Keys to an effective logo

The importance of colour

Colour instantly conveys meaning. Humans evolved while depending on our ability to identify necessities and dangers based largely on their colours.

It is such a basic input that we're not usually aware of how powerful the effects of colour can be.

Selecting the colours of your brand

Each colour has its own particular emotional appeal. This effect varies, depending on who views it – their cultural backgrounds and personal experiences will influence their perception.

But the right colour scheme can generally influence how your audience thinks and feels about your brand. So it's crucial to select the tones and shades that will identify your brand effectively – and positively.

Combining colours to create a mood

While a single colour can be striking, the use of two or more colours in a logo can help create and define more powerful, though subtle, associations for your brand.

However, with thousands of basic colours, the number of possible combinations is almost infinite. Your choices may be overwhelming, but the good news is that your combination has a good chance to be unique in your market.

Here is a small sample of the possible colour combinations you can use to evoke moods that lend a positive meaning to your logo and brand:


Note the use of navy blue, as you will find in police uniforms.


These often use muted oranges and reddish browns, as seen at many family restaurants.


Centred around impersonal grays, these combinations are often strengthened by bright accent colours.

Vitality & energy

Orange-red or red-violet variations with complementary or even clashing colours.


Darkened tones of strong colours provide richness that can be enhanced with silver grays or golden yellows.


Blues, greens and their combinations suggest peace and growth, with complementary reds and oranges adding warmth or fun.


Delicate pastel shades of yellow paired with regal purples provide understated lightness and classic subtlety.


Bright or warm whites can be brought out against accents or light blue, green or brown evoke cleanliness and truth.


Deep greens, blues or even reds suggest conservative and historic values, especially with black or gold.


Bright, even brilliant greens and blues can evoke newness, without being quickly becoming outdated as trendy.


Aggression, heat, liveliness, risk, strength, success. But also patriotism, sacrifice, unity, danger.


Sentiment, femininity, gentleness, passivity, romance. But also energy, passion, playfulness.


Cheerfulness, warmth, fun, spontaneity, happiness. But also creativity, strength, endurance.


Happiness, wisdom, clarity, grace, prosperity, optimism. But also vitality, imagination, anxiety.


Peacefulness, safety, youthfulness, growth, relaxation. But also stability, dependability, nausea.


Loyalty, dignity, reliability, security, serenity, integrity. But also power, opulence, productivity.


Wealth, sophistication, power, glamour, dignity. But also excitement, mystery, aloofness.


Dependability, utility, ruggedness, comfort, masculinity. But also sensuality, humility, friendliness.


Innocence, truth, simplicity, goodness, safety, purity. But also death, cold, cleanliness.


Formality, dignity, maturity, experience, practicality. But also remoteness, aging, technicality.


Authority, formality, elegance, importance, sophistication. But also foreboding, intimidation, mourning.

Selecting your colour(s)

The colour or colours you choose should evoke the personality or identity that you are trying achieve with your brand and branding. Your colour scheme must also be representative of your service or main products. And it's important to ensure your colours quickly differentiate you from your competitors.

Your decision will also be affected by the shapes in your logo and the typography of the word forms in it, as well as any specialized uses.

Above all, make sure the colours you will use in your logo and your branding are consistent with your company's mission and will amplify your messages to your potential customers.

And, keep in mind there will be times your logo may be only seen in black and white; the symbol and letter forms must still work.

Colour on the internet

Not all your potential customers will view your logo and brand colours in print or on the best possible computer monitors. There are only a couple of hundred specific hues that you can expect every computer to render completely accurately. You may want to limit your choices to that palette to ensure consistency.

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