Choosing the perfect color palette for your brand


So you’ve got a solid logo design that’s clear, reproducible and eye-catching. Now it’s time to think about color. Color — and what each color group can symbolize — plays a major role in human perception, and therefore influences customer intentions. The right color combination can highlight your business’s strengths and draw customers to you, and as you might guess, the wrong combination can have the reverse effect. Here we’ll review a few elements to consider when choosing a color palette for your logo or brand.

Know Your Focus

Design by Janks

Nobody knows your business — its strengths and goals — better than you. So when considering a color palette, think about the message you most wish to convey about your business. Remember that your logo will be the first point of contact between you and your potential clients. First, look at your brand’s personality. What virtues do you want to highlight? Speed, bold innovation, efficiency, compassion, intuitiveness? Knowing the tone can go a long way to refining your color choices. Blue hues, for example, can emphasize responsibility, planning and deliberation, while reds can symbolize bold action, simplicity or innovation. A company that provides in-home care for seniors will likely have a color palette unlike that for a company that makes auto parts. Identifying your focus will lead you to successful colors for your brand.

Try More Than One 

2014-02-24_1024Design by creta

Remember that you are not limited to one color. If what you choose to emphasize about your business is its variety of products (eBay), the diversity of its target audience (Apple), or its appeal to youth (Toys R Us), you may want to go with a multicolor design. If you want to keep it simple, you can use two contrasting colors (like Ollie). Don’t be afraid to experiment before making your final palette choices. See what works and what doesn’t.  

Know How Colors Translate

2014-02-24_1026Design by lynzee.artajo

If your brand is international in scope, as so many today are, you should be aware of the symbolic meanings your color palette can have when viewed in other cultures. A common example is the way white is viewed in most Western cultures as symbolic of purity while in some Eastern cultures as symbolic of death. A little foresight and cultural sensitivity can go a long way toward making effective color choices.

Stand Out From the Competition


Design by PhoBoss

As you know, the key to an effective logo is brand recognition. So if you want to stand out, it’s a good idea to choose a color palette that differs dramatically from those of your largest competitors. Ford Motor Company, for example, introduced its famous “blue oval” nearly a century ago, and it remains a powerful brand identifier as well as a symbol of the company’s stability. By contrast, Land Rover, while employing an oval design element in its logo, uses a forest green palette to emphasize its adventurous off-road feel.

Launch your logo design contest today and stand out from the competition.


Cecily Kellogg writes about the intersection of family, technology, and social media for Babble Tech and runs her own web content business. Cecily lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married, is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and has occasionally been called a bad ass.

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