Color Psychology in Logo Design and Brand Identity
Every Logo Design and Brand Identity has a Meaning, your Colors say it all
Colors do a lot more than just look pretty when it comes to your brand identity. They actually have psychological effects on the people who see them. People use color psychology in home design to cause different rooms to have different kinds of energy – red makes you hungry so it is good for a kitchen, and blue makes you calm and relaxed so it is great for a bedroom.
In logo design, too, colors have a strong effect on the way your customers feel. If you want maximal effects from your logo and company, you should hire a logo designer or brand identity designer who understands color psychology. You too, should have a basic understanding of color psychology and what your logo colors are communicating to your customers.
Red – Passion, Excitement Love/ Hate/ Anger
Red is a high energy color. It is reminiscent of blood and conveys emotions such as passion, excitement, love, and even anger. Red also makes people hungry.
McDonalds and Red Bull are both companies that have made use of red in their logos to create specific feelings in their customers. In McDonalds’s case, the purpose of the red is to spark hunger. In Red Bull’s cases, the purpose of red is to make people think of energy, adventure, excitement, and even aggression.
Orange – Fun, Creativity, Enthusiasm
Orange is a color that combines the energetic effects of red and yellow. It is also an exciting, high energy color, but it is a bit more light hearted than red. Orange communicates fun, creativity, enthusiasm, and youthfulness. Orange also communicates affordability.
The Nickelodian “splat” logo is an example of how orange makes customers think of youth and fun. Use orange in your logo when you want to communicate that your product is more fun than a barrel of monkeys and that your customers aren’t going to need to worry about value because it doesn’t cost much anyway.
Yellow – Positivity, Playfulness and Cheerfulness
The third of the warm colors (red, orange, and yellow), yellow communicates positivity, playfulness, and cheerfulness. Yellow is the color of sunshine. Yellow also indicates caution.
The McDonalds logo features yellow prominently to create the feeling of lighthearted playfulness that is logical for a company that is known for having playgrounds indoors and whose mascot is a clown.
Green – Friendly and Environmentally Conscious
Green is a natural color, and as such it is also a natural choice for companies that want to be seen as eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. If your company has to do with the great out of doors, you may want to consider incorporating green into your logo design.
Blue – Trust, Expertise and Competence
Blue is a calm color that brings up feelings of trustworthiness. If you want your customers to see you as an authority in your industry, choose a blue logo.
Many tech and computer companies have used blue logos because the color communicates expertise and competence. However, blue can also feel a bit too rigid if your company has more of a creative, excited energy. When you are choosing colors, make sure that you are evoking the emotions that your customers should have about your business, and not necessarily the emotions you have about your business!
Purple – Classic and Sophisticated
More than any other color, purple indicates quality. Though it has been some time since purple was a color only royalty could afford to wear, it is still a color that is connected with wealth and prestige. Purple is classic and sophisticated, and communicates to your customers that your company and the products they buy from your company are here to stay.
Purple also prepares your customers to spend a premium on your product or service, and to be happy about it. After all, you get what you pay for, and if you want the best you should be ready to pay a lot for it, right?
Brown – Trustworthy and Reliable
Brown is the color of earth, and it therefore indicates that your business is down to earth, grounded, and every other descriptor that has to do with the earth. A company with a brown logo is going to be seen as trustworthy, reliable, get the job done. There’s no frills or fanciness about a brown logo; you do what needs to be done and you work hard.
Brown logos also have an outdoorsy feel like green logos do. Brown logos tend to be more woodsy, so for instance a hiking equipment company might opt for a brown logo.
Black – Elegant, Clean and Classic
Black is an elegant, classic color. It communicates that your product is a great value – fantastic quality at a competitive price. Black indicates formality, tradition, and distinction. It can also indicate boldness or even danger. There is a reason why the 007 logo is black – it’s the color of both tuxedos and guns.
Gray – Stability, Practicality and Respect
Gray communicates stability, practicality, and respect. It can also come across as somber or dull. For a company with a strong corporate identity and a lot of authority, gray is a good color that inspires confidence.
White – Truthful and Transparent
White is the color of purity. In a logo, white is indicated by negative space or by white text on a black or colored background. White indicates that your company is truthful and transparent, that it is honest, and that it is clean and pure. For a nonprofit such as the World Wildlife Fund, the white in the logo inspires contributors to believe that all the funds will be used for good projects and that there is no corruption in the organization.