Importance of Color in Logo
Color is important to brand recognition, but it should not be an integral
component to the logo design, which could conflict with its functionality. Some
colors are formed/associated with certain emotions that the designer wants to
convey. For instance, loud colors, such as red, that are meant to attract the
attention of drivers on highways are appropriate for companies that require such
attention. In the United States red, white, and blue are often used in logos for
companies that want to project patriotic feelings. Green is often associated
with health foods, and light blue or silver is often used to reflect diet foods.
For other brands, more subdued tones and lower saturation can communicate
dependability, quality, relaxation, etc.
Some aspects of colors:
•Non-primary colors are more calming than primary colors.
•Blue is the most calming of the primary colors, followed closely by a lighter
•Test takers score higher and weight lifters lift more in blue rooms.
•Blue text increases reading retention.
•Yellow evokes cheerfulness. Houses with yellow trim or flower gardens sell
•Reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave. Red also makes food
more appealing and influences people to eat more. (It is no coincidence that
fast food restaurants almost always use these colors.)
•Pink enhances appetites and has been shown to calm prison inmates.
•Blue and black suppress appetites.
•Children prefer primary colors. (Notice that children’s toys and books often
use these colors.)
•Forest green and burgundy appeals to the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans and
often raises the perceived price of an item.
•Orange is often used to make an expensive item seem less expensive.
•Red clothing can convey power.
•Red trim is used in bars and casinos because it can cause people to lose track
•White is typically associated with cool, clean and fresh.
•Red is often associated with Christmas and orange with Halloween and
•Red and black are often associated with sexy and seductive and are favored by
•Black clothes make people look thinner.
•Black is also associated with elegance and sophistication. It also seems
•Black is the favorite color of Goths.
Colors also have a functional impact on readability, eye-strain, ability to
attract attention, ability to be seen at night, etc. This is important in
choosing colors for signing, website pages, prints ads, and other marketing
•The most visible color is yellow.
•The most legible of all color combinations are black on yellow and green on
white followed by red on white.
•It is no surprise that most traffic signs use these color combinations.
•Black on white is the easiest to read, on paper, and on computer screens.
•Hard colors (red, orange and yellow) are more visible and tend to make objects
look larger and closer. They are easier to focus upon. They create excitement
and cause people to over-estimate time.
•Soft colors (violet, blue and green) are less visible and tend to make objects
look smaller and further away. They aren’t as easy to focus upon. They have a
calming effect, increase concentration, and cause people to under-estimate time.
Usually, it is advantageous for a brand to consistently “own” certain colors,
which provide an additional recognition cue. The George Eastman House
International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York has taken a
different, but equally effective approach. They intended to communicate that
they are a fun and vibrant organization that features much more than artistic
black and white photography. So, the “e” icon in their logo appears in a rainbow
of colors. Each business card features the logo with a different color. The name
itself always only appears in black and white.
Obviously, colors are an important part of any brand identity system. Testing
the affect of a new brand identity system’s colors is well advised. It is
important to consider that color associations will vary by individual, and
especially culture, due to the cultural context and previous experiences with
the colors. All of the impacts of colors are equally true of music, scents and
sounds. For instance, studies have identified that music has an impact on
supermarket sales, mental concentration, achievement on standardized tests,
factory productivity, clerical performance and staff turnover, among other
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