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Choosing the primary colour for your logo

Choosing the right colour for your company branding is as important as putting your shoes on before you step out the door in the morning. It's vital that you work out what your company stands for, and what kind of personality you want to portray to the audience that you want to sell to.

Colours have a lot of personality, and choosing the right colour combination can say a lot about your brand. It's also well known that up to 80% of consumers suggest that colour increases brand recognition, so why wouldn't you choose the right colour palette to appeal to your audience?

Colours also invoke a range of emotions, and different tints and shades of colours can change what those emotions are. For example, some shades of pink can be calming and passive, while stronger shades of pink can actually do the opposite and make men in particular quite agitated.

Further to this, some shades of yellow are inclined to make you think of happiness, sunshine and warmth, while other shades of yellow immediately make you sense caution and warning.

Have a look at the following logos of the leading brands in the Fortune 500 list.

The top 20 Fortune 500 brands from 2017:

top-20-brands@2x

Colour breakdown:

color-breakdown@2x

Why is blue the most popular colour choice amongst these logos?

Of the 20 logos shown here, 14 of them have blue as a main colour. But it's not just the big guys that know about the power of blue. Worldwide, more than 53% of all logos have blue as their main identity colour. It has proven to be the most popular colour choice in the Technology, Healthcare, Real Estate, Entertainment and Accounting industries.

Blue is a non-threatening colour and can inspire confidence, much like a man wearing a blue power suit. Whilst it is traditionally a masculine colour, it's also very calming as it reminds us of being surrounded by the sea and the sky and the tranquility both represent. It's little wonder that so many people list blue as their favourite colour.

Brown, Pink, Yellow and Purple are the least popular colours, but this doesn't mean that you can't still use them. Work out what your target audience is and how you want them to react to your brand and develop your brand from there.

BLUE

Emotions:

DEPENDABLE

HONESTY

TRUST

LOYALTY

INTELLIGENCE

Impact on Marketing:

Blue can cause the body to feel calm and tranquil. It is a soothing colour, and helps with balance and self expression.

Darker blues can be seen as elegant, sophisticated and old-fashioned.

Lighter blues can represent honesty and trustworthiness.

Blue can also be an appetite suppressant, as it helps to slow metabolism.

Blue is easily the most commonly used colour in the world when it comes to logo design and branding, and it is the same across every culture.

PURPLE

Emotions:

ROYALTY

CREATIVITY

APPROACHABLE

LUXURIOUS

Impact on Marketing:

Because purple is a rare natural colour, it often is associated with having royal or sacred qualities, and can be traced back to imperial Rome where it was reserved for Emperors and other distinguished noblemen.

Different shades of purple have different meanings. Light purple tones tend to represent delicacy, romance and nostalgia. Dark purple tones tend to represent sadness and frustration. Bright purple tones lend themselves towards royalty and wealth.

Purple is the favourite colour of adolescent girls.

Purple symbolises bravery, we've all heard of military men being awarded with a Purple Heart.

It has the shortest frequency of wavelengths visible to the human eye and therefore can be a difficult colour to work with.

RED

Emotions:

PASSION

EXCITEMENT

VIBRANCE

CONFIDENCE

COURAGE

SEDUCTION

Impact on Marketing:

Red is a very intense colour that can trigger emotions ranging from passion, lust and desire to sacrifice, danger and anger.

Red is most commonly associated with heat, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love and joy. In many Asian countries it symbolises hope, happiness and good fortune.

Red can raise blood pressure, which directly relates to metabolism and ultimately makes people hungry.

It is a very actionable colour and has a universal association with warnings and danger. Red is usually reserved as the highest level of warning.

YELLOW

Emotions:

WARMTH

BRIGHTNESS

HUMOUR

HARMONY

AMUSEMENT

OPTIMISM

Impact on Marketing:

Yellow is the most visible colour when viewed from a distance.

It is used as a colour to signify caution, rather than danger.

Yellow is universally used as a colour for safety and accident prevention.

Men perceive yellow as being childish, and therefore yellow should not be used to market to men with stature.

Yellow is often associated with food products and is often used to draw in window shoppers and impulsive buyers.

BLACK & WHITE

Emotions:

ELEGANCE

STRENGTH

FORMALITY

PRESTIGE

Impact on Marketing:

Highly contrasting, black and white can represent both the positive and the negative.

Black gives all other colours depth.

Black and white can create formality, elegance and prestige.

The range of greys between black and white can be used to symbolise practicality and timelessness.

GREEN

Emotions:

GROWTH

FRESHNESS

ENVIRONMENT

YOUTHFUL

ENERGETIC

Impact on Marketing:

Green is almost always associated with renewal, growth and rebirth.
It is the easiest colour for humans to see, and is often used to represent safety and to promote environmentally friendly products.
Green is universally used to indicate safety.
Green has strong associations with the finance trade, as well as agricultural and landscaping industries.j

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