Think about the world's most famous logo designs, and what colors come to mind?
McDonald's - Gold and Red (or Green, in recent years)
FedEx - Blue and Red
Pepsi - Red, White, and Blue
These color combinations, simple though they may seem, are not random. Oh no, there's a psychology of logo colors that you need to understand, so that your company's logo has the pop you're looking for.
Let us guide you through the best logo color combinations to give your logo that elusive instant recognition!
Logo Colors 101: Nail Down Your Brand Identity
Before you start thinking in detail about the psychology of logo colors, color combinations or logo color palettes, have clearly in mind the message you want your business to project.
Are you young and hip? Solid and reliable? Do you have historic roots? Are you looking to future expansion?
Whatever your message, it should be projected by the logo style and color combinations you choose.
Don't leave the audience guessing about your company's identity. It might be fun to have an abstract logo or be visually appealing, but if people are left wondering who on earth you are then you've lost them before you ever had them.
Once you've got these points clear in mind, you can start to think about colors. But what do they all mean?
What Do Logo Colors Mean?
Of course, the psychology of logo colors is up for debate. However, it does seem that certain colors send out messages that tend to resonate with people in particular ways.
Let's explore a few together and see what would work for your business.
Think of the brands that have predominantly used red over the years - Nintendo, Virgin, Lego.
When you think of these brands, which demographic springs to mind?
Yes, they're all about youth, and that means right from young children, through to millennials.
Having red as their dominant color exudes youth, vitality, and excitement. Paired with other primary colors, it can have even more of an impact, as we'll go on to see.
In terms of logos, blue tends to come to us in more varieties than red.
Light blue and other pastel shades of blue are used extensively by companies looking to project an image of calm and dependability. Think drug heavyweight Pfizer and dental care brand Oral-B.
Bright blue, on the other hand, signals confident strength, hence its use by many financial institutions, like American Express.
Yellow is associated with good things - sunshine, happiness, optimism.
Many brands use yellow and gold to create these kinds of vibes around their business. It's also a clear color, particularly when paired with a black background, which makes yellow writing and images really pop.
It's been used successfully for years by market leaders such as Macdonalds and Ikea to project a positive, forward-looking image.
What are the Best Logo Color Combinations?
Whether you're establishing a solid logo, or joining the moving logo trend, the psychology of logo color combinations must be obeyed! Generally, sticking to pairing two colors rather than matching three is safer for most businesses.
Let's look at a few classic combos and see whether they could work for your business.
Red and Blue
This is a winning combination, as it combines the youth and vitality of red, with the reliable, dependable messages of blue.
It's been used by countless organizations with great success such as British Airways, NFL and Pepsi. If your business is based on trust, but you're looking to appeal to young people as well, this could be a great way to go.
Green and Yellow
Green is associated with health and wellbeing, so is a great color to use if your business operates in this arena. Pairing it with yellow, which is clear, optimistic, and vibrant can convey a very positive image to your customers.
One brand rocking this combo is Subway - keeping it young and fresh with yellow while sending out the health messages with its dominant use of green.
Black and White
If you'd like to convey style, elegance, and a touch of mystery then black and white can make a powerful statement about your company.
The imagery and text style has to be spot on, but brands like Chanel lead the way in showing how this is done.
Red and Yellow
For logos that stand out from the crowd, red is a great way to go. Pairing it with yellow brings optimism; plus this combination is super easy to read and spot even from far away.
Many companies have rocked this combo over the years, including British mail service 'Royal Mail'.
Blue and Pink
If your company is into providing sweet treats, or in other ways brightening up people's lives, then pink could be a solid way to go.
Baskin Robbins is a perfect example of a company that makes this combo work to perfection - giving you the reliability of blue and the sweet connotations of pink.
A Word to the Wise - Logo Color Palettes to Avoid
Just as there are colors that send out positive signals, there are those that just, well, don't...
Gray is one to be approached with caution.
When in the guise of silver, it tends to be associated with modernity and sleekness, which could work well for your brand. Too much gray, or darker shades, can be oppressive and depressing - best avoided if you want to draw customers in.
Brown is another that has sometimes been used effectively - UPS is a great example.
However, it could also be dark and depressing, so use it carefully. You want it to give off vibes of earthiness and dependability, rather than muddiness and lack of clarity.
The Bottom Line: The Best Logo Color Combinations
The best logo color combinations are out there and plain to see!
Strong pairings of primary colors, such as red and blue, yellow and red have been used time and time again to send out strong, confident vibes to customers.
Nail down your brand image, compare with your competitors and you'll be able to choose a winning color combo that conveys your message and brand identity to a tee.
For further inspiration on creating an awesome logo for your business, check out our animated logo blog today!