A Guide to Choosing the Best Colors for Your Logo

A Guide to Choosing the Best Colors for Your Logo

Color is important to any brand. It is extremely important to be selective when choosing the best colors for your logo. A brand can be made based on color alone, as it is a driving factor for many consumers when deciding to buy a product.

Choosing the best colors for a logo design is not difficult, but it does require some effort.

  1. Start by determining the message a brand should convey.
  2. Study color theory to grasp how colors are perceived.
  3. Then choose logo colors that are in line with the brand’s overall message and personality.

In this guide, we will break down how to choose the best colors for your logo with a quick background on color theory to learn why color really matters in your logo design.

We’ve broken down the meanings behind different logo colors so you can read through the tables below and see which color combination describes your brand best.

Keep reading to get to the juicy stuff: the meanings different colors have and how they can be used to make your logo design stand out.

Selecting the Best Color for Your Logo with Color Theory

Choosing the best colors for your logo is an important task for any new business. You need to do some thinking about your business and your clients before you can choose colors.

First, you want to make sure you have established your brand’s personality and who your clients are.

Once you know what personality you are projecting and what types of clients you are aiming to attract, you can dive into making a logo that is tailored to your clientele based on those traits or characteristics. This is where color theory comes into play.

How Color Theory Works in Logo Design

The best colors for your logo should be chosen based on color theory. Color theory is the idea of color as it is examined through an artistic and scientific. With a few critical components that are important in logo design, color theory focuses on:

  • Color interactions and combinations
  • Human perception and feelings
  • The message a color can communicate

As you can see by that list, the colors convey a message in and of themselves. They also stir feelings. And each color has some pre-packaged perceptions that come along with it. These are some of the reasons why color theory is so important to your logo design.

What Colors Are Best for Logos?

You may be wondering, based on color theory, what colors make the best logos.

The best colors for logos are solid colors that align with your brand’s personality, and the consumer base you are trying to reach.

This is why it is important to make sure you understand your brand and target consumer before choosing colors.

Based on the meaning behind different colors and the goal of your business, you may choose more than one color to define your brand. This is very common. However, don’t choose too many colors that the message you are trying to send gets muddled.

What Color Attracts the Human Eye Most?

The color that the human eye can see better than any other color is green. However, there is a bit of debate that says yellow also attracts the human eye well, too. Basically, this debate comes down to scientific ideas.

Both of these colors fall into the spectrum of visible light at relatively close wavelengths.

  • Green falls in the middle of the spectrum at 550 nanometers
  • Yellow measures in at 580 nanometers

Because of the way they stimulate our brain, both green and yellow are eye-catching colors. However, these two colors have different meanings to a consumer. Read on to find out exactly what these and other colors mean!

The Steps to Choosing the Best Colors for Your Logo

In four easy steps, you will have determined the best colors for your logo. Based on the message of your brand, you will be able to decide what colors will work best for your logo. So, let’s get started choosing the best colors for your logo!

Use the following four steps as a short guide to finding colors that are the best for your logo:

  1. Create a personality. Discover your brand’s personality and ideal consumer.
  2. Pick out your colors. Use our chart in a later to pick out three colors that have meanings that align with your brand’s personality.
  3. Play around. You may think one version of your logo is perfect. But before you settle on the final color palette, try swapping out different colors. You may want to test these out with different audiences to get their feedback.
  4. Finalize your design. After you have created different versions with various color combinations, it is time to pick the final logo design.

If you have not done a deep dive on color theory before getting to this point, do not worry. If you keep reading, we will discuss exactly what colors will work for your logo design based on their meaning.

Why Do Logo Colors Matter?

Logo colors matter because there is a strong connection in our brains between color and feelings. Most consumers will decide if they like a product in under 90 seconds. And 9 out of 10 times, their quick decision is based on color.

There are three main reasons why colors have meaning and importance when creating a logo. These reasons are:

  • Biological conditioning – In addition to psychology, we are biologically wired to look for bright colors. We are drawn to things with color because the brain is trying to make split-second decisions to keep us safe.
  • Cultural development – In the United States, blue and pink have been used as acceptable colors for boys and girls. These color meanings have been shaped by society, not by an innate response. 
  • Psychological impact – Most of us are always perceiving color, so our brains have adapted to quickly assess different situations based on color.

