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Tips for Color Use in Logos

Posted in Design By Warner Carter

Color plays an important role in logo creation. Imagine how the FedEx logo used orange and purple, and how the colors red and yellow represented Shell and Ferrari. Colors help instill product identity in our minds ever since we were little kids.

Color selection is one of the key elements of building a logo for effective branding. In marketing, an effective color selection for the logo involves having knowledge of colors, associating colors to certain factors like emotions, feel, market, and meanings, and combining colors to create a strong brand for your business.

Logo colors

Choosing colors for your business logo

Know your/your client’s target market. Identifying and understanding your target market is the first step in choosing the right colors for your business’ logo. Studying your target market includes determining the market’s age, gender, profession, culture, and socioeconomic status.

Know what colors represent. Every color has its own representation and meaning according to the target market. Understanding each color’s meaning can help you organize your first step in choosing the colors for your preferred logo design.

Basic Color Representation

  • Red – sex, passion, love, food, radical, bold, war, anger
  • Pink – female, weakness, romance, blush, affection
  • Blue – subtle, cool, peace, calm, sadness, melancholy
  • Black- death, grief, angst, elegance, class, strength
  • White – purity, cleanliness, absurd, vague, righteousness
  • Burgundy and Brown – refinement, aristocracy, nobility
  • Yellow – happiness, youth, summer, childhood
  • Green – earth, life, environment, money, organic, jealousy, naughtiness

Know the basics. Choosing colors isn’t just about picking what’s attractive for you. Learn the color wheel, identify the difference between primary and secondary colors, and know what contrast and opaqueness are.

Basic techniques

Although there are commonly used and popular color representations, we should not confine ourselves with what these norms suggest. As a web designer, you should pick a color that describes and represents your business’ personality best.

Choosing color is a form of art. It’s a process of expression, an art form without a limitation, an art form that breaks boundaries of cultures, beliefs and rules. If you’re brave and clever enough to combine green and pink with orange and crimson, then do it. The logos of Google and Yahoo were designed like that for a reason. You can use unusual color combinations if you want, but remember to do a decent case study on using the combinations. Playing with colors for your business’ logo is a serious part of any branding strategy that can make or break your business’ success.

Checkout 30 Creative Examples of Logo Design ideas

Color and competition

See how other businesses and websites choose their logos’ colors. Majority of them have the same color integration with their competitors. Logos of fast-food chains commonly use red, while logo designs and labels for cleaning products are usually in blue and green.

One great thing I learned from an old advertising book is to choose a color opposite that used by your main competitor. Cadbury plc products became popular in the food industry even without using red in their labels. If you’re a business owner or web designer, you can set a record by choosing unusual colors to represent your brand and products, without adhering to norms or to what your competitors are using. You are choosing and studying colors to set a new trend, to introduce something new and to be unique among others, because branding is all about having establishing recall in consumers.

Benefits of understanding color

Understanding colors minimizes the gap between you and your designer. As a business owner, this can help you easily and clearly communicate your needs to the web designer.

Understanding colors is like understanding other businesses’ philosophy. Through this, you do not need to ask other business owners why they chose this particular color for their website, logos, or product labels.

Understanding colors widens your knowledge about branding and incorporating the right color use in your business’ logo.

Understanding colors can prepare you to be an independent Internet marketer. It can help you come up with effective designs for blogs, websites, logos, and product labels in the future.

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Excellent article,Great insight. Thanks for sharing.


I love the Basic Color Representation which you have mentioned there. will keep in mind. Thanks man! all these days i used to think white as peace :)

Mehboob Talukdar
Mehboob Talukdar

These are really really great tips, specially i liked the point "Basic Color Representation".


I agree that color selection is one of the key moments. A logo adds visual appeal to any website, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.


Colors can generate feelings which can excite, impress and sway your audience, but color can also create strong negative vibes. Color choices in Webdesign
It’s good to understand the psychology behind colors and use it with awareness to create compelling designs.

Delena Silverfox
Delena Silverfox

Everyone always says to be careful and think long and hard when it comes to choosing a logo, and colors which define your brand are just as important. You bring up a good point when you mention FedEx, Shell, and Ferrari. Color is just as definitive, sometimes moreso. There are times I can't remember the exact logo of a thing, but I definitely remember color!