Simon McArdle

Psychology Of Color In Logo Design

Color Emotion Guide

Humans love color. In kindergarten, everyone wants to have the biggest box of crayons or the largest selection of colored pencils. The fascination doesn’t wane with time, either. Colors convey messages, evoke emotions, and add brilliance to everyday things.

Color also plays a key role in logos. Visit Times Square in New York, and you’ll see a sensory overload of business logos vying for your attention. Some use hues that are quiet but eye-catching, while others scream for attention.

What do specific colors say, and how have famous brands used them to their advantage? This infographic gives some examples that every business can learn from.

Psychology Of Color Infographic

Look on the Bright Side: Yellow Is Optimistic

Yellow is the color of the sun. As such, it’s easy to understand why yellow evokes feelings of optimism, clarity, and warmth. Yellow is also a rich color; it calls to mind gold and treasure. Another perk of yellow is that because it is so bright, it can stand out even when it is in busy surroundings.

Brands that want to put a smile on the faces of consumers call on the power of yellow. However, they don’t all use yellow in the same way. For example, McDonalds’ golden arches are kid-friendly and fun while UPS’ brown and gold shield is dignified and slightly more subtle. Sun Chips make excellent use of yellow because the very name of the product evokes images of our closest star.

CAT uses yellow in a different way altogether. Their machines are a staple in the construction industry, where safety is a priority. Yellow signifies caution.

Convey Confidence: Orange Doesn’t Hold Back

Orange is a color that doesn’t let anyone pass by without taking a look. It stands out in a crowd and sends a message that says, “I’m not afraid to be the center of attention.” Orange is creative, youthful, and enthusiastic.

Hooters uses orange; while some people may not approve of the brand’s dress code, the company doesn’t try to hide its identity. Harley Davidson also employs orange as a key element in its logo; pairing orange with black and white takes away some of its “in your face” quality, and it comes together with the other colors to create a logo that is both tough and attractive.

Orange is a kid-friendly hue. Nickelodeon’s orange splatter grabs the attention of young minds across the globe, and Fanta and Crush orange sodas easily lure in those with a sweet tooth.

Get Your Blood Pumping: Red Raises the Energy Level

Red can actually raise people’s pulse rates when they look at it. It is a powerful color that is warm, exciting, sexy, and urgent. It is the color of blood and romance, of stop signs and classic roses.

This punchy hue works well in the entertainment industry. Nintendo’s logo has a simple font and almost no imagery, but the use of red makes it stand out. Netflix too employs the power of red; its logo is a simple rectangle with bold lettering.

Retailers like K-Mart and Target also use red; red’s sense of urgency may compel people to buy, especially when a sale is in its last hours.

Coca-Cola takes advantage of red’s welcoming allure. The brand’s logo, coupled with the company’s advertising, make the drink into something that calls to mind positivity and affection.

Explore the Universe: Purple Sparks the Imagination

Purple is the color of royalty. It conjures images of grandeur, opulence, and mysticism. It activates the imagination and enthralls the eyes. Brands harness purple’s regal, “anything is possible” vibe to draw in customers who are looking for an experience that is a step away from the ordinary.

The Syfy channel is a prime example of a brand that employs purple. They couple the color with a bold, modern sans serif font. The combination is fitting for a channel that deals in glorious impossibilities. Aussie hair products also use purple; styling hair is a creative endeavor, and Australia too is a symbol for exploration.

Purple carries with it a sense of wisdom. Hallmark and Big Brothers Big Sisters both use purple. Greeting cards offer wisdom, and serving as a mentor to children is the act of someone wise and willing to dive into new things.

Find Your Strength: Blue Is the Hue of Dependability

All you have to do is sit by the ocean on a clear day or stare up at a flawless sky to know that blue is a calming color. The ocean and sky are also mighty, like blue. Indeed, blue conveys feelings of strength, dependability, and tranquillity.

Technology brands like Dell, IBM, Intel, and AT&T take advantage of blue’s trustworthy message; they create products that people rely on day after day. Brands that sell appliances and machines love blue as well; GE and Ford both use it.

The bottom line on blue? It’s a handy go-to color for any company that prides itself on its professionalism, reliability, and hardiness.

Embrace the Environment: Green Is for Growth

Earth may be the Blue Planet, but there is plenty of green here as well. Green is serene and peaceful, and it conveys the idea of growth.

Many brands whose products deal with the environment utilize green. John Deere, Animal Planet, and the Girl Scouts all use this color. Of course, green’s value goes beyond nature-focused companies. Whole Foods takes advantage of the fact that people associate green with health.

Go for the Classic Combo: Black and White Are Simple and Elegant

Technically, black and white aren’t colors. Black is the absence of color, and white is a combination of all colors. Technicalities aside, though, black and white — along with other neutral hues — make for striking logos.

Black is professional and credible, but it can be edgy as well. White is clean and pure. Using them together makes for a logo that is timeless and beautiful. Nike and Puma use black for an edgy vibe, while newspapers and other publications use black and white for the combination’s balance and simplicity.

Gray too plays an important role in the logo world, especially when it is shined to a silver finish. Car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Honda use logos that feature silver.

The psychology of color is a deep subject that fascinates scientists and laypeople alike. However, anyone can understand the basics and use those principles to create an effective logo.