Have you ever wondered why Trident Gum’s logo is red, white, and black? Maybe why Scotch Tape’s logo is yellow and black? Or why Shaws’ logo is orange and green? Well, a lot of people have.
Most people who haven’t studied color theory probably assume those colors were selected because they look good together, or because those were the logo designer’s favorite colors. They’re wrong. There’s a lot more to color selection than just figuring out what looks pretty together. Different colors evoke different emotions and promote different themes and those emotions and themes can heavily influence how viewers perceive your design.
McDonald’s, for example, uses red and yellow in their logo. The color red promotes power, importance, youth, energy, love, and passion. The color yellow promotes happiness, enthusiasm, warmth, and friendliness. Can you imagine why any of those emotions or themes would be connected to a fast food restaurant? Now, this is where things get interesting; organizations use colors to change the way people perceive their brands. They do this by using colors, such as red and yellow in this case, to give their customers a sense of strength and comfort, when in reality, it’s just fast food that will not make you feel strong or comfortable in any way. But, unless you have studied color theory, you may not understand that they are trying to pull one over on you.
An example of a brand that uses colors true to its identity is John Deere. John Deere’s logo is yellow and green. As previously mentioned, yellow promotes happiness, enthusiasm, warmth, and friendliness. The color green promotes growth, stability, freshness, and environmental themes. Both of those colors greatly represent John Deere, a loyal, dependable, environmentally driven brand that focuses on allowing you to work and create with nature by using their products.
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As you can see by the examples of those two brands, color choices in logo design are extremely important. The colors of your logo could be the first thing someone knows about your brand, which is why it’s so important to choose those colors wisely. Think about the logo of your favorite brand. Do the colors they use reflect the organizations identity well? Would you change their logo colors? Keep this in mind moving forward. Being able to look at a logo and decipher what the colors are saying is important and can be useful when forming opinions and making decisions about brands.