Why Color Combinations are an Important Part of Your Logo Design

Why Color Combinations are an Important Part of Your Logo Design

To be worth your investment in both time and money a logo has to be a magnet, attracting clients to your business like bees to a honey pot.

Pick wisely and the color of your logo becomes the embodiment of your business. Instantly recognizable from a distance and able to stand out from the competition.

The wrong color or combination of colors can drive your customers away. Whilst there is no right or wrong answer, there are a number of things to consider before making your final color choice.

Probably the most important consideration should be the kind of business you are in, and the image you are hoping to portray. Your logo is a large part of that image. Otherwise known as your brand. Your company identity. The colors in your logo need to be used across all your business marketing activities. From letterheads to booklets, business cards to website content.

Color combinations need to look good wherever your logo appears, in all sizes and formats. Having a red background with blue text might look great blown up on a billboard or outside sign. How will it look in a thumbnail? Will you still be able to read what it says? This integrity is critical to the usefulness of your logo.

To attract people to your business, your logo has to be professional. Anything less will make people walk away. The hardest thing to do for any company is getting customers to engage. Whether in person or online, you need to have the click factor. A carrot that draws people in. The choice of colors you use is your carrot. It’s the first thing potential clients see when they find your business. Your logo has to stand out, grab their attention and speak for your business. Enticing them through your door with the promise of confidence, trust and reliability.

The last thing you want is your logo color scheme turning your customers away before they have checked you out. You might not get a second chance.

As with the style of font you use, colors can create an emotional response in people. Different colors all mean and represent different things. This collective understanding of what a particular color personifies is what can make logo colors succeed or fail.

Color plays such an important part in day to day life, it has its own theory. Its own science if you like. All colors form what’s known as a color wheel. In its basic form, the wheel revolves through the different shades of yellow, orange, red, through purple to blue and green.

The theory, or science, is any colors on opposite sides of the wheel are contrasting. If the colors are side by side, they are complementing. Different shades of blue for instance, would be neighbors on the color wheel and therefore complement each other. A shade of blue with orange would be contrasting as they sit opposite each other on the wheel.

The color wheel plays an important role in the choice of color for any logo. You have to make sure that your colors go together. If they don’t, your artwork will be garish and irritating for potential clients to look at. You wouldn’t want to mix fluorescent lime green with neon pink, you’ll have your customers reaching for their sunglasses. It’ll be too much.

That doesn’t mean neon or really bright colors are a no go area. They can be used successfully in a logo, depending on your industry and color intensity. Ideally, they need to be limited to a single bright color toned down with a less vibrant shade to complement it. Bars and restaurants make good use of neon logos. The splash of energetic color promises fun and entertainment. However, because of the association with the leisure industry, a neon logo for an insurance company might give the wrong impression.

Like the intense, bright shades, many colors have an unspoken understanding of what they can or can’t be mixed with. Red and green for example, have long been thought to be too much of a contrast leading to a clash. This is also true if you use the wrong shades of red and orange. Combining black with dark brown is thought to be best avoided because both tend to suck up all the light creating a dull, boring, lackluster combination. The last thing you need in a logo is boring colors.

Colors have been used throughout time to portray particular emotions or feelings. Red is strong, impassioned and forceful. Blue is calming and reliable. Green is known for peace and being environmentally friendly. Using red in your logo will scream confidence almost unconsciously into the mind of anyone viewing it. A shade of green will impart a laid back, eco-warrior persona.

When choosing color, consider your business and the type of work you do. Green works great for companies like Greenpeace, the epitome of a peaceful eco-warrior organization. If your business is in high tech computers, and you want to show strength, knowledge and stability, does green really do that for you? Think Apple or IBM. The former uses black. The latter, a series of blue stripes.

Black or monochrome depicts reliable, professional and trustworthy in a simplistic and no-nonsense way. A good representation of both Apple and IBM, monochrome is also a great choice for attorneys and accountants.

Standing out from the crowd should also be high on your list of needs from a logo color scheme. The color yellow is warm and optimistic. It can be seen from a great distance. If your business is in the heart of a busy shopping area, what better way to make your branding pop? How often have you driven somewhere, felt hungry and spotted the golden arches of McDonald’s from three blocks away?

If you have already chosen the font for your logo, this will have an impact on the colors you can use for the background and text. You’ll want to make sure your lettering can be seen and easily readable. Some colors can make reading text difficult, particularly for the vision impaired. Combining green with blue for instance, could cause clarity issues for colorblind clients.

With so much to keep in mind when choosing colors, how do you know which combinations will work?

One way is to take a look at the logos of your competition. See what color combinations work for them. Are they using a combination of contrasting or coordinating schemes? Have they gone bold or pastel? Do any of them use monochrome? More importantly, does the logo show who they are?

Examine the designs and color choices for businesses in other fields. Check to see if their logos represent their business. Would you know what kind of service they offer from looking at the logo?

Another way is to play with different color combinations. Try out a variety of choices in a range of formats to see which ones will work best.

You may be thinking that there is a lot to bear in mind when choosing colors. Rather than a simple choice between yellow or orange, it’s a minefield full of hues and shades. It can be difficult to know where to start.

There are logo makers online that can help. Many have a selection of ready to use templates that can be adapted to your business. Better still, they’re created by professional designers who’ve matched the best color combinations for you. All you have to do is make it your own.

The choice of color for your logo is ultimately a personal one. Following the tips above will help you make sure that it’s the right one for you and your business.

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