Color Psychology

What Color Says About Your Business

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Intro

You want your logo to stand out, be memorable, and pleasing to your potential clients – but also to convey concepts and feelings that reflect and cement your brand image.

Color psychology is the study of how hues affect our behavior and choices – and as you might guess, that makes it an important component of branding and marketing. Beyond the words used, your color gives your logo and marketing materials a chance to leave the viewer with emotions and perceptions about your product, service, and brand personality. Is your brand exciting? Calming? Bold? Gentle? It’s important to acknowledge that culture, personality, and life experiences can affect individual perceptions of color.

Red

Red

No matter the connotation, red attracts attention. It can be a cool, but also signifies danger, alarm, and heat. Depending on what your business is, that could prove very useful. Red also denotes energy, power, and passion.

custom logo design for RISD Pre-College, Providence, RIlogo

Yellow

Yellow

Yellow often calls up energy, happiness, and warmth. Used less frequently in Western culture, yellow makes for an interesting branding choice. Because of its select use, it can stand out more. In order for a yellow logo to ‘pop’ and read well (especially when printed on a white background), it’s best to use a deep gold or rich yellow hue. Here are a few examples of how I used yellow to stand out.

logo: Tara Sianilogo Massimo Ristorantlogo: Kettlebella

Green

Green

This color connotes nature, safety, growth, and peace. As an example of how strict color associations can backfire, however, green is often associated with money and is the choice of many financial brands. But that can be too simple and obvious, and therefore not as interesting. For brands that want to convey newness or freshness, green is often a more interesting choice than blue (although this is quickly becoming a common theme).

logo 125 Midwaylogo: Land & Coastallogo: Groundworks Construction

Blue

Blue

In Western society, blue is one of the most popular colors because it implies positive attributes such as trust, honesty, and faithfulness. Blue is a very common choice in logos, so the challenge is to create a distinguished blue. For instance, if you like sky blue, don’t settle for the sky blue color that in your basic desktop publishing software. Dig a little deeper to create a blue that is darker, or brighter, or has a little more green in it, or a little more purple in it. Here are a few examples of how I’ve used unusual blue hues to set my clients apart.

logo: RIMAlogo: Mashpee Commonslogo: Weinberg

Purple

Purple

Depending on shade, purple runs the range from depicting regality and luxury, to wisdom, creativity, and mystery. Some purple is seen as very feminine depending on the shade, but it can also be a more exciting and daring choice to blue.

logo: SFENTA Otologylogo: Most Lifelogo: Steppingstone Group

Black

Black

Distinguished, elegant, powerful, and tough, black is a bold choice. Frequently used as a base or grounding color, to complement other logo choices, black can be a strong component of a good logo but can easily fall into a contrast trap: overpowering light colors (too much contrast) or blending too closely with dark hues of blue or purple.

logo: Discover Warrenlogo: Westminster Lofts

Analogous
Colorwheel: analagous

Analogous color schemes, consisting of colors found side-by-side on the color wheel, often mimic naturally-occurring color schemes, creating a feeling of peace and calm.

logo: JScottlogo: DCSClogo: Thrive

Complementary
Colorwheel: complementary

Complementary color schemes feature two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, creating a juxtaposition and impact that commands attention.

logo: David Silvermanlogo: Gwendyliciouslogo: Geek Grandkids

Triadic
Colorwheel: triadic

Triadic color schemes are formed by three colors equidistantly spaced around the color wheel, which can create a harmonious and vibrant trio of colors that intrigues and sets itself apart from other color schemes.

logo: The Toy Shoplogo: Deni's Closetlogo: ASNP

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