The last thing that probably comes to mind when getting a custom logo design is picking colors. After all, every person has a unique taste and prefers different colors, and you can’t please everyone. Well, not really. I’m here to tell you that just like marketers, great designers are very methodical when choosing colors and there’s a good reason behind it. Here’s why the color scheme you choose can impact your brand’s success.
We Are Pre-programmed to Colors
The way we perceive our environment and every day things are highly dependant on color. When you go to a food store, you can go to the bread section and you’ll see many manufacturers utilizing brown tones to suggest that the bread is home baked or fresh. Color even influences the effectiveness of placebo pills. Supposedly, hot-colored pills are more affective than their cool-colored counterparts. A few decades ago, the city of Glasgow installed blue colored lighting in their streets, and reported reduced crime in those areas. Some cities found that even painting bridges in green reduced suicide rates by 30%.
Methodical color selection is prevalent in the fast food industry as well. You will often find fast food restauraunts utilizing yellow, orange and red colors as they have been found to increase appetite. KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s all utilize these colors. Another study doneby James Clear further demonstrated this interesting effect. He split a group into two, one with white plates and one with red ones. Each group could select to eat pasta with white sauce or red sauce. He found that people with red plates who chose the red sauce, ate 30% more than the group with white plates and white sauce.
Color affects us everywhere, even on the road. Important signals such as a stop light or signs are painted red, because they grab our attention and alertness. Red cars on the other hand, get more tickets than cars of any other color.
While all of these are highly dependant on cultures, one thing is clear, color has a real effect on people and every day life. It’s no surprise that our brain is being subconsciously programmed to react to colors and that this would carry over to logo design as well.
Perception of color depends not only on our primal instincts but culture as well. Tones of red can create feelings of arousal, and blue tones can create feelings of relaxation. These positive emotions can be created purely by using the color since the feelings already come preprogrammed to us thanks to media. This is why we find specific colors in advertisements. This is how colors are perceived in the United States for example:
Red – lust, power, excitement, love
Companies like KFC will use the color red to influence not only your excitement level but your appetite as well. You can see brown tones being used as well to suggest that the food is more natural and home made.
Yellow – competence, happiness
McDonald’s desperately tries to convey happiness with its logo, yellow color, and even it’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it”.
Green – good taste, envy, natural
Whole Foods uses the color green in its logo to appeal to those who want to shop for healthier and more natural foods.
Blue – masculine, competence, high quality, corporate
Intil utilizes the color blue to appear as a competent producer of processors and gives itself a more corporate look.
Pink – sophistication, sincerity, feminine
Cosmopolitan appeals and targets its female audience by using the color pink.
Purple – authority, sophistication, power
Companies such as Jet use the color purple to appear more sophisticated while also trying to be modern.
Brown – ruggedness, comfort, organic
It makes sense that a coffee company such as Nespresso would utilize brown tones to suggest comfort and organic to its consumers.
Black – grief, sophistication, luxury, fear, elegance
You will often see fashion companies using purely black logos to appear more elegant.
White – happiness, sincerity, purity
Companies will use white color on darker backgrounds not only to be more visible but to appear more sincere and pure.
Color Influences Us
Knowing everything we mentioned, it’s easy to see how businesses would use this to their advantage. Color is used every day to influence consumers into making decisions. The first thing people will often see related to your business is your name and logo. That’s why choosing the correct colors to convey your brand’s message is important. Depending on what you want to accomplish and what you are selling, a color could have significant impact.
Think about it. You are walking in a strip mall and you are feeling stressed and are craving some relaxation. Luckily, you see a massage place, but right on the front of the building it says “RELAXATION” in big bold red letters. Instead of your brain associating positive feelings which align with what you are looking for, now you get feelings of aggitation and anxiety. Instead, if the same logo was in cursive letters and lighter colors, you may have walked into the massage parlor.
What is The Best Color for Logo Design?
As you can see, color can create spaciousness or coziness. It can stimilate people differently and it can affect our behavior. To choose the correct color for your logo and branding, you need to consider your company’s message and its audience. What are you trying to convey? Which colors can convey that the best? You should even consider the timing and environment. People who are cold will prefer warm colors, while those who are feeling hot will look for cooler colors.
In United States, blue is the favorite color by far (35%), followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%). If you are unsure, blue seems like a safe bet in many cases.
There are many things to consider and that’s why here at 499 Logos we take color selection very seriously. We can help you select the right color for your logo and brand, and we can have your logo ready in 72 hours or less.