The color scheme of your logo can have a major impact on brand recognition and memorability.
In fact, 75% of people recognize a brand by its logo, and 45% identify brands based on their brand colors. But your brand colors matter.
Here are some color combinations for your logo that will help you create a memorable icon.
Understanding the Color Theory and Meanings
It’s important to know the basics of color theory before we start experimenting with brand logo colors.
There are several ways to create a pleasing color palette. One way to make a good color palette is by using complementary colors.
Complementary Colors are colors that are directly opposite each other in the color wheel.
The result of putting complementary colors together in a design is usually quite harmonious.
There are many combinations of colors other than complementary ones that make up a beautiful palette. There are:
Analogous colors — Colors that appear adjacent to each other on a color wheel.
Triadic colors — three colors evenly distributed around the color wheel.
Split complementary colors — This consists of the base color and the two colors next to the complementary color on the color wheel.
This diagram will help you better understand the combinations:
Many other color combinations are based on the color wheel. These are only the most basic. Understanding how colors are arranged on the wheel will help you choose more harmonious colors.
When choosing the color scheme for your logo, you should also consider what each color means. Red, for example, can symbolize passion and intensity. Green, on the other hand, can be a symbol of growth or wealth.
In the video below, 99designs offers a great video explaining the meanings of the most common colors.
25 Logo Color Scheme Examples
Check out these real-life examples to see what color combinations you can use for your logo. Logos usually fall into a few categories of color combinations, including:
Monochrome Logos —- Logos with a single dominant color that may be accompanied by neutral accent colors such as white or black.
Logos in two colors — Logos using two dominant colors
Multicolor Logos — logos with more colors than two.
Starbucks’ logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. Its color scheme is a testament to the power of green. Starbucks Green is a shade that’s difficult to associate with other companies due to the way in which Starbucks has positioned itself and its logo.
Starbucks uses a monochromatic color scheme that the company describes as “fresh and inviting.”
Think of the colors green, dark green, and light green as flavors of the same color. Or, to be more accurate, different hues of the same color.
Here is a brief explanation of the term hue, as well as other terms related to it:
Hue. Hue is what we mean by color. The hue is a term used to describe the overall distinguishing quality of a color (e.g., “green” or ‘blue’).
Shade. The result of adding black to a certain hue (e.g., dark green is a color shade).
Tint. The result of adding white to a certain hue (e.g., light green is a shade of green).
The tone you get by adding black and white (also known as gray) to a particular hue. Gray — a gray tone to a certain hue (e.g., pastel green is a shade of green).
Saturation. Although “tone” is an important painting term, it’s more common to hear the word “saturation” when adding gray to a color. Saturation is a term that describes a range of colors, from gray (0%) to a pure form of color (100% saturation). Desaturated colors can be softer or duller than their vibrant and highly saturated counterparts.
Green shades can create a fresh, modern look. They also communicate growth and prosperity. This color scheme is ideal for outdoor and food companies.
McDonald’s golden yellow arches are one of the world’s most iconic logos.
Yellow, the dominant color in McDonald’s palette, is associated with both energy and happiness, which is the feeling McDonald’s is trying to invoke in its customers.
McDonald’s uses red accents in its branding, even though yellow is the primary brand color. McDonald’s uses red in its logo because it’s the most emotional color. They want to make you feel energized.
Orange conveys creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and playfulness. Orange is a great color to use in your logo if you are in a creative field or have a fun brand.
Orange, for example, perfectly represents the vision of Etsy as a global marketplace that sells handmade and artisan products from creative individuals.
Stripe: Modern Purple
Many tech companies are using purple as part of their logo colors. It’s a modernized version of the traditional blue that they have used in the past.
For example, Stripe uses purple, a color that is a combination of blue and purple. This shade of purple, a lighter version of the traditional blue, helps to position Stripe as an innovative brand.
Urban Decay: Violet
Purple can be used as a color for logos to represent luxury and royalty. Purple is a good color if you’re looking to position your brand, like Urban Decay, as a high-end product. The makeup brand’s primary logo color is violet.
The font style makes Urban Decay’s logo look elegant and expressive. It is a great way for their products to be reflected.
FedEx: Purple & Orange
FedEx’s logo is easily recognizable due to its contrasted colors (the clever placement of an arrow is another reason). FedEx’s logo colors are “FedEx Purple” and “FedEx Orange”.
These two colors are complementary, which is why they work so well together. These two colors are on opposite sides of a color wheel, so they contrast and make a bold combination.
Orange is a color that evokes warmth, vitality, and energy. Purple is a color of luxury and creativity. This color combination is a powerful one.
Wimbledon: Purple and Green
On the color wheel, purple and green have a similarity. They are not exactly opposites, but they are not right next to one another either. Tones and saturation are the links between their relationship on the color wheel.
Wimbledon’s color scheme is Wimbledon Green and Wimbledon Purple, the official brand colors. The deep shades of these colors connect the two. Purple is a color that represents luxury.
It makes sense that this color scheme, when combined with green, can represent wealth, health, and sustainability.
Mailchimp: Yellow & Black
Yellow is the most popular color for logos and with good reason. Yellow is a color that evokes feelings of happiness, optimism, youth, and energy.
Mailchimp uses Cavendish Yellow as its primary logo color. Mailchimp describes its overall brand as playful and energetic, and its primary logo color is Cavendish Yellow.