Quick, get yourself into an eyes-glazed-over dreamy state (or pretend you’re at work) and visualize the Pepsi logo hovering in front of you. It’s a classic, right? Those red and blue waves sandwiching the iconic Pepsi font is certainly a simplistic, lasting image.
Here’s another imagery exercise: picture that same logo in green and yellow. Would it be as effective? Would Pepsi sell as many yellow cans as they would blue ones?
The colour of your brand, or your brand’s logo, can be as meaningful and impactful as the company logos themselves. When you think of McDonald’s, your mind doesn’t jump to the obnoxiously enormous ‘M’; it’s all about those golden curves on a contrasting red background. See a multi-colour add-on dancing on your browser? You’ve probably brushed that off as Google. And pink and Barbie can’t be seen without the other, similar to Ken and Barbie.
Anyone that doesn’t own a business, or isn’t an entrepreneur, might assume brand colours are arbitrary. That may be true in some cases, but there’s no denying logo colours can become a key part in any brand, exemplified in the company logos above.
Dark brand colours can signify sophistication or mystery, while a burning red ones suggest intensity. In order to design a logo, or when choosing brand colours for your business, you must be mindful of your choice. The colours you choose will send a message, whether by intention or not.
What Do These Logo Colours Represent?
Worried about what you thought were capricious colours are saying to your consumers? Use our colour chart to skim through popular logo hues, and see what your business is really telling everybody.
|Colour||Definition, in Relation to Brands||Associated Words||Example Brands|
|Red||‘Intensity of blood and fire’.||Active, Emotional, Passionate, Intense, Aggressive||Red Bull, Coca-Cola|
|Blue||‘Depth, stability of sky and sea’.||Comfort, Confidence, Safe, Secure, Strong, Trustworthy||Ford, Visa, Barclays|
|Yellow||‘Energy; the joy of sunshine’.||Joy, Energetic, Alive, Fresh, Forward-Thinking||Ferrari, Porsche, McDonald’s|
|Green||‘Harmony of nature’.||Calm, Relaxed, Peaceful, Hopeful, Growth, Natural||Starbucks, Subway, Spotify|
|Orange||‘Happiness of sunshine, and the tropics’.||Creative, Enthusiastic, Sociable, Affordable||Nickelodeon, Fanta, Penguin Books|
|Purple||‘The luxury of royalty’.||Power, Glamour, Nostalgic||Yahoo, Hallmark|
|Pink||‘Associated with feminine traits’.||Love, Sweet, Warmth, Nurtured||Barbie, Hello Kitty|
|Black||‘The formality, mystery of the night’.||Bold, Serious, Luxurious||Blackberry, Sony, Chanel|
|Brown||‘The nurturing traits of Mother Earth’.||Reliable, Supportive, Dependable||UPS, Nescafe|
Based on this chart, colours evoke dissimilar emotions from consumers. If you’re a sophisticated and suave business, you probably won’t be taken seriously if you’re a sociable orange rather than a trustworthy blue.
The Psychology of Colour
Not only are particular colours saying something about your business, weaving colour throughout your brand is generally good game theory in the marketing world.
Just how influential can colour be? Take a look at these percentages, courtesy of Canadian plastic-card maker Colourfast:
- 93%…of purchasing decisions are made based on visual perceptions alone.
- 84.7%…of consumers say colour is one of their main motivators when buying a product.
- 80%…feel colour increases brand recognition.
It’s astonishing how the colour psychology of logo design, maybe the most oversimplified and overlooked concept in creating a logo, could be the make-or-break factor in making the perfect logo.
The effects of colour psychology on consumers is evidently widespread. Remember, it’s not about choosing the ‘right’ colour, but the appropriate one. Understanding a consumer’s connections to different colours could significantly increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding!
Now that you recognize and importance of brand colours and how to design a logo, you can take advantage of this very powerful, and underexploited, field of psychology.
Print Three’s print and marketing team can help you design a logo that speaks to consumers beyond words. Find a Print Location near you!