However, the meanings of color are not exact because they vary as you travel around the world. If your company is international, you may want to consider this factor more intensely when choosing the right colors for your logo.

Some things that impact how a color’s meaning changes include:

  • Combination – When you put certain colors together, the overall meaning can change. Usually, you select colors that enhance your brand’s personality, so the change is not too drastic or worrisome; A color combo enhances your logo.
  • Shade, hue, and tone – As color is darkened or lightened from the pigment you find on the color wheel, the meaning changes. Lighter tones are seen as more playful and less mature, whereas darker colors curate a serious and
  • Time – Over time, the meaning of a color can change as society changes.

What Does Each Color Mean in Brand Association?

Every color has a specific range of feelings and emotions that it invokes in a person. It is in your best interest as a business owner, brand developer, or logo designer to understand how colors play a role in your consumer’s choices.

The following chart is a quick summary of the distinctive meanings of different colors:

ColorRelated Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Black Edgy Luxury Modern Power Sophisticated
Blue Calmness Openness Professional Security Trust
Green Growth Nature Prosperity Stability
Orange Energetic Friendly Invigorating Playful Vitality
Pink Femininity Innocence Modern Youth
Purple Creativity Luxury Royalty
Red Anger Attention-grabbing Excitement Loud Passion Playful
Yellow Affordable Bright Cheery Happiness Optimism Youthfulness

If you would like a more in-depth description of each color, read on. Below you will find a detailed look at how these colors shape a person’s perception of a brand. Key examples of companies currently using these colors will be included, too.

Top Color Combinations for Your Logo

Some iconic color combinations make any business or brand stand out. There are a few different ways to combine colors. Keep in mind that 95 percent of brands only use two colors in their logo. The other 5 percent of brands use three or more. 

There are three different types of color combinations to make your logo stand out by applying color theory:

  • Analogous – These are the 2 to 4 colors that fall on either side of one color on the color wheel. They are used to represent a natural feeling. They create harmonious and balanced feelings.
  • Complementary – These colors are direct across from each other on the color wheel. They are high contrast colors that create impactful logo designs.
  • Triadic – If you were to connect three colors by drawing a triangle, these colors would be considered triadic. These are vibrant colors that work well in logo designs. Choose one of the three colors to dominate your color palette and use the others as accents.

What Makes A Good Color Combination?

A good color combination takes into account color theory along with your brand’s goal and personality. By using one of the three methods described above to choose colors, you will find a set that matches your needs.

Generally, a combination of two to three colors is the perfect number. With more colors, you might find your logo is a bit distracting or confusing.

The best place to start is by choosing a set of complementary, analogous, or triadic colors. Then change the saturation, tone, and hues of the colors to develop a unique look.

You can also use a solid color along with a gradient to give your logo some distinction.

The Meaning of The Color Red

Red is a rich, bold, and indulgent color. The color red is also connected to romantic and emotional brands. Red is also closely connected to impulse buying. It creates a sense of urgency, which entices the consumer to choose your brand.

Examples of brands that use red as their central color include:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Target
  • TIME
  • Supreme

The Color Red and Its Popular Combinations

To help speed along your process of finding the perfect color combination. Below you will find examples of red color combinations that are tried and true. Red is often paired with a neutral color, like black, white, or gray.

The following chart shows a variety of red color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Red and White Eye-catching

This combination is good for retail and other team-based organizations

When using bold reds, always pair with a calm and neutral color

Red, Navy, and Yellow Bold


Great for entertainment or restaurants


What Does the Color Orange Mean?

Orange is for modern, tough, and playful brands. Orange is similar to yellow because it is also cheery and friendly. The color orange can be hard on the eyes at times because it is so bold, so you have to really consider if it fits your brand and the consumers you are trying to reach.

The color orange is seen in many brands nowadays, including the following:

  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Fanta
  • Firefox
  • Mastercard
  • Nickelodeon
  • Soundcloud

The following are some brands and industries that thrive with the fresh and exciting vibe orange gives them:

  • Entertainment
  • Fitness
  • Food and drink

Orange Color Combinations

Orange can also trigger feelings of warmth when paired with the right colors. Knowing different color combinations that highlight the warmth and merriment of orange can have a big impact on a brand.

