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Is your logo design making customers see RED?

About this Article

Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand. A well-designed logo is vital—it implies a professionalism and evokes a feeling of trust. What you may not realize is how selecting the right color palette for your logo design can be vital in communicating the right message about your brand. Since your logo drives the graphic design strategy for all of your marketing tactics, it’s important to select colors that support the essence of your company and your brand.


There have been many studies about color from psychologists and the scientific community and how it emotionally effects the viewer. We’ve compiled our own analysis of the most common colors used in marketing and given you the underlying messages that each color may be sending. What message are the colors in your logo sending to your customers? These color concepts can also be applied to your print and digital marketing materials.

RED hot logos

The use of red in your logo design can create a sense of importance, strength, energy, stimulation, excitement, and love. Red is hot, exciting, powerful, and passionate. Red can invoke a sense of urgency and stimulate the viewer to take quick action. It has been used for many decades as the ‘go-to’ color if you want to make anything stand out in graphic design strategies. Red also represents power, high impact, and action. If used excessively and supported by negative messaging, it can evoke aggression, a sense of danger, and defiance – so use it wisely.

ORANGE... the new red?

The color orange is a good way to add excitement to your logo design without the intense effects that red offers. It stimulates, energizes, and invigorates, but can also be used to evoke a sense of comfort and security (warmth, food, shelter). Orange can be perceived as youthful, playful, and fun. Too much orange, when used for branding serious businesses, can produce a negative reaction. It suggests frivolity as well as a lack of maturity and understanding of the importance of the subject matter or company. Orange can be an effective color for food and youth products uses.

Not-so-mellow YELLOW

Yellow is a unique color, as it can be as negative as it is positive. Confused? So is the color yellow. Depending on the shade of yellow and the way it’s used, it can generate happiness or agitation. When using a clear, bright yellow, you’re likely to convey feelings of joy and optimism, and can raise self-esteem. In contrast, when an intense yellow is used excessively, it can activate the anxiety center of the brain producing feelings of fear, irrationality, and agitation. Often associated with sunshine, happiness, creativity, and youthful energy, yellow is highly effective in promoting kids toys and games

It's so easy being GREEN

In most situations, there are few times when the color green is experienced in an emotionally negative way. Green is a peaceful color that represents nature, freshness, growth, harmony, and an awareness of caring for the environment. It also symbolizes health, balance, and fertility. Dark or dull greens are associated with money and finances and can induce a feeling of financial security. Be careful when using green in excess, as it can cause boredom.   

Mystical, magical PURPLE

Purple is often perceived as a spiritual color and is used as a symbol of spirituality, universal truth, and a higher level of consciousness. Deep purples reflect an air of mystery, magic, and royalty. Use rich purples if you want to exude elegance, luxury, extravagance, and passion in your logo design. If you’re trying to appeal to a female audience or want to invoke a romantic feeling, a lighter purple or lavender can be effective. Be cautious when using a very dark purple, as it can cause a feeling of frustration and sadness.

Do you love the BLUES?

The calming effects of blue evoke serenity, inspiration, trust, reflection, and safety. Is it any wonder why it is one of the most popular shades used in logo designs and marketing tactics? The many shades and intensities of blue make it quite versatile. Bold and bright shades of blue send the message, “We’re friendly and approachable,” while darker shades of blue convey experience, reliability, and security. Blue is highly attractive to males and therefore is a good color to promote masculine products. Be cautious when using blue for food product logo designs (unless it’s a dairy product or nutrition-focused product) as it can be an appetite suppressant.

The nature of BROWN

Brown can be highly effective when used to brand companies that are associated with nature, the great outdoors, and other earthy things – especially when it’s paired with green. Brown offers the viewer a feeling of being grounded and a sense of sturdiness. After all, brown is the color of the earth, which provides stability and sustenance for all living things. The negative effects of brown, when it’s used in excess and for the wrong type of business, can be viewed as being unsophisticated, dull, or boring.

Black is BLACK

Black, the heavy hitter of all colors, is highly versatile. It can act in a supporting role within your logo design (for text) or as the primary color element when used as a background or a silhouette for an icon. It can make bright colors pop when used as a background and can be paired with white for a strong, high-contrast logo design. Black is also known for adding an air of sophistication, formality, confidence, strength, mystery, edginess, and seriousness. However, when black is paired with negative messaging or imagery, and used in excess, it can imply coldness, fear, grief, and anger. 

 Snow WHITE 

Like the color black, white can offer a touch of sophistication to your logo design, especially when paired with black. The color white is associated with purity (Snow White), cleanliness, positivity, and light. It exudes good hygiene and freshness. White has another side to its personality which can send a negative message of coldness and stark sterility – especially when used excessively without warm or bright colors to give your artwork some life. When black and white are the only colors used in your logo design, it can make a statement of elegance, power, and confidence. White is also a neutral color. When used as a background for your logo design, it will make your imagery clear and your colors pop.

It's kind of a GRAY area

Gray is stuck in the middle between black and white, which makes it a neutral color. It can take on a traditional, formal, or serious tone, which is probably why it is used often in corporate logos. Gray can also come to the rescue of black and white, when these colors make too harsh of a visual statement. Dark gray can be used to substitute black and a light gray works well when white is too stark. The negative side of gray is that it can exude gloominess, boredom, and sadness—oh, my! 

Parting words...

We hope you’ll find this article useful when creating a new logo design, enhancing an existing one, or determining which colors to use in your marketing tactics. Got a suggestion for what aspect of branding, graphic design, or marketing you'd like us to write about? CONTACT US using our easy-to-use form. Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list. We love a good audience.

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