Together with creative design, the colors you choose to brand your business will visually engage your clients. They will be the colors you use to design your logo, build your website, design your marketing collateral, and maybe even decorate your brick and mortar location.
Brand Color Choice Is More Important Now Than Ever
Since many of your customer’s first impression of you will be online first, choosing the right colors is more important now than ever. Your mission statement, tone, and phrasing are crucial—but your visual messaging speaks louder than words. Even in person, the colors of your logo, signage, in-store POP, and branded materials will elicit an immediate emotional response. Together, they will connect and engage with your audience and express your personality and professionalism.
The Meaning Of Our Favorite Colors
First up, you want to consider the psychology of color. Every color elicits a specific and often subconscious response, which is something you want to keep in mind. Yes, choose a color combination that inspires you—but keep your demographic top of mind. Below are the most common feelings associated with your top color choices:
Red—the second most common logo color as red is associated with enthusiasm, passion, and high energy.
Orange—a warm and inviting color perfect for creative brands or brands in the food industry.
Yellow—a warm and sunny color that is instantly associated with positive emotions.
Green—green can be used in branding to represent growth or a connection to nature.
Blue—the most popular logo color as it represents trust, calm, and stability.
Pink—depending on the hue, which we will discuss further below, often associated with romance and femininity. Pink can also be youthful or energetic.
Brown—a warm color often used for masculine brands to represent dependability, simplicity, and even nature.
Black—it might not be the first color that comes to mind but when designed right it can be artfully edgy, or chic and sophisticated.
White—often a contrasting or secondary color white is a fresh and clean neutral.
Grey—grey can help you convey a variety of feelings, from classic to mature or mysterious.
Beyond Primary Colors—Color Terminology
Below are a few terms and tools that can help you choose your brand colors, as well as discuss them with your designer when you are ready to start working on your logo and branding materials.
A color wheel features the 12 key colors we all learn as children. The colors are featured side-by-side in a circle, that helps you select contrasting and complementary colors. When decorating, colors across the wheel create a positive contrast, but when designing your logo, you may select colors that are closer together on the wheel. No matter what color you choose, black and white always work as secondary or accent colors. The color wheel is an excellent tool for creating your base starting point. Some designers you work with may reference the 12 colors on the wheel as a hue.
A color tint is what it’s called when a color wheel color is mixed with white, lightening or brightening it up. This would be the difference between standard pink on the color wheel and pastel pink.
We are all familiar with different shades of a primary color, like standard pink vs. hot pink. In terms of design, a color shade is when black is mixed in—creating a darker pink that moves a bit towards red.
Color tone is when both white and black are mixed into a primary color. This might result in a pink that looks a bit purple.
How Many Colors Should You Have In Your Logo?
The average logo has 2 to 4 colors. This may or may not include an accent color of black or white. For example, the black lettering around white is there to frame and make sure the words or design elements pop.
Single-color logos can be quite memorable. The key to success here is that the design must wow. A few popular single-color logos include Target’s bullseye and Chanel’s classic black. The fun thing about single color logos, is that you can easily change the logo colors for holidays, promotions, or product labels. For example, Nike’s logo is printed in a variety of single colors and Apple’s apple has been black, blue, silver, rainbow colored, and a variety of colors to contrast with their products.
Black and white is a top monochromatic pick like Adidas or White House Black Market. Yes, Adidas prints their logo in different colors to create contrast when needed. And White House Black Market switches things up depending on where their logo is printed, sometimes printing white letters on a black background. Monochromatic also includes black or white paired with a contrasting color, or a “shades of” logo like the current Oreo logo with many shades of blue.
While most logos contain 2 to 4 colors, some are a rainbow of colors. For multi-color logos to work the design must be clean and crisp. For example, the NBC peacock, the Olympic Rings, or the KIND bars logo.
Colors that are close to one another on the color wheel are considered analogous. These are typically 2-color logos such as BP’s yellow and green or MasterCard’s red and orange. McDonald’s red, yellow and white would also be considered analogous.
Your next option is to consider colors on the opposite side of the color wheel to create your logo. This would include a red and green logo, like Chili’s or Mountain Dew. Gatorade’s orange and green is another example.
A split-complementary or compound color selection is when you take two adjacent color wheel colors, and pair them with a color on the opposite side of the wheel. This 3-color example would include the Fanta logo or when MasterCard prints their orange and red on a blue background.
Last but not least a triad logo takes colors from evenly spaced parts of the color wheel. Burger King, Best Western, and Tide are all examples of triad logos.
Once you choose your brand and logo colors, it’s time to find a logo designer. In addition to designing your marketing essentials, Print Peppermint offers full-service logo and brand design. We can help you with your start-up branding as well as rebranding your current business. Reach out today to learn more!