When designing a logo it is essential to understand the psychology of colours. Colours are a pathway to convey meaning and instigate emotion through your logo designs. It can be a very powerful non-verbal form of communication as the human mind is programmed to respond in various ways to different colours.
Colour plays a vital role in our everyday lives and this is embedded into our minds from a very early age. For example, the fact that we know that green foods hold many benefits, brown plants are unhealthy and withering or a red traffic lights means stop; colour is everywhere. So when designing your company or brand logo it is imperative to understand the meaning behind the colours we choose and to use them appropriately.
Let us take a moment to look at some of the different colours available for you to use when designing your logos and what they actually represent.
Red is a powerful and intense colour that implies warmth, excitement, passion, danger, energy and burning desire. It is often used in logo designs to stand-out and grip the audience’s attention. When you think of red in advertising the first thing that pops into your head is probably Coca-Cola; an intensely flavoured drink full of energy and positivity.
Red can be found to stimulate appetite which is why it is used in many food product logos. You may see a billboard with a beautiful model and all that stands-out is her bright red lipstick evoking sexiness. And then of course there’s Superman with his super powerful red cape and dangerous adventures.
Red can make your logo feel more dynamic, grab attention or even raise a person’s blood pressure.
The colour blue conveys feelings of dependability, strength and trustworthiness. It implies professionalism, integrity and honesty. When we think of the colour blue we associate it with the calmness of the ocean or the serenity of the sky. It is a tranquil, reliable colour that emits feelings of honesty and relaxation.
Blue is generally very popular with financial institutions, hospitals and other government authorities such as the police, as it is associated with sincerity, protection, seriousness and competency.
A great example of a blue design logo and one that is now recognised worldwide is the logo for Facebook. It is dependable, reliable and honest; a simple way to connect to family, friends and new acquaintances from around the globe.
Green represents the environment, nature and life whilst symbolising growth. It is a serene and peaceful colour that is relaxing and comforting. Companies that often use green in their logos want to portray an eco-friendly image, one that supports the environment and cares for all of nature.
Green of course can also represent jealousy and envy but is more likely to be associated with freshness, growth, animals, trees, plants and anything that is bio-degradable or organic.
A great example for a green logo is that of Animal Planet. It shows wildness, nature and animals all in a simple yet explanatory logo that stands-out and speaks for itself with its different shades of green.
When we think of the colour yellow we automatically think of the sun. It represents sunshine, happiness and warmth. Because of the brightness of its colour yellow is often used to gain attention.
Yellow suggests optimism and clarity and although many may associate the colour yellow with cowardice, used in the right way yellow has the ability to plant a smile on even the most miserable of faces. It is a hopeful and cheerful colour that can be used alone or combined with other colours to get the perfect message across.
Orange is a colour that likes to be the centre of attention. It is a creative colour that evokes youthfulness, enthusiasm and friendliness.
Orange is an approachable colour that is often portrayed as the colour of innovation. It is fun, attention grabbing and approachable. It is also a very child-friendly colour and is a great colour to highlight playfulness, durability and attractiveness.
Purple is the colour of royalty. A luxurious colour that implies wisdom, mystery and sophistication, purple conjures images of mysticism and magic.
Purple takes your imagination to higher and extraordinary places and brands often use this colour to imply that their brand is of a higher class than all the rest; luxurious and wealthy. It can be used to reminisce historical times or daydream better futures.
Pink is a very feminine colour and is often associated with advertising that is aimed at women or younger girls. When we think of pink it is a pretty colour that is sweet and cute. Barbie, for example, is all about the pink. Little girls tend to have a tendency to adore pink over all other colours because of the way it is portrayed by society.
Pink is a tranquil colour with almost floral attributes. It is soft and tender and evokes kindness and attractiveness.
Black can be classified as either a very dark colour or the absence of colour. It combines well with the colour white; often brands have a monochrome version of their advertising logo.
Black is bold, powerful and very mysterious. It can ooze simplicity and sophistication or can be associated with the darker entities of today’s world. Black can be very trendy and professional but can also be edgy.
White is usually associated with pureness, cleanliness and simplicity. It is naturally the background colour for many logos and with its clean and pure feel is the universal colour for peace and tranquillity.
When combining white with black, logos can achieve a balanced and simple feel whilst appearing timeless.
It is a fact that the human brain connects to colours so by bringing them into your logo, in the right way, you are appealing to a side of human nature you couldn’t otherwise reach. Great logos all use primary colours because the human brain links with these colours at a basic level. When designing a logo colours should be chosen in accordance with what the brand wants to say to its audience.
The goal of a logo is to get noticed and be remembered. Of course the final impact of a logo design will depend not just on the colours but how they interrelate with other factors such as images, text and fonts.
It is imperative for businesses to understand the psychology behind colours when designing their marketing strategy or logo as colour and branding go hand in hand. Colours can affect the way potential customers interpret your brand and can release either positive or negative reactions. Colour plays a massive part in the psychology of a brand so understanding which colours send out appropriate and relevant messages and combining this with your outstanding logo will definitely get your brand noticed; and ultimately remembered.