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A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Colors For Your Company Logo

By Alif Wahab
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2004

A good logo design is very important for any company wishing to build their brand.

Once you have a good logo, the next step is choosing the right color(s) for your company logo.

Why?

Because we see the world in colors, and we associate colors with certain characteristics. So, in order to communicate more efficiently what your business 'character' is and also to have a more effective logo, you have to choose your colors wisely.

Colors also affect people differently, based on their age, culture, sex and upbringing. Therefore choosing a color that appeals to your target customer the most is very important!

That is what we hope this article will achieve, guiding you to pick the right colors.

We'll start with the favorite 'corporate' color....

BLUE

Blue is the favorite corporate color. And it is a favorite for a reason. The characteristics most commonly associated with blue are authority, security, intelligence, coolness and reliability. As you can see, that is why it is a popular color.

The reason is blue is the color of the sky and sea. It generates feelings of peace, calmness and tranquility, the same feeling that you'll experience being at a beautiful beach.

If you choose deep blue (colors of the ocean), other qualities associated with it are serious, naval, academic and analytical.

If you want a cool, soothing color, you would do well to choose light blue. It gives a feeling of freshness, clean and calmness.

The best companies to use blue are airlines, airport, air conditioners, breath freshener, mineral water, cruises and seaports.

Blue is also a favorite color among males, and is regarded as a 'masculine' color.

It works well with a lot of pastel colors, and with careful skill can be used to calm a bright red scheme. Always leave it to the expert however if you plan to use red and blue. Just a little mistake can cause people to runaway... don't say we didn't warn you! :)

Successful red and blue combinations are the American flag and Superman.... If you look carefully there's always a third color around to 'bridge' these two opposite colors effectively. Neutral colors work best here (white and yellow).

GREEN

Green is associated with money, environmental, wealth, nature, health, freshness and loyalty.

Green is very relaxing to the eye and is the color of nature. It is also the color of peace and harmony.

Dark green is very popular with financial and banking companies.

Light, olive green can be used to promote products based on nature and healing qualities.

RED

Red is a very intense and hot color. It is often used to represent heat, passion, excitement, speed and strength.

Red literally 'shouts'. Use it to attract attention and importance. It also signifies courage, bravery, danger, war and energy.

Therefore use red to promote energy drinks, cars (Ferrari red), lipsticks, passionate love (Cupid), and dangerous or extreme sports.

Red is also considered lucky for the Chinese and is a color of celebration and prosperity.

YELLOW

Yellow is the color of happiness, excitement, energy and cheerfulness.

Yellow is another attention grabbing color. Use it with red and you have a powerful head-turning color scheme (like Shell).

Deep, bright yellow is the color of royalty, honor and loyalty.

Yellow also attracts children and is the color often used for toys, and kindergarten buildings.

It is also the color use for emergency and hazard situation; used in radioactive materials, fire trucks, rescue vehicles (AA), tow trucks, tractors, and bulldozers.

ORANGE

Orange is a warm, citrus color, and represents health, vibrancy, sunshine and the tropics.

Orange creates a stimulating, vibrant, fun and exciting environment. It is the combination of red and yellow.

It is an effective color to promote healthy food, drinks, toys and youth products.

PINK & LAVENDER

Pink and lavender often brings to mind femininity, innocence, romance and health.

It is very effective to promote products or services to women, such as exclusive spa for women, beauty products, lingerie, and perfume.

WHITE

Imagine snow, angels, and brides. What does these things invoke in you?

Exactly. White represents innocence, virtue, purity, cleanliness, coolness, safety, health, medicine and virginity,

It is best use to promote wedding shops, charities, medical products, low-fat foods and dairy products.

BLACK

Mystery, formality, seriousness, power, elegant, authority and evil are some of the attributes associated with black.

Black is best use as a background to other bright or pastel colors. Using black as your logo typeface will suggest authority, classical, elegance, stability and power.

Using black as your main color however will usually be related to mystery, stability, strength, death, and evil. Examples include banks, mystery, thriller or scary movies, rock bands and funeral companies.

GRAY OR SILVER

Gray evokes conservative, depressing and moody feelings.

Silver however represents technology, cutting edge, machines, and richness and elegance.

Therefore, it is not surprising to see most high-tech companies uses a combination of silver and blue.

BROWN OR CREAM

Brown is also another color that represents nature, as it is the color of land and trees. As such it invokes a comfort, homeliness feeling

It is best used for restaurants, natural or antique furniture companies, and outdoor activities products.

Light brown or cream is suitable for food products as it is the color of wheat, flour, spaghetti and potatoes.

Combined with green, then it can effectively promote a recycling or earth-friendly organizations / products.

About the Author
Alif Wahab is the director of a multidisciplinary design firm, Uniqon Design Services. The firm specializes in Income-Generating Design Solutions for Businesses. Visit (http://www.uniqonlogodesign.com) for more info.