What Are the Best Color Combinations for Logos?

Choosing the right color combination for your logo is an important part of your brand, and deciding on a color combination can be a very overwhelming experience.

Where do you start?

What are the best color combinations for logos?

How many colors should you use?

How do you narrow it down?

While the colors you choose can be very important to your brand, sit back and relax, because we are going to walk you through some basic concepts to make the decisions on your logo’s color scheme a lot easier.

Colors are very important. They can evoke emotions in your customers or help make your brand stand out and be instantly recognizable. There is a whole world of psychological study that covers the different effects that a color or color combination can have on our perceptions of things. However, when it comes to eye-catching logo color schemes, there are some simple rules to follow to make life a little easier.

What Are the Best Color Combinations for Logos? - SharedTEAMS

Start with a Simple Logo Design

It’s a good idea to design your logo first, then figure out the colors after. The color scheme is important, but the logo is still the prime branding item. You want to make sure you’re not building your logo to suit a color scheme, and in the process lessening the impact of the logo itself. 

In fact, when it comes to how human beings recognize and remember logos, you may be surprised to learn that the shapes of a logo are the first and most memorable aspect, and colors come second. It’s much easier to find a color scheme for a logo than it is to find a logo for a color scheme.

For this reason, many professional designers will design a logo in black and white. This technique has an added bonus: it ensures the logo will look good in black-and-white or single-color printing scenarios. This makes your ability to print things, such as apparel, signage, or marketing brochures with your logo on them, much more cost-effective.

It also ensures your logo will look good even if it ends up being printed as letterhead on a black-and-white copy machine like those typically found in corporate office environments. This is not to say your logo can’t have layers and colors, but it is always good to be able to simplify your logo, should the situation call for it. This is the exact reason why almost every major brand you see has a variant of their logo in a single color or black and white version.

Choose Colors Wisely

This may be surprising, but when it comes to color schemes, less is often more.

A good rule to follow in terms of selecting colors for your logo is to keep the color combinations to 3 or fewer colors. There are a few reasons for this.

First, using too many colors or color hues and variations can cause subconscious confusion and anxiety for your customers. The use of too many colors often translates to a customer taking away a sense of busyness and complications, which doesn’t help with brand recognition.

Second, color combinations and how they interact with each other are often a bit complicated to understand. There are entire classes devoted to this fact in colleges. And unless you’re ready to spend a lot of time learning and testing your choices and how they work together, the more colors you use, the more opportunities you run to get this color theory wrong and hurt your overall logo and brand.

Finally, it also affects brand recognition.

The more colors you use, the harder it will be for a casual viewer to associate a specific color with your overall brand, and that hurts recognition.

A great example of this is department stores like Target and Walmart. If you pay attention to the next mailing or television ad you see from either of these stores, you’ll notice they incorporate the same two colors, for Target red and white, and for Walmart blue and yellow, in every single mailing and advertisement they put out.

This helps to ensure that you ALWAYS associate those colors with their brand, even on a subconscious level, which means you’ll recognize their brand instantly when you see it, or for example, when you only catch a brief glimpse of their advertisement.

What Are the Best Color Combinations for Logos? - SharedTEAMS

How Do I Choose Color Combinations?

This is the million-dollar question. The answer isn’t simple, but the starting spot is to pick one color first. Pick a color that defines your brand on a level you and others can understand.

You can also check out this great article by RenderForest on what the different individual colors can evoke in terms of emotion in your viewers, as well as some suggestions on what colors align well with your brand and industry categories.

Once you have your main color selected, it becomes a LOT easier to identify one or two colors to compliment it. Of course, you can spend months learning color theory and how different colors work well with others, but if you’re busy and want to spend your time doing what you do best, running your business, we recommend some of the powerful online tools such as Coolor’s color scheme generator. Using an online tool such as this, you can easily specify the main color you’ve picked up and then have the generator create hundreds of variations of colors that complement that main color effectively and follow correct color theory principles.

Perfect Your Logo and Colors with Branding Design at SharedTEAMS

Choosing the right color combinations for logos is just one important part of designing effective logos. If you feel overwhelmed, or just need a hand making your brand really stand out, let our team of designers take your logo to the next level.

At SharedTEAMS, we offer branding design tailored to your needs. You can learn more about our branding design project here or contact us today with questions and requests!