Believe it or not, one of the most critical aspects of design is the choice of colour. The colour used for your product, your chosen logo, or even your webpage can exert a definite influence upon your customer, even if only subconsciously. The right colour can seem warm and inviting, and draw customers to you, while the wrong colour can be unsettling and repelling, and customers will stay away in droves. This is not merely a cavalier decision – it is an investment in your brand.
Psychology and Colour
Numerous studies have shown that the individual colours are associated with specific feelings and perceptions. Knowing how these colours are perceived and what emotions are engendered can greatly assist you as to how best to judiciously use them in the design of your logo so as to best represent and promote your brand.
“Warm” shades, the Reds, Oranges, and Yellows, evoke active emotions. Red evokes feelings of aggression, passion, heat, and other provocative sentiments. Orange is vibrancy, health, and joy. Yellow promotes warm, bright feelings that are positive in nature.
“Cool” shades, the Purples, Blues, and Greens, evoke more cerebral emotions. A choice of purple hints at mystery and sophistication. A lighter green creates a healthy, peaceful mindset, while a darker green suggests the importance and stateliness that a wealthy person might enjoy. Blue, on the other hand, evoke feelings of trust, and for that reason, it is probably the most commonly-chosen logo colour.
Black is the colour of sophistication and class, and it never goes out of style. It is the colour that you should choose for upper-end projects. White is a noble, pure colour, and is most commonly associated with weddings and baptisms. It implies cleanliness, which means it can be ideal if your brand is related to health care or medicine.
Brown can be problematic. If it is done right, it can imply simplicity and an affinity for nature. However, when used incorrectly, it implies un-cleanliness.
It is almost always a good idea to avoid extremes in colour, such as bright neons. Those colours can make your brand seen gimmicky and they will very quickly go out of fashion.
The vast majority of logos are bi-coloured, and it is vitally important that the shades that you decide on complement each other. Contrast, the difference in shades between two different colours is a quality that can cause your design to “look” right to a customer. A good rule of thumb to determine if you have an appropriate level of contrast is to make a copy of the logo in black and white. If you’ve done it correctly, the shades you have chosen will look very dissimilar in that copy. If the contrast is too low, the image will simply not “feel” right.
As the name might imply, grayscale is a measurement of how much of that hue is present in a particular colour. When you totally saturate a colour, it will be completely without gray, and the result will be very vibrant and bright. When you desiderate a colour, the result will appear more aged and more serious in tone.
The best way to achieve the correct level is to design your logo where the more somber colour occupies the majority of the area, instead of the more vibrant colour. Because the only way to judge this is with the naked eye, when you are deciding between several logos, you should take breaks between viewings. Come back after the break and view the next choice with fresher eyes.