The Importance of Colour in Logos

The Importance of Colour in Logos

Designing a logo is one of the most testing jobs that a graphic designer can take on. So many factors have to be taken into account to successfully capture a brand’s essence in the instant hit offered by a logo. And this is what causes graphic designers so many headaches.

One of the most vital areas to absolutely nail is in the colour chosen to add flavour and depth to a logo. The correct colour will help you to deliver an amazing logo which defines the client’s persona, but the wrong colour will leave you with a design which fails to engage anyone.

That’s why it’s time to dig deep into the core of logo design and understand exactly what’s happening beneath the surface of all those colours.

The Effect of Colour

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that colour is a visual stimulus, but it does take someone with a few brain cells to understand the psychological impact of different colours.

There’s a whole spectrum of colours out there to use, but humans have a built in emotional system which allocates certain feelings to certain colours. That’s not to say these are set in stone by our primeval responses though.

Take red, for example, which has meant danger ever since Neanderthal man first made the mistake of eating those curious looking berries on that bush. However, McDonalds has a logo which certainly hasn’t scared millions people off of eating their food.

The learned associations of colours, therefore, are also important for your logo to harness the correct emotional response.

And, let’s face it, a logo needs to exude emotion like it’s going out of fashion. There’s no room for nihilism in a logo, so understanding the psychology of colours is essential to create a professional logo.

What Do All Those Colours Mean?

So, we’ve established that there’s a whole palette of emotions just waiting to infuse your logos with a sense of emotion, but where do you start?

Let’s a take a look at what the most popular logo colours represent:

Red

This feisty colour is the beating heart of colour emotion and engenders powerful feelings such as love and urgency. It’s also been shown to stimulate appetite which is why you’ll find it emblazoned across fast food restaurants.

Orange

Being a laid back colour, orange generates a sense of fun, but also delivers feelings of warmth which can be linked with strong nostalgic tendencies. It’s also a trustworthy colour – just take a look at how Sainsburys have adopted it as their official colour to engage their shoppers.

Yellow

Nothing represents yellow better than that big old sun, so it’s no surprise to learn that yellow embodies vibrancy and sunshine. However, be aware that yellow is also associated with cowardice, so isn’t the best colour for a superhero agency logo!

Green

With the society around us constantly pushing the green card it’s no surprise that green is associated with nature, health and wellbeing. This is why you’ll frequently find it helping to promote these values in health food stores.

Blue

Peace, integrity and professional values are the most common feelings connected with blue and this is why it’s so popular in business logos. This is particularly true for financial institutions that need to cultivate as much trust in their brand as possible.

How Many Colours Should you Use?

It’s possible to create a world beating logo with just one colour and, frankly, if it looks amazing with just one colour then don’t mess with it. It’s never done any harm to Barclays, Virgin or Twitter after all!

But the use of multiple colours has also allowed graphic designers to highlight exactly what a client has to offer. Google, for example, offers a wide range of services and this is indicated by the multiple colours offered by their logo.

And multiple colours also offer up a sense of community, so anything which draws people together such as the World Cup, The Olympics and parties should definitely look beyond a monochromatic scale to connect people.

Colour remains the major make or break decision in logo design, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with when choosing between red, blue or green!

 

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