If you’re in the midst of a logo design, whether it’s a brand-new company or you’re ready for an update, you’re probably contemplating colors. It may be tempting to go with your favorite color combination because it feels good to your gut and you already know you like it. But there are messages that different colors send, and you want to be sure it works with your brand message.
Here are a few thoughts about what your logo colors may be communicating:
Let’s start with a little sophistication. Black is luxury and business, sleek and mature. It signals a bit of highbrow, serious messaging. Some examples of brands that use black are Adidas, Chanel, L’Oreal, Sony and Louis Vuitton.
A white logo can also be sophisticated, but it signals purity and a nothing-to-hide mentality. Apple famously uses white for their bitten apple logo. The North Face also uses white, demonstrating its commitment to pure, quality products.
Using green is a way to communicate that your brand is associated with good health, fresh products and nature. Green is highlighted in the logos of Land Rover, John Deere, Whole Foods and Starbucks.
Brands that use yellow as the featured color in their logo may have an optimistic, happy feel to them. The car rental company Hertz, Yellow Pages and Best Buy are all brands that utilize the color yellow to boost warm feelings about their brands.
This color is another happy, friendly color that is used to signal affordability and sometimes creativity. Brands that use this color include Nickelodeon, Etsy, Fanta and Amazon.
You might notice that blue is a go-to color for many brands. It communicates trustworthiness and dependability. It’s a common choice for the financial industry, as well as healthcare and public services, like your police department. Many car manufacturers, such as GM, Ford, BMW and Volkswagen all use blue, and you’ll see it with brands that want you to trust them with your personal information, like PayPal and Facebook.
This color is a tricky one, because it can send a message of fun and excitement, but it can also mean danger. It can tell your audience that you are here to mix things up and add a thrill, but it may need a carefully considered second color to send the right message. The most famous red brand is Coca-Cola, but its use of white and a soft, curling cursive font helps perfect the message of a fun and friendly brand. Other brands that use red with additional colors are Netflix and Lego.
You may want to use purple to send a message that you are creative and imaginative, but it can also convey wisdom. Brands like Taco Bell use it to pump up the excitement around their fun flavor combinations while Hallmark and Crown Royal may be using it because of its association with royalty.
And finally, the many nuances of pink. It can be romantic in a lighter shade or fun and exciting in a bolder version. Mattel’s Barbie may be the most famous pink logo, but there’s also Baskin Robbins, Benefit cosmetics and T-Mobile.
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