The Hidden Meanings Behind Famous Logo Colors

A brand's logo is its most important design element, because it is the visual representation of the company and its values. There are many decisions to make when creating one, and one of the biggest is color. It may seem to be a trivial element, but the main color of each of these famous logos has a serious impact on how people perceive it.

Research has shown that people make subconscious judgments about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. Between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. This means that your logo could make or break a consumer’s decision to become a customer or client.

It also means that as a consumer, your decisions about where to shop and what brands to trust are heavily influenced by logos, whether you realize it or not. We associate certain fonts, colors, and designs with qualities that are entirely unrelated, like product quality and reliability.

This may sound absurd, but if you're a business owner or marketing professional, it's absolutely necessary to consider your target audience's values and personalities when creating your logo. And even if you aren't involved in marketing, it can be interesting to consider what your favorite brands are trying to convey with their designs and colors.

So if you've ever found yourself wondering why so many fast food companies have red logos or what the Starbucks logo means, it essentially all comes down to the meanings behind those colors. Select a color to find out what it says about the companies who use it!


Powerful and Passionate: Confidence - Energy - Intensity

The color red attracts attention and evokes strong emotions from viewers. It is universally seen as representative of romance. It also causes increased heart rate and appetite, as well as a sense of urgency.

What a Red Logo Says About Your Brand

A red logo shows that your brand is powerful and high-energy. If your company is a restaurant, red is a wise choice. It’s been proven to increase appetite, which is ideal for a business that is trying to encourage food purchases. Its ability to increase heart rate is also good for brands trying to create urgency, like in clearance sales or for items that are typically impulse buys.

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Playful and Enthusiastic: Excitement - Warmth - Creativity

Orange is associated with playfulness and enthusiasm. This color is said to activate brain activity, but it can also be seen as aggressive due to its eye-catching nature. This combination of friendliness and mental stimulation makes it great for inspiring consumers to take action.

What an Orange Logo Says About Your Brand

An orange logo sends the message that your company is friendly and cheerful. This makes it a good choice for brands who want to be seen as light-hearted and not too serious, but still confident.


Fun and Friendly: Happiness - Optimism - Caution

Yellow is associated with happiness and optimism, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a classic “smiley face.” It is also seen as cheerful and warm, which encourages communication. On the downside, yellow is also sometimes associated with caution, like on road signs and traffic lights. It can also cause eye strain, and bright shades are known to make babies cry.

What a Yellow Logo Says About Your Brand

A yellow logo shows that your company is positive and friendly. It can be used to grab the attention of window shoppers and convey a sense of happiness. Just be sure to choose a shade that doesn’t put strain on viewers’ eyes.


Youthful and Earth-Friendly: Health - Tranquility - Freshness

Green represents growth, and evokes a feeling of relaxation and healing. It is the color of healthy vegetation, so it reminds viewers of nature and health. It is also associated with money and wealth.

What a Green Logo Says About Your Brand

Above all, a green logo conveys the message that your company is environmentally friendly. This explains why it is so popular with organic and vegetarian brands, as well as companies that strive for ethical practices. It can also be a good choice for financial companies, since it reminds consumers of money.


Calm and Logical: Serenity - Stability - Peacefulness

Blue is associated with the sky and the ocean, which both evoke feelings of tranquility and security. It has also been proven that people are the most productive when they work in blue rooms. Blue is also known to curb appetites, and although it is not as attention-grabbing as colors like red or yellow, blue is also the most popular favorite color of both men and women. This means that it is universally well-liked – a great quality in an image that is meant to be associated with your company.

What a Blue Logo Says About Your Brand

A blue logo shows that your brand is professional and logical, but not invasive. It can create a sense of security and trust in your company. That being said, it might not be ideal if your company is a restaurant or another type of business that sells food.


Luxurious and Wise: Royalty - Wealth - Success

As the classic color of nobility and kings, it is no surprise that purple is commonly associated with wealth and luxury. It is also representative of fantasy, mystery, and magic, and can evoke a feeling of wisdom and imagination. Beauty brands often use shades of purple in their logos, especially those with anti-aging products.

What a Purple Logo Says About Your Brand

A purple logo shows that your brand is luxurious and imaginative. It can attract consumers who want to be seen as wealthy or wise, as well as ones who are inclined towards a feeling of magic or mystery.


Feminine and Sweet: Femininity - Warmth - Energy

The color pink is associated with femininity, and is generally used in logos for brands targeted to women. It is also associated with sweetness, and is seen in logos for sweet foods like ice cream and donuts. Pink is also seen as a “fun” color, and can evoke a sense of playfulness.

What a Pink Logo Says About Your Brand

If you have a pink logo, there’s a good chance that women are your target audience. You might embrace a “girly” image and cater to consumers who do, too. If you sell food products, they are likely very sweet. If you are in any other industry, you are probably trying to convey the message that your company is lively and fun.


Serious and Sophisticated: Elegance - Seriousness - Exclusivity

Black is seen as a serious, no-frills color, and can evoke a feeling of sophistication. Although it might look plain, it is often used for luxury products because of its sense of elegance and glamor. Black can also show consumers that your brand is mysterious and exclusive.

What a Black Logo Says About Your Brand

If your company has a black logo, you probably aren’t using it to attract attention. Your company wants to be seen as well-established, with a strong reputation or sense of elegance, and your logo is part of that desire. You don’t feel that flashy colors are necessary to send a message.

Want to learn more about how colors shape opinions about your business? Check out our color psychology infographic!

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