this knowledge and create your logo.

Create Now

User Avatar

Article by

Dive into our Forestblog of exclusive interviews, handy tutorials and interesting articles published every week!

Read all posts by Renderforest Staff
Related Articles
Close icon
Search icon