The Art of Choosing Colors for Your Logo

A Guide to Logo Design and Color Theory for Branding


A well-designed logo is essential for any business looking to establish a strong brand identity. While color can be an important aspect of a logo, it’s important to remember that the logo should look good in black and white first. Adding color is important, but overall, it is secondary to the design of the logo itself. In fact, some logos look best in black and white. Negative logos, for example, are logos that are designed to appear as the negative space. These logos often use black and white to create a striking and memorable design.

When it comes to adding color to a logo, it’s important to consider color theory. Color theory is the study of how colors can evoke certain emotions and feelings. Blue, for example, is a color that conveys trust and reliability. This is why many financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, use blue in their logos. On the other hand, red is a color that conveys excitement and passion. This is why many fast-food restaurants use red in their logos.

Another important aspect of color theory in branding and logo design is the use of complementary colors. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange or red and green. When used together, these colors can create a visually striking and memorable design. For example, the FedEx logo uses purple and orange, which are complementary colors. This creates a logo that is both visually interesting and memorable.

Common Colors in Branding

Explore some of the most commonly used colors in branding and what they represent:

▰ Black is a classic and timeless color that represents sophistication, elegance, and authority. It’s often used in high-end fashion, luxury products, and beauty brands. However, black can also convey a sense of negativity and seriousness, so it’s essential to balance it out with other colors.

▰ Blue is a calming and trustworthy color that represents stability, loyalty, and professionalism. It’s often used in corporate logos, financial institutions, and healthcare brands. Lighter shades of blue can convey a sense of tranquility, while darker shades can represent strength and authority.

▰ Red is a bold and attention-grabbing color that represents energy, passion, and excitement. It’s often used in food, entertainment, and fashion brands. Red can also evoke a sense of urgency and danger, so it’s important to use it strategically.

▰ Green is a refreshing and peaceful color that represents growth, health, and nature. It’s often used in eco-friendly brands, organic products, and healthcare industries. Darker shades of green can convey a sense of wealth and stability, while lighter shades can represent new beginnings and growth.

▰ Purple is a luxurious and creative color that represents elegance, sophistication, and royalty. It’s often used in beauty brands, high-end products, and creative industries. Purple can also evoke a sense of mystery and spirituality, so it’s important to use it carefully.

▰ Yellow is a bright and cheerful color that represents optimism, creativity, and joy. It’s often used in fast-food brands, children’s products, and entertainment industries. Yellow can also convey a sense of caution and anxiety, so it’s important to use it in moderation.

Coca-Cola: The company’s classic red and white color scheme is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with the brand. Red is a bold and energetic color that is often associated with excitement and passion, making it the perfect choice for a company that sells an indulgent, sugary beverage.

McDonald’s: The fast-food giant’s logo features bright yellow arches against a red background. Yellow is a cheerful and optimistic color that is often associated with happiness and positivity, while red is bold and attention-grabbing. Together, these colors create a sense of energy and excitement that is perfect for a fast-food brand.

Google: The tech giant’s colorful logo features a playful and vibrant color scheme that is meant to convey the brand’s creative and innovative spirit. The use of multiple colors also reflects the company’s diverse range of products and services.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the colors you choose for your logo should be consistent with the rest of your brand. Your logo is just one aspect of your overall branding strategy, and the colors you choose for your logo should be consistent with the colors used on your website, marketing materials, and other branding materials.