Understanding the psychology of colors is vital to designing an effective logo.
So you just launched a new small business and you are excited to get out there and tell the world. But first you need a logo. What's going to attract the right customers? How do you capture the essence of the business in the logo? What's going to look great on a business card, signage, shirts etc. The human mind is highly responsive to visual stimuli, and color is one of the major defining factors in that response. On both a conscious and subconscious level, colors convey a whole lot of meaning. Graphic designers need to harness the power of color psychology to bring resonance & meaning to their designs – and in no field is this more important than that of logo design.
The use of color can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to the complex associations we make based on learned assumptions. Companies can use these responses to underline and accent their branding messages. And your success as a logo designer or business owner in need of a logo design will be boosted if you have a thorough understanding of color psychology.
Logos are a critical aspect of business marketing. As the company's major graphical representation, a logo anchors a company's brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company within the target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company's overall marketing strategy.
What different colors mean
Every color, including black and white, has implications for logo design. As a business owner working with a professional graphic designer, you need to pick your colors carefully to enhance specific elements of the logo and bring nuance to your message with the use of shade and tone.
In general terms, bright and bold colors are attention-grabbing but can appear brash. Muted tones convey a more sophisticated image, but run the risk of being overlooked. More specifically, particular meanings are ascribed to different colours in society...
Single or multiple colors?
To get the maximum impact of your chosen color's coded message, at Banyan Creative we normally stick with a single color when creating a logo design. That said, there are some very successful multi-colored logos – think of Google, Windows or eBay. The implication of multiple colors is that these companies are offering a wide choice of products and services. The multiple colors used for the Olympic rings carry a message of diversity and inclusivity.
If your client is a global corporation, choose your logo color with care. There are cultural differences in the way colors are interpreted. For example, red is considered lucky in China, while white is the color of death and mourning in India. There's a good round up of the cultural connotations of different colors here.
Finally, don't put too much focus on color choice. Consider that one in 12 of us suffer from color blindness. Plus there's always the likelihood that any logo you produce for a client will end up be reproduced in monochrome, or even in different colors, as they see fit. So make sure your color choice reinforces and enhances the design of your logo – but doesn't define it.
Need help with you logo? Contact us at Banyan Creative
Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative. He enjoys helping small business owners launch new businesses, rebrand old ones, and help them develop a stronger digital footprint. He also enjoys drinking a lot of coffee while designing logos and would be happy to buy you a cup and talk marketing.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.