How to use colors in logos effectively

How to use colors in logos effectively

Colors play an important role in deciding the quality of a logo. Great colors are significant in making a logo effective to be able to float in the market. In this article, we will see How to use colors in logos effectively.

  1. Know the ‘Color Theory’

How to use colors in logos effectively

Source: NYU EDU

Color Theory is very important when it comes to logo designing.  To have a knowhow of the colors being used in a logo is important and crucial for a designer to make it worthy enough to rotate in the marketplace.


The choices of color(s) have a great significance and aesthetic value. It’s important to understand the distinction between color psychology and color symbolism, which again is different from any given individual’s associations with a color.

Color symbolism in simple words is the meaning of a color or what characteristic it symbolizes. Let have a look on that. For example, Red symbolizes wealth and good fortune in China while white is for death. This can be useful for brands on a national or regional scale, but not globally.

On the other hand, color psychology goes much deeper as compared to color symbolism. The color psychology is based on our responses to color on an unconscious level. For example, in broad aspects, red is an archaic, physical color compared to the cooler, more intellectual blue color. Yellow is bright, energetic and emotional, while green is more harmonious, natural and balanced.

These have an array of both positive and negative association depending on shades, tints, and tones, and can also incorporate all manner of cultural and personal symbolism. But the essence of their psychological effects is universal enough to be considered as part of any logo design process.

Knowing the color theory highly alters the perception of a logo design and can make your design quite effective.

  1. Go for a more ingenious style

    How to use colors in logos effectively

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There are many different approaches or styles when it comes to choosing a color scheme for a brand. For instance, Apple’s extensive use of black and white feels modern, glossy and confident.

Colors those are clear, strong and obvious, such as black, white, and magenta or lemon yellow, convey values of confidence, efficiency, and modernity, and are therefore are suitable for futuristic tech brands, but may come across as expensive, materialistic and cold.

  1. Know which color would fit where

    How to use colors in logos effectively

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Picking the right color for any given brand isn’t just about its psychological and cultural associations.  It is also about its competitive set and wider sector trends. Say, for example, two brands in totally distinct sectors could both struggle to use color to convey trustworthiness, or playfulness, or elegance. But if their direct competitor uses the same shade for the same reasons, then ‘stand-out’ and ‘differentiation’ immediately becomes an issue.

Exclusive use of a core primary, secondary or tertiary color is a true battle in a crowded marketplace where everyone is pulling the other one down. The cut here is that by considering the subtleness of color association, breaking down the basic color wheel into the millions of shade, tints, and tones that the human eye can perceive, ownership becomes much more manageable.

  1. Understand how colors are displayed

    How to use colors in logos effectively

Considering what you can achieve using the basic additive (RGB, for screen) and subtractive (CMYK, for print) color models, but also consider manipulating color using HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) or LAB (which balances luminance with the chromatic values A and B, where ‘A’ ranges from green to red, and ‘B’ from blue to yellow).

Synonymous with print and digital respectively, the CMYK and RGB color modes are familiar to designers everywhere in the world. RGB and CMYK define color in a mechanical way, and the actual manner in which it’s displayed depends on various factors, such as the color profile of a device. HSB is more perceptive and defines color in a more descriptive way in the context of a color wheel.

These were the core guidelines of How to use colors in logos effectively. Hope the article was of help. If you feel that any other pointer can be added to the article for providing value to the same, feel free to mention that in the comments below. Happy designing people!

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