I love creating designs, especially identity pieces like logos. For me, one of the most rewarding parts is implementing color into the process. So when a client gives me the free reign in the color department, it's like Christmas morning! Color is a very vital feature in a logo. In addition to being an artistic treat, the usage of color serves a scientific backing; it has the power to trigger thoughts and emotions. Choosing the most relevant colors for your logo heavily depends on what will attract your audience and reflect the "personality" of your organization. The most successful brands of our time use colors that work visually and psychologically with a splash of individuality that helps them stand out.
It's important to know and remember strong branding reflects the expectations and professionalism of your business, casting what you want your audience to perceive. This begins with your logo. So before getting married to any ideas, it's best to team up with a pro designer who knows what they are doing to help you achieve optimum success. To help steer you in the right direction, I've put together 7 simple tips to finding your perfect logo colors to get the results you need.
1. Research the power of color
Choosing a color is not as simple as picking a color from a crayon box and using it; it is a process of educating oneself about the power and effect each color holds (including combinations of colors). Does the color red read gentle or edgy? Does yellow spark emotions of excitement? How does red and yellow read when placed together? These are questions that are best answered by doing some homework and seeking a professional opinion.
2. Think about your audience
Is your company conventional or out of the box? Does it cater to babies or baby boomers? These answers will help you determine the family of colors you should be considering based on what your audience will notice and appreciate.
3. Research your competition
Avoid recreating the wheel and check out the best of your competition and see what they are doing right. This will give you some insight and ideas on finding what will work for your business as well.
4. Avoid trendy colors
Trends are great when it comes to fashion because we'll never get bored. However, using trendy colors for a logo is a huge faux pas because logos should be built to last through the ages. It's best to commit to classic colors so the chances of your logo becoming dated are slim to none. (Ex: The Kelloggs brand has been around for over 100 years and it still optically works.)
5. Choose colors that reflect your organization's message and unique personality
By this step, you should have a really good grasp of what family of colors will work for your logo. Now comes the really fun part, choosing what colors you want your audience to know more about your organization! With your previous research on colors, you will be able to nail some choice colors. (P.S. don't be afraid to be bold and think outside the box.)
6. Choose a star and supporting players
Now it's time to narrow down your top picks. Here's a rule of thumb, pick a main identity color. This will be the color that makes your logo recognizable. Now choose at least 1-2 accent colors to complete the visual. (Ex. Burger King, Netflix, Walmart, Fedex). Accent colors are completely optional, so If only one color works, that's completely fine. (Ex. Kellogg's, Nike and Apple)
Warning, when using more than 3 colors, it can become very busy, but there are exceptions to this rule ie. children's or artistic brands. (Examples of 4 or more colors in a logo that work: Chuck E. Cheese's, United Performing Arts Fund, Toys R Us)
7. Get an opinion
It's exciting to accomplish this huge task, but before finalizing your concept, bounce if off a few key people whose opinion really counts ie. a professional designer, target audience member(s), and select friends and family who are going to be completely honest with you.
I hope this key information takes you to the very depths you desire on your branding journey and be sure to look for more informational materials in the near future.
Until next time, happy designing!
Note: The examples shown are not creations of Pink Elephant Graphic Design.