• brucemckinnon

How colour can influence the success of a logo

Updated: Nov 16, 2021




In this final blog in our series on logos we are looking at the role of colour and how it can add or take away from the effectiveness of your brand.


I absolutely love blue! Blue is THE colour! I once heard that Giorgio Armani said wearing navy blue is very slimming – this made me love blue EVEN MORE!! However, you may not agree. You may prefer red, and your co-founder, green. Colours are of course subjective, but how do you develop the colour of your logo objectively?


First up, get a sense of what your preferred colours are saying about your brand. There’s a great body of academic and scientific work that tells us what each one represents and how each colour may make us feel. Red for example, is the colour of blood and fire. It’s intense and can be seen as the colour of passion, danger, power and energy. Blue, on the other hand, is thought of as calming, stable and ordered, and is usually used for large corporates and banks. Black, as well as being associated with power and death, is also very elegant and probably the colour of your designer’s turtleneck. And if black is dark, then white is light, innocence, purity – some say, the colour of perfection.


Second have a look at your brand values and use an established colour reference to explore how you might assign colours to your values. Review your sector, see if there are any dominant colours and use those if you want to be seen to belong or don’t use them if you want to stand out. Bear in mind that you want the logo to be distinctive and too many colours may make your logo appear muddled – looking at the Interbrand 100 best global brands, over 90 percent of the logos featured use only one or two colours[i].


Third, get a good idea of the colours your brand may need beyond the logo. You can use colour to represent your different products or services, and as a way of signalling different aspects of your brand or different sections on your website – often called a colour palette – so perhaps you may want two colours for your logo and a further three or four to provide you with some versatility in your brand presentation. These don’t have to be different colours, but possibly different shades, textures or halftones.


Finally, a brief word about shapes. Just like colours, there is a meaning behind them that works on a subconscious level. Squares and rectangles are the shapes we see most of in our lives and so represent familiarity and safety, circles don’t have a start or an end so can suggest eternity or energy, and the triangle can deliver direction and movement. Again, look at your brand strategy and see what shape or combination helps amplify the elements of your brand.


In summary, the logo’s job is to represent the brand graphically so that whenever your team or your customer sees the logo, they see the brand it represents, and of course, the best way to get a crystal clear idea of the brand is to develop a brand strategy!And if you want to explore developing your own brand strategy please do drop me a line here.


PS There is still time to book your place on my free 2 hour Brand Strategy Taster Workshop, scheduled for 10.00am this coming Friday Number 19th - you can find out more about it here.

[i] Best Global Brands 2021”. Interbrand. Available at: https://interbrand.com/best-global-brands/ (Accessed: 12 November 2021)



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