How to Design Great Logos Using Color Theory and Psychology [Infographic]

Written by Branding, Design


As you’re launching a business or rebranding, you’re probably planning to use your favorite color in your logo design. After all, it’s your business; it should reflect your personality.

But before you get too far down the road, you should understand there’s an entire psychology behind color perception by your potential customers. The color choice for your logo often will be the first message you send to potential customers.

For instance, you’re thinking red will scream out your name and help you stand above the competition. While this may be true, red also could signify danger and serve to frighten some customers. Red might be your ultimate decision, but the point is to think through all the variables before plunging ahead.

Color Meanings

Here’s a brief overview of how different colors affect your customers’ brains from Color Psychology, which can take you as deep into color thinking as you’d like to dive. We’ll start with primary colors:

​Primary Colors​

• Red: Stands for energy, power, determination and strength, but also signifies danger and war. Red does have an effect on human metabolism, increasing appetite, hence it’s frequent use in restaurant and food businesses. It also attract attention more than all other colors, but sometimes for negative reasons.

• Blue: Represents calm, professionalism, sincerity, trust. Blue is the most popular color for corporate logos because of these features of authority and loyalty, but it also makes it hard to stand out from the crowd. These strong features make it a frequent choice for governments and financial institutions.

• Yellow: Implies fun, happiness, intelligence and energy, but can be disruptive when overused. Yellow stimulates mental activity, but possibly too much as babies cry more frequently when left in a yellow room. Because it also stands out, yellow is used in signage that changed its psychology into a color of caution or danger; plus the connotations of cowardice.

Secondary Colors​

• Purple: As we shift into secondary colors (those made by a combination of two primary colors), purple draws stability from blue and energy from red. The color of royalty, purple speaks of power, nobility and ambition, but it also can be perceived as extravagant and overabundant. Its association with wisdom and dignity has made it a symbol of religion.

• Green: Green attracts stability from blue along with warmth from yellow, making it a soothing color. It’s abundance in nature makes it a common choice for health and nutrition businesses. Dark green also signifies money.

• Orange: Orange gains the energy of red along with the happiness of yellow to create a youthful and energizing feeling. Orange also implies a connotation of affordability and creativity.

• Black: While some people may not think of black and white as “colors” per se, they definitely carry their own psychologies. Black is considered authoritative, elegant and formal, but also signifies death, evil and mystery.

• White: White implies purity and cleanliness, but as a practical matter, needs to be paired with a color to stand out on a white background.

Solo or Combo

The second consideration is whether you want to use a solo color for your logo or some combination. Color theory can offer some assistance if you decide on a combo as you don’t want to incorporate clashing colors into a logo design with will merely create confusion in your customers’ minds.

One of the basics of color theory is the use of a color wheel, which allows you to determine complementary colors, analogous colors, triadic colors, etc.

A multi-colored logo, while mixing messages, also can imply inclusiveness, i.e. companies such as eBay and Google who seek to appeal to a broad cross-section of humanity.

Of course, when it comes to design, the old KISS adage (keep it simple, stupid) still applies. Often, the best way to stick in your customers’ minds is to create a simple, memorable image.

Understanding all the ins and outs of color design, color psychology, and color theory may not be where you spend your energy as you launch or rebrand your company. has a staff of experts in the area of design and messaging. They will assist you in understanding the personality of your company and your potential clients. Printleaf will create a logo and brand images that will serve your company for many years.


Last modified: January 31, 2020

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How to Design Great Logos Using Color Theory and Psychology [Infographic]

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