Logo Design Insight – Color Theory

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Logo Row Green
Green Logo Row

RED

  • Love and Passion
  • Arresting and Stimulating
  • Hunger and Importance

Ruby, Scarlet, Vermilion, Auburn, Burgundy, Cardinal, Maroon, Crimson, Brick, Raspberry, Chestnut, Lava, Mahogany, etc.

  • Anger and Pressure
  • Violence and War
  • Sinful and Overwhelming
Red is the warmest color and elicits the most emotion when viewed. It is known to increase blood pressure and stimulate hunger, therefore its often used in food logos and labels. It causes people to stop and commands attention. Red is the color of urgency and is used in calls to action items like web buttons and clearance sales. It is also the most often used color for national flags.
It is easy to feel overpowered when using too much red, especially highly saturated hues. Like candy red makeup, a little goes a long way and a lot negates its benefit all together. It is the color of blood and can remind people of violence or serious accidents. Red is the color of Satan, sin, the red lit districts that promote them. It is the color of warning labels, stop signs and emergency sirens.

Lighter Reds tend to be more energetic, and pink is most associated with girls, especially younger ones.

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Darker reds feel more refined, powerful and elegant. They also feel more organic and less overpowering.


Logo Row Green
Green Logo Row

ORANGE

  • Sunshine and Warmth
  • Harvest and Halloween
  • Youth and Stimulation

Vermilion, Persimmon, Persian, Bittersweet Shimmer, Peach, Alloy, Tangerine, Pumpkin, Naranja, Orange Peel, etc.

  • Tacky and Cheap
  • Aggressive and Hostile
  • Cautionary and Dangerous
Orange combines the energy of red with the happiness of yellow. It gives the sensation of heat without the aggression of red. It is distinctly connected with the fall harvest season and Halloween. Orange is known to stimulate both appetite and mental activity. It is often used to market to children. Orange also displays citrus connotations and therefore conveys a sense of health and vitality.
Because Orange shares so many similarities to red, it can come off as a weak substitute for red, and seem cheap or tacky. It is also the color of road construction and can arouse feelings of annoyance. Of all the warm colors, orange is the least associated with summer, often used to signal fall and back to school. Orange is also the color of prison wear.

Lighter shades of orange convey more warmth, vibrancy, aggression, and are very attention grabbing.

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Darker orange hues tend to seem more earthy, relate to Halloween, fall harvest, and change, in a neutral way.


Logo Row Purple
Purple Logo Row

YELLOW

  • Happiness and Optimism
  • Sunshine and Warmth
  • Remembrance and Loyalty

Amber, School Bus Yellow, Saffron, Mustard, Jasmine, Gold, Aureolin, Cream, Goldenrod, Lemon Chiffon, etc.

  • Caution and Cowardice
  • Childish and Ineffective
  • Gaudy and Needy
Bright and highly visible, yellow is best used to grab attention. It is often considered the most energizing of the warm colors, and is associated with happiness and sunshine. Yellow can be a very optimistic hue, but can also be quite overpowering when too much is present in one area. It is the lightest of the primary colors and therefore often needs a darker color to assist in visibility when set against white.
Through the middle ages, yellow indicated honor and loyalty, although in more modern times, yellow has come to represent cowardice and even deceit. Yellow can also be associated with loss, as seen in war ribbons, and danger, although not as strongly as red. Like red, yellow can be associated with anger and loss of one’s temper.

Lighter Yellows convey freshness and vibrancy. They can be used as a gender-neutral youth tone.

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Darker or gold-hued yellows tend to look aged or antique, permanent, or earthy, also prestigious or powerful.