How to choose the best colour for your logo [Part 3]

What to Consider | Who are my competitors?

Know your competition. Know what their branding look and feel like. Experts advise new brands to specifically target logo colors that differentiate them from their more established competitors. Do not be a “me-too”. Strive to stand out and assert your brand.

Studies have found that our brains prefer recognizable brands. The sooner you can assert your differentiated brand from your competitors, the better you can entrench yourself into your target market’s consciousness.

What to Consider | How will my logo be used?

Don’t forget to also think about the logistical implications of the color you’ll choose for your logo. Listed below are some things you might want to consider:

  • Level of visibility
    How can you make it as readable as possible in every angle, even from far away? How can you use color to increase legibility?
  • Production in various media
    How will your logo be used in various web and print media? What is the cost impact of mass-producing your products and marketing materials given your chosen color scheme (i.e. monochrome printing is less expensive than colored printing)?
  • Brand palette
    What other colors will harmoniously work with your chosen logo color so you can create a brand color palette/scheme? How will it support your logo in conveying your brand personality and a unified message?

How to choose the best colour for your logo [Part 2]

What to Consider | Who is my target audience?

Decide who your target audience is. Be as specific as you can. Define their country, religion, gender, age group, etc. Once your market is more tangible in your mind, you can start making intelligent guesses as to how your company can effectively and realistically reach them. This, in turn, influences how you structure your brand personality.

Know your target audience’s milieu. Remember that colour can have different associations and historical contexts in each country. Religions also assign spiritual meanings to various colours. It’s also been found that there are subtle differences in colour that men cannot perceive as well as women.

A 2011 study concluded that predicting your consumer’s reaction to the appropriateness of a color in relation to a product is more important than choosing the colour itself. So know what’s appropriate for your audience and build your logo from there.

What to Consider | What is my brand personality?

Colour influences consumers as to their perceived personality of a brand. You colour of choice must support the personality you want to portray. Another way of putting it is your colour must “fit” what you are selling.

You brand personality shouldn’t need a 2-3 paragraph explanation. It should be visceral—in the millisecond it takes for a consumer to glance at it, your logo should have conveyed your brand personality. Ultimately, it is about creating a feeling, mood, or image. Colour can be a powerful tool in doing just that.

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How to choose the best colour for your logo [Part 1]

Why Color Matters

You company logo is your main brand identifier. It will appear in all your product and marketing materials. It will be your foremost visible advertisement to the world. With this in mind, your logo needs to be distinctive and carry your core brand message.

The color/s of your logo is the main guide upon which your brand color scheme should be based on. This palette, in turn, will be applied to your product packaging and marketing materials. If you choose your logo color wisely and you apply its corresponding palette consistently, you can seed and nurture recognition for your brand in your target audience.

People make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. Between 60%-90% of that assessment is based on color alone – Impact of Color on Marketing, 2006

Why It’s Not So Simple

Choosing your logo color should not be as arbitrary as applying your favorite color to it just because you’re the company owner. It is also not as simple as picking out a color based on some table of stereotyped color associations you found in some marketing blog.

Take heed that a lot of the conversations today about the psychology of color and how it relates to marketing mostly consist of hunches and anecdotal evidence. As yet, there is limited research on this field that’s backed with hard data. What experts do agree on is that our perception of color is highly dependent on our personal contexts and experiences. Yellow, for example, might mean humility to Buddhist monks, but it is also associated with cowardice in a Western setting.

Everyone perceives colors differently. We can’t ascribe a universal emotional effect to a specific color because how we see a color will always be affected by factors such as our past experiences, culture, religion, natural environment, gender, race, and nationality.

What nearly every academic study on color and branding tells us though, is that your brand colors should support the brand personality you want to portray rather than aligning them with cliché associations. We should also look to established brands to learn the “standards” they’ve set with regard to expressing their personalities through the colors they’ve chosen.