Meaning and Uses of Colors in Logo Design

If you don’t know about colors, you’re going to have trouble becoming a professional designer. It is crucial for designers to understand the essential things about color and its impact on design. Lack of an understanding can result in undeveloped and redundant color combinations which can label you as an amateur designer. As a graphic designer you must study, research and find ways to use color to bring your designs to life.

Various Color Representations in Logo Design

Here’s a brief look into the emotions represented by the ten most common colors and their use in logo design for specific industries.

Adidas logo, Gucci logo, black color logo


Represents: Authority, Power, Mystery, Boldness, Elegance and Sophistication

Black is used to commonly target youth and a high-end audience. It creates a mystery while representing power, authority and elegance in the logo.

CNN logo, KFC logo, red logos


Represents: Passion, Love, Anger, Hunger, Health, Excitement and Life

Red has the power of attraction and is one of the most popular colors. Used mostly in food, health, beauty and entertainment logos, it grabs the attention of the consumers. Several red foods, such as red peppers or red wine, are known to help increase metabolism.  This is one simple reason that some restaurants prefer to use red for interior décor.

DHL logo, Shell logo, yellow logos


Represents: Happiness, Warmth, Innovation and Caution

Yellow is a warm color that invokes the feeling of happiness, warmth and relaxation. Generally it doesn’t play a central role in logos and is sparingly used to highlight important features of a logo. Used alone in bright shades, the color can be overpowering which is why it is a difficult color to use. Yellow is most commonly used by the automotive and food industries.

Pfizer logo, IBM logo, blue logos


Represents: Professionalism, Trust, Authority, Power and Loyalty

Blue is used in corporate logos as it creates a sense of security while showing loyalty and professionalism. This color is used by various businesses related to software, finance, pharmaceutical industry, government and banks.

Animal Planet logo, BP logo, green logos


Represents: Harmony, Natural, Healthy, Renewal and Plentiful

Green is mainly used to represent eco-friendly companies or businesses revolving around agriculture, recycling, landscaping, gardening and solar power. It is the color of nature and gives a calming effect while representing growth.

Fanta logo, Nickelodeon logo, ornage logos


Represents: Vibrant, Playful, Happy, Artistic and Energetic

Orange is another beloved color of the food, art and the sports industries. While in one sector it evokes an appetite, in others it suggests playfulness, creativity and energy. Being bright makes orange the favorite color for industries dealing with kids’ products and foods. Some creative industries also love using orange to help them stand out and show off.

Yahoo logo, Cadbury logo, purple logos


Represents: Royalty, Luxury, Celebration, Education and Elegance

Being a color of royalty, purple is mostly used to represent religious institutes and educational organizations.  It is seldom used for commercial services, unless it can clearly represent the main essence of the company it stands for. Chocolate is one food which is often represented by purple logos. There’s no need to shy away from purple and limit it to represent feminism, luxury and beauty only.

FedEx logo, Adobe logo, white logos


Represents: Pure, Peaceful, Spiritual, Clean and Goodwill

White is a neutral color that implies purity. It is also the essential color in negative spacing logos. The FedEx and the Adobe logo make the best use of white. FedEx has a white arrow while the ‘A’ in Adobe is designed in white over a red background.

Barbie logo, Too Kute logo, pink logos


Represents: Feminism, Innocence, Youth and Beauty

Pink is often taken to be a feminine color, which is why it is popularly used in logos related to beauty, fashion and others. It is also used for companies dealing with children’s clothes and accessories. Because it is playful and innocent, it is not suitable for the corporate or industrial unit.

Crush Coffee logo, Coffee logo, brown logos


Represents: Reliable, Solid, Masculine and Earthly Aura

Brown is a neutral color that is reliable, solid and dependable. This color is most commonly used for agriculture, construction and legal industries. Some food related products like coffee and chocolate are also best represented by brown.

Colors play an important role in giving your logo life. If you want to create a winning logo design, play with colors, experiment with various shades and see which of them best represent the essence of your client’s company. Be sure not to forget the target audience and how they will relate to the colors in the logo design.

Conceptualizing the Impact of Intelligent Logo Design:

Blog Update: 4 April 2015


*This post was originally written by Alexis Stone.

A philanthropist by nature, Shyrose Vastani is professionally working as a digital media marketer and visual design blogger. She is a visual media enthusiast with keen interests in research, business trends and graphic design. With a background in psychology, she is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge about visual media and its impact on consumer behavior and people in general.

5 thoughts on “Meaning and Uses of Colors in Logo Design

  1. very nice information for beginners . which leads to take better decision regarding there carrier as a logo designer.

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