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The colours in your logo says more than you think.

Colour has a powerful and important effect on logo design and branding. When looking at designing a logo for your business or brand, it is important to keep in mind the way that colour can be interpreted. Different colours evoke different emotions and send out different messages and implications. Snap decisions are made within seconds of laying an eye on a logo, what the company is about, their values, their beliefs. It is therefore important to consider the meanings of different colours and how this might affect your logo choices.

Here is a list of the psychological responses that are commonly associated with each colour.

Red

Love, Passion, Sensuality, Anger, Aggression, Intensity, Energy, Warmth and Heat.

Orange

Pleasure, Boldness, Distrust, Enthusiasm, Innovation, Modern Thinking, Youth, Fun, Affordability and Approachability.

Yellow

Cheer, Joy, Energy, Caution, Sickness, Sunny, Warm, Friendly, Warning Signs and Cowardice.

Green

Harmony, Fresh, Ambition, Greed, Natural, Ethical, Organic/Vegetarian and Growth.

Blue

Calm, Trust, Confidence, Seriousness, Sincerity, Integrity, Authority, Corporate and Success.

Purple

Ambition, Dignity, Mystery, Independence, Royalty, Luxuary, Wisdom, Dignity and Wealth.

Brown

Comfort, Strength, Laziness, Isolation, Masculine, Rural Life and The Outdoors.

Black

Power, Mysterious, Grieving, Elegance, Sophistication, Villainy and Death

White

Innocence, Purity, Cleanliness and Naiveté.

Pink

Flirty, Fun, Girly and Feminine.

Carefully consider how the colours that you have chosen work together, bearing in mind shade and tone. Bold, brash colours come across as in your face and happy and alive, while muted tones come across sophisticated and calm. A fantastic tool is the Colour calculator. You pick a colour from the colour wheel and then find out which other colours suit the one you have chosen. It’s a great way to explore different colour options and combinations.

Logos are often required in monochrome, sometimes the client will want it in varying colours. So it is important to create a logo that first works in black and white before exploring your colour palette.

A fascinating design experiment was carried out by Brazilian graphic designer Paula Rupolo where she swapped the colours in the logos of major brands. The result highlights how important colour is in logo design and the impact it has. “Colours are the first thing you notice in a logo, what gets fastest to our brains,” she says. “Then you read a logo’s shape, icons, or typography”.

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