The following chart shows a variety of orange color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Orange and Blue Classic

Complementary color combination


Often seen in technology and banking



Orange and Purple Elegance

Quite uncommon and unique

Seen in fashion, beauty, and home furnishings


The Color Pink: What Does It Mean

Pink is one of the most openly sincere color choices a brand can make. However, pink is not right for every brand. The color pink can be sentimental, romantic, youthful, and bold. It is often linked to femininity because of the social construct in the United States that adopts pink as a girly color.

Pink also induces feelings of sensitivity, hope, and sweetness. It is a quite uncommon brand color but can be seen in the Barbie and Cosmopolitan companies.

Because pink has so many different tones, hues, and shades, it is very versatile; you can really tailor the meaning to your brand:

  • Magenta – This pink can signal approachability but still be bold enough to stand out from the crowd
  • Neon pink – Generally reserved for the brands seeking a sweet, youthful, or feminine clientele
  • Soft pink – Used in brands looking for a hit of femininity but a more modern and sophisticated clientele

Color Combinations with The Color Pink

Pink is an underused color in the logo design community. For this reason, it can be a really great choice for your next logo. There are quite a few different color combinations you can make with the color pink. Most of the time, you can change the tone or saturation of your pink and combining colors to create a dynamic brand logo that stands out from the crowd.

The following chart shows a variety of pink color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Pink and Blue Beautiful contrast, especially if you play with different hues, tones, and saturation

Good for beauty, blogging, and weddings




Pink and Green Complementary color combination






Pink and Purple Ambition


Good for beauty and blogging






Pink and Red Analogous color combination






Why Should You Use Blue in Your Logo? (Many Brands Do.)

The color blue signals trust, and intelligence. It gives the consumer a feeling of tranquility and calm. It also represents a responsible, relaxed, and cool sense. Blue can be seen as dependable, mature, and professional.

The following companies are known to be trusted inherently because of their blue logos:

  • Facebook
  • Ford
  • General Electric
  • Intel
  • LinkedIn
  • PayPal

If you do pick blue as the central color for your logo, you will want to make sure your business and brand stand out from the rest. You can do this by pairing blue with an uncommon color or creating a dynamic, eye-catching design.

There are a few differences when you choose different shades, hues, or tones of blue; they have a new meaning:

  • Light blue – Freedom, security, innocence, and playfulness are all invoked with light blues.
  • Dark blue – Dark blues, like royal blue and navy blue, symbolize tradition, maturity, professionalism, seriousness, and intelligence.

Blue Color Combinations

Often times, because blue is such a popular logo color, it is paired with almost any color. Below you will find two detailed combinations.

The following chart shows a variety of blue color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Blue and White Pleasing to the eye

This combination is flexible and fits well for logos across multiple industries



Blue and Yellow Great in technology, finance, and legal


Tailor the hues based on your needs; muted tones are seen as more sophisticated



Why Are There So Many Logos Blue?

There are so many blue logos because the color blue invokes an unspoken trust between the consumer and the brand. Blue is found in over 50 percent of all logos.

Blue is a color that offers security, honesty, logic, and control. These are quite often the colors you see in finance, healthcare, transport, and technology industries.

Blue is also known to quell anxiety about a purchase, so higher-priced items and brands tend to use blue in their design. This can increase sales in the long run.

What Does the Color Green Mean?

Green is often associated with nature and other natural or outdoorsy brands. Most brands that center on the environment use green in some form. The color green can stimulate creativity and balance. Many times, being exposed to the color green is soothing and relaxing, as its parallels being out in nature.

The color green is known to invoke feelings of:

  • Calm
  • Cheer
  • Freshness
  • Harmony
  • Luck
  • Peace
  • Prosperity
  • Renewal
  • Wealth

Popular Color Combinations with The Color Green

You see quite often neutral color combinations when using green because it is such a dominant color.  Green pairs nicely with other analogous colors.

