How to pick the right colours for your logo?

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We all know choosing colours can be difficult when it comes to your new brand but not everybody understands the psychology of what each colour means. The right colour is vital when it comes to your logo to ensure your brand is giving out the right message.

The colour that you choose for your brand is how it will be known to the world, so it is essential that your chosen colours represent your brand well.

Colours convey meaning on both a conscious and subconscious level, and this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing colours for a logo.

Whilst all these colours have positive connotations, it’s indispensable that they fit in with your business. Choosing the wrong colours could badly affect the way your business is viewed. For example, a budget clothing store using purple would be sending across the wrong message: people would look at the logo and expect luxury and expensive clothes, when in fact they are the opposite.

When choosing colours, most companies opt for the safer route, and a whole 33% of companies use the colour blue in their logo. This could be due to the numerous reassuring connotations associated with this colour. Blue is the colour of the sea and sky, and is a calming colour, helping people focus.

As well as this, 95% of the top brands only use one or two colours in their logo, remember that you are not just limited to one colour. Many top companies such as Google and Visa use multiple colours in their logo.

Cultural sensitivity is also a key point to take into consideration. Different colours have different meanings in various parts of the world

Red – In Western cultures red has many positive associations, such as passion, love, and excitement. In China red also has positive connotations. Red is worn to celebrate Chinese New Year and brings good luck and fortune; however, in the Middle East, red gives feelings of danger and caution and is also considered the colour of evil.

Orange – Orange is a colour many western cultures would associate with autumn, thanksgiving, courage and bringing people together. For many Middle Eastern cultures, it means the complete opposite, evoking mourning and loss.

Yellow – What comes into your mind when you think of the colour yellow? Maybe sunshine and happiness? Well, shockingly this isn’t the case for many cultures. Yellow is considered sacred in Eastern and Asian cultures, with royalty often seen wearing this colour. Latin America, on the other hand, associates this colour with death and mourning. This association is also shared with Middle Eastern country Egypt.

Green – Green, the colour of nature and also the colour of almost every military in the world. The colour green across the world generally evokes nature and the environment, with many companies using the colour green to show that they are a “green business”. This positive earthy colour, in Latin America, is also the colour of death. In China green has equal positive and negative connotations; with green also representing exorcism and infidelity.

Blue – When looking at blue’s associations across the world, it’s not surprising that this colour is the most popular choice. Around the world, blue is considered the safest colour for a logo, if it’s going out to a global audience. From Western cultures associating blue with trust and protection, to the Middle East associating this colour with heaven and immortality. This colour choice is best for a worldwide audience.

Pink – Generally considered the colour of femininity except in Japan where it is more associated with the male. Often representing sweetness and beauty, this colour also signifies trust in Korea and is traditionally worn by brides. Around the world, the colour pink has been proven to be stimulating to the brain and calming.

Purple – Similar to blue, this colour tends to have a lot of the same aura. Across the world, purple tends to symbolise royalty, wealth and fame, and “rich” colour. This is due to centuries ago when purple dye was considered rare and costly for clothes to be made purple. Exceptions are made for countries such as Thailand, where it symbolises mourning. After her husband has died a widow will wear this colour. Similar to Thailand, South Americans also associate this colour with mourning and death.

The last tip to picking a colour for your logo is look at your competition. Brand recognition is very important, so having a stand out logo is the key. Look at the colour palettes your competitors are using, and go for something different.