The Psychology of Logo Design: Colour
Last week, I introduced the ideas and concepts around using shapes in logo design and how the psychology of the shape attracts customers. Today, I am going to talk to you about colour.
Just like shape, the different colours used are an important part of logo psychology. While selecting appropriate colour schemes will come as second nature to most graphic designers, you should always consult the chart below to make sure your colours are conveying the right message for your brand.
Black: Mystery, sophistication, death, villainy
White: Hope, simplicity, cleanliness, goodness, purity
Red: Love, passion, romance, danger, energy, aggression
Yellow: Intellect, sun, friendliness, warmth, caution, cowardice
Blue: Peace, sincerity, confidence, integrity, tranquillity
Grey: Authority, maturity, security, stability
Green: Life, growth, nature, money, freshness
Orange: Innovation, creativity, ideas, modernism, approachability, fun, affordability
Purple: Royalty, luxury, wisdom, dignity
Brown: Outdoors, Rural, Organic, Maturity, Masculinity
Pink: Love, femininity, fun, playfulness
The above is just a few general examples of colours and their perceptions in logo design. However, nothing is set in stone. There are hundreds and thousands of colours to choose from and even the smallest of variations in the tone and vibrancy can have a huge impact on the message they communicate. To give an example, pastel tones are often used by modern and independent businesses to perceive calmness and wholesomeness; it can, however, come across as amateur by some, whereas bold and saturated tones communication more energy and action but can come across as carefree and pushy.
An intelligent designer will tend to stick to one or two original colours that give the brand an association with their chosen colour scheme. For example, when you see a bright red and yellow combination, it is difficult not to immediately think of McDonalds (we used McDonalds as an example in the psychology of shape blog – it shows what a great logo design can do!). Companies that offer a range of services or products or those keen to promote diversity can sometimes pull off multiple colour. If you think of eBay and Google you get the image. However, most companies are best off sticking to a limited palette. Once your business is in a position where your brand is synonymous with the market or product, then you can be more adventurous with your logo colours!
It is also important to say that your logo should still work in black and white. Some media channels and platforms are void of colour so rely on a black and white version of your logo. Do some simple testing on this before committing to a design and regretting it later.