I See Your True Colors - Color Theory in Logo Design

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

McDonald's arches are yellow and their kids' meals are called "Happy Meals." Adidas is one of soccer's main brand and a soccer ball is typically black and white...much like the Adidas logo. Coca-Cola hasn't changed their logo in....well, ever. But it's highly recognized with the white lettering on top of the bright and bold red. There is reason for these companies choice in color other than it looking good or a personal favorite. Your brand's color is just as important as your brand. Here's why...

The importance of color.

We use color as a form of recognition. Take the examples I gave earlier, McDonald's, Adidas, and Coca-Cola, if I asked you to name one color by their names, you would more than likely list yellow, black, and red for each, without necessarily seeing their logos first. This doesn't just happen with logos, we recognize everyday objects around us by color; green for grass, red for stop signs, yellow for bananas.

Our brains are a funny thing, we also associate color with mood. As I mentioned at the start, McDonald's kid's meals are called "happy meals". The color yellow is also associated with happy feelings, and who doesn't get happy over those delicious salty fries?? Have you ever noticed most bank logos have the color red or blue? Or both? Blue is associated with the feelings of trust and dependable, while red is associated with bold, powerful, and brave feelings. Do you see why banks choose these colors now?

Here is a short list of how color associates with mood:

White - purity, neutral, simplicity, innocence, peace.

Orange - friendly, creative, cheerful, confidence, warm.

Pink - feminine, fun, delicate, gentle, romantic

Purple - decadent, stylish, imaginative, royal, elegant, luxury.

Brown - earthy, rustic, stability, rough, depth.

Black - bold, classic, evil, tradition, mystery.

Yellow - happy, fun, energetic, warmth, friendly, caution.

Blue - trust, freedom, dependable, cool, strength, loyal

Red - excitement, bold, passion, action, danger, bravery.

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