14 Color Psychology in Logo Designs
Color offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message in your logo designs. It’s probably the most powerful non-verbal form of communication we can use as designers. Our minds are programmed to respond to color.
Red Bull: 1987 Designer Unknown
Red Bull gets a double dose of red in its logo and is a great color choice for a logo that represents an energy drink company. The company markets the drink as, “Red Bull vitalizes body and mind” and “Red Bull gives you wiiings!”. Both of these phrases reinforce why red was an excellent color choice for the logo. By accenting the red with yellow a loosely analogous color palette is created for the brand.
Barbie: 1959 Designer Unknown
The color pink is very prominent in Mattel’s Barbie logo and supporting branding material. It is a fitting color for a toy that is marketed to little girls. The typeface compliments the color choice and helps to reinforce the brands positioning by giving the impression of a young girl’s handwriting.
Nickelodeon: 1984 Tom Corey, Fred/Alan Inc., Scott Nash
Orange is a perfect color choice for Nickelodeon who’s target audience is children. Orange is fun, lighthearted and youthful which reflects the TV channel’s programing. The design of the Nickelodeon logo supports the youthful theme with the paint spattered backdrop and playful typography.
McDonald’s: 1962 Jim Schindler
We all know the successful McDonald’s franchise (aka The Golden Arches) and their slogan “I’m Lovin’ It”. Like Red Bull, McDonald’s uses a loosely analogous color palette. The difference is that McDonald’s is mainly yellow which fitting for this brand that focuses on children, playfulness and happiness. The red works well as an accent color and has been know to raise ones blood pressure and evoke hunger. Incidentally, this color combination has influenced many other fast food chains.
Animal Planet: 2008 Dunning Eley Jones
Green is suitable logo color choice for a TV channel who’s programing focuses solely on nature and animals. There’s a significant amount of controversy surrounding this logo. So whether you like the logo or not, I think we can agree that the various tones of green are right on for this channel. The color conjures up imagery of jungles, grasses and nature in general.
IBM: 1972 Paul Rand
The blue in the IBM (aka “Big Blue”) logo represents a company that is non-threatening yet stable and established. When Rand redesigned the IBM logo he replaced the solid type with 8 horizontal bars to represent “speed and dynamism”. While the logo typically isn’t used in its original blue today, it is still a very prominent color in the IBM brand.
Hallmark: Designer Unknown
The Hallmark company uses the slogan “When you care enough to send the very best.” The use of the color purple in the logo supports the marketing message of the company. It implies royalty, expense and sophistication which is reinforced by the crown icon that hovers over the type.
UPS: 1961 Paul Rand and 2003 FutureBrand
UPS uses the color brown to differentiate itself from the competition (i.e., the USPS and FedEx). While the color may be received by many as utilitarian, boring or conservative, UPS has taken ownership of the color and used it as a point of distinction. In the 2003 redesign the introduction of yellow brings some warmth, friendliness and a certain richness to the mark.
James Bond 007: Designer Unknown (© 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation)
The James Bond 007 logo is solid black. The color choice for the classic spy movie’s logo works well. The color represents the authority, mystery and sophistication that is a part of 007 movies.
Swarovski Crystal: Designer Unknown
The logo for the luxury brand Swarovski, maker of lead crystal glass, is grey. The grey could be viewed to represent the lead that is a part of the product the company makes, but also represents the respect and authority that comes from the history of a company that has been around for over 100 years.
Girl Scouts: 1978 Saul Bass
While green may be the more prominent color in the Girl Scouts logo it also uses the negative space to create the silhouettes of two faces. The combination of the silhouetted faces and the white create a certain purity and innocence in the logo.