Pros and Cons of Popular Colours in Logo Design

When designing a logo the colours that are used are very important. As logo designers our job is to use your company colours in the logo design or sometimes help advise you on the best colours to use overall. Colours carry psychological meaning and knowing the psychology behind each colour can really help you determine what is best for your logo. As professional designers, we have studied and understand the importance of different colours.

Some businesses lend themselves well to certain colours which come across in their logo designs. For example, you often see businesses related to the sea or the ocean with blue logos, holiday and travel businesses with logos in yellow and environment websites using green and brown and so on. So what colour should you choose? To help you realise what is in a colour and what they connote; here in this blog entry we reveal the psychology in using some of the most popular colour choices in logo design.

Yellow

Yellow

Yellow is a colour associated with Warning, Construction, Taxis and Sunshine. It invokes positive feelings of High Energy, Optimism, Curiosity, Warmth, Happiness and Playfulness and negative feelings such as Dishonesty, Youthfulness, Immaturity, Anger and Frustration. Yellow is a colour that causes strong reactions in most people, but a good colour to use when attracting attention. When done well, using yellow can work great in logo design. Use this colour cautiously though as too much yellow can lead to a loss of focus - it is usually best in a supportive role to another colour. As you can see in the picture above, a lot of yellow logos use a darker colour like black to support its traits.

Pro: A warm and happy colour
Con: Bit tiring for the eyes
Used by: Golden Pages, CAT, Shell, BP, McDonald’s, MasterCard, Amazon, Batman
Works well with: Black, Brown, Green

 

Green

Green

Green is our favourite colour as you might have guessed if you're looking at our website! It is a colour associated with Ireland, Nature, Environment, Recycling, Web 2.0, Organic, Fruits, Vegetables, Gardening, Health, Wellness, Finance, Money, Fertility, Growth and Construction. Green is a colour of nature and is naturally pleasing to the eye. It invokes the positive feelings of Serenity, Peace, Joy, Hope, Success and Health. It can also bring to the fore negative feelings of Jealousy, Greed, Materialism and Self-indulgence. Green works well for the likes of Yoga Studios, Wellness or Organic Food Shops. The colour can be cool and calming or if you use a brighter or neon versions of green such as lime green; the colour can then be vibrant and attention grabbing.

Pro: Can be used in logos for Environment, Food, Finance and Health
Con: Quite overused and now almost expected in environmental logo design
Used by: Android, Starbucks, Animal Planet, Green Giant, Land Rover
Works well with: Black, White, Brown, Yellow

 

Blue

Blue

Blue is a colour associated with the Water, Sea, Sky, Business, Police, Security, Hospitals, Electricity and Open Spaces. Blue invokes positive feelings of Trust, Freedom, Safety, Strength, Significance, Importance, Reliability and Confidence and can also invoke negative feelings of Depression, Melancholy, Negativity, Sadness, Self-Righteousness and Self-Centeredness. Blue works well for Police & Security companies, Surf Businesses, Electricity and Water Companies and is used a lot in the Corporate world. Like with green above, blue is often seen in businesses that have a connection to the sea and water.

Pro: A favourite and universal logo colour of many different businesses
Con: If overused it can drown your logo (just like water)
Used by: WordPress, Samsung, Dell, HP, Intel, Facebook, Ford, Oral-B, Chevron, Oreo, The Gap, Visa, VW
Works well with: Black, Grey, Red, Whites and also other shades of blue

 

Red

Red

Red is a colour associated with Strawberries, Life-Saving, Traffic and Stop Signs, Heat, Seduction, Revolution, Christmas, Socialism, Communism, Roses, Wine, Royalty and Fire. Suffice to say, it is bright and eye-catching. Red can bring forth positive feelings of Excitement, Power, Passion, Love and Intensity. It can also invoke negative feelings of Danger, Fear, Warning, Anxiety, Violence, Stress and Anger. Financial institutions often avoid red as it can be a negative term when talking about money and finances. It is a colour that works well for Wine and Off-License Shops, Restaurants, Doctors and Flower Shops.

Pro: A favourite logo colour of many
Con: Can be hard trying to use many shades as a lighter red often looks like pink
Used by: Coca-Cola, Red Cross, CNN, ESPN, YouTube, Red Bull, Toyota, KFC, McDonalds
Works well with: Black, Blue, White

 

Black


The colour black can be a very formal and powerful colour when used in logo design. Positive feelings associated with the colour are that of Authority, Power, Strength and Completeness. More negative feelings arrive in the form of Mystery, Darkness, Rigidity and Domination. Due to its ubiquity, the colour black can find itself incorporated into many logos in some shape or form. When it comes to writing and text, black is almost always used here as it is a strong colour that is easy to read against many other colours. Black works well for Corporate, Financial, Design, Funeral Director and Educational businesses.

Pro: A strong and commanding colour
Con: Very common and does not catch the eye as well as brighter colours
Used by: Adidas, WWF, Nike, Chanel, Cartoon Network
Works well with: White, Red, Yellow, Lighter colours

 

Summary

When picking the colours for your logo, think of what your brand needs and what it should communicate through colour. Learn and become familiar with the meanings of the colours you are thinking of using to make sure that they work together and are a fit with what your company does or wants to portray. If you are unsure, please ask us to help. We are the leading Waterford Logo Designers and have made logos for companies all over Ireland.


Our work drives sales to your business. We take the time to understand the needs of our clients and the message(s) and feeling that they want to portray to their customers (both loyal and new) through their logo and branding. Getting advice or learning the psychology of colours can give businesses the edge it needs to stand out and successfully communicate their brand message in a crowded marketplace. If you would like any further information about any colour or colours in particular, please feel free to get in touch with us directly or leave a comment.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog entry on the pros and cons of colours used in logo design! Please comment and share. – Ireland Website Design

 

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