A few green color combinations include companies like:

  • Animal Planet – Animal Planet uses a monochromatic combination of colors.
  • Starbucks – Starbucks uses green, white, and black.
  • Wholes Foods – Whole Foods draws on green and white.

These are all neutral color combinations, but what if you want to branch out? Check out the examples below.

The following chart shows a variety of green color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Green and Yellow Great for companies in agriculture, cleaning, and environmentally conscious industries   Calm


Green and Blue Good for fashion, media, and entertainment






The Meaning of the Color Yellow

Yellow is often associated with cheer, positivity, and happiness. The vibrance yellow provides energy. The color yellow is encouraging and warm. Yellow is quite often used in traffic signs as a hazard, caution, or warning.

Yellow is at the center of the following brands’ logos and advertising:

  • Best Buy
  • Ikea
  • Nikon
  • Sprint

The meaning of the color yellow can change depending on the type of yellow you choose for your logo:

  • Bright yellow – This yellow will grab a consumer’s attention and draw them in quickly.
  • Gold – Gold is a metallic color and sometimes considered its own color altogether, but it creates an air of history, luxury, success, and wealth.
  • Mustard – Mustard yellow symbolizes tradition and sophistication.
  • Soft yellow – This variation of yellow is fresh, warm, natural, and cheery.

The Color Yellow and Popular Combinations

Yellow is an energizing and confident color. It can also mean affordable if paired with the right colors. Best Buy is a great example of using yellow to its advantage to highlight its affordability.

The following chart shows a variety of yellow color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Yellow and Black Intrigue


Yellow and Red Bold




Purple Is Associated with Royalty

Purple symbolizes royalty, quality, and creativity. This color is a powerful one to include in your logo. Purple can also invoke feelings of mystery and independence. In addition to being a powerful statement color, it is not often used in many logos today. It is an easy color choice to stand out amongst other brands.

Popular companies with the color purple in their logo designs include:

  • Cadbury
  • FedEx
  • Hallmark
  • Taco Bell
  • Yahoo

Purple Color Combinations

Since purple is such a luxurious color, it is often paired with more subdued hues, so it stands out and does not create too much busyness. Explore the different ranges of purples, from deep aubergine to pale lilac, as they tend to invoke different feelings, too.

The following chart shows a variety of purple color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Purple and Yellow Complementary colors

Could also be used for beauty and blogging brands



Optimistic Seen in many restaurant and education companies



Purple and Blue Analogous color combination


Multiple uses




Black: The Color of Luxury

Black is considered luxurious, elegant, and formal. The color black is for all of the brands that are trying to be edgy and modern. This color is very dominating though, so it should be used with care. But it a great logo color to convey style and power.

Some companies that are among the top of the line that uses black include:

  • Apple
  • Chanel
  • Sony
  • The New York Times

Color Combinations with The Color Black

Because black can be a dominating color in any palette, you want to pair it with another bold color. It also pairs nicely with metallic colors. Black is also great for simple logo designs.

The following chart shows a variety of black color combinations that you can choose from:

Combination of Colors Important Qualities Related Feelings, Emotions or Associations
Black and Gold Modern




Black and Orange Industries like film and music work well for these logo colors




Black and Red Dominating


Daring, yet inviting



Black and Silver Mystery






A Note About Logo Colors on Print and Screen

When you get to your perfect color, you’ll want to make sure you communicate them correctly when it comes time for print or digital representations of your logo.

Quick tips with color printing and screen sharing with the two different color mixing models:

  • Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key, or Black – For all printed products, use CMYK
  • Red, Blue, Green – For all files shared over a screen, use RBG

This means you will want to find your equivalent color options for both RBG and CMYK to create a seamless look and feel for your brand.

Choosing Logo Colors Is Easy If You Know Your Brand and Basic Color Theory

There is a proper way to choose the colors for your logo. But you have to decide what you want your brand to say about you to your consumers. If you are looking for vibrant and bold color, choose red, yellow, or purple. If you want to convey a grounded sense, choose black, and pair it with a metallic or bold color.

Color theory is important to logo design. Make sure to take color theory into account when choosing the best colors for your logo. You should not choose colors on a whim. There is a unique advantage your brand will have if you take the time to study the theory for your logo design.