The movie Mr. Nobody has a scene in which the protagonist (Mr. Nobody) comes across three neighborhood girls dressed in yellow, blue and red. The same three girls go on to impact the life of the protagonist in ways that are symbolized by the color of dress they wear in that shot. This particular shot shows how important colors are to us.

The colors give a shortcut to the mind of what the particular thing may or may not have in it and to that we respond at subconscious level.

Business logo is more than an image for the brand and not just because of its design which undoubtedly plays an important role. Color plays a major role in the logo. It’s the color combination that actually defines the logo and not the other way round.

The colors increase brand recognition by 80%. Loyal customers will not be able to identify the right logo of the brand from a bunch of similar looking designs.

The power of color comes from the emotions and feeling it generates in the viewers as to how they feel about the particular brand. It also makes the brand stand apart from its competitors and gives a whole new identity to the business. Many studies have revealed that more than 90% of impulsive decisions on product purchase are done based on colors. It is important to have a right color fit with the product.

Different colors and their symbolism

The symbolism of color varies with culture and even in same culture it can vary with time. Further the colors are context driven and the context changes with time. The symbolisms of colors have both positive and negative feelings in them. You need to remind yourself regularly that colors have both positive and negative connotation and are highly subject to interpretation.

Red:                     symbolizes passion, anger, threat, danger

Pink:                    symbolizes love, romance and feminism.

Yellow:                symbolizes joy, happiness, creativity, jealousy and envy.

Blue:                    symbolizes intelligence, calmness, trust and also depression.

Purple:                 symbolizes royalty, power, luxury, and wealth.

Green:                  symbolizes growth, harmony, nature and conservation.

White:                  symbolizes purity, birth, innocence and coldness.

Brown:                 symbolizes earth and masculinity.

Black:                   symbolizes death, mystery, seriousness and power.

We have a dedicated article for each color where you can read of them in detail and see for yourself what color suits your business.

How to choose colors for your business:

This mainly depends on what aspect of business you want to present to the world. Lets look at few points which may help you in deciding them:

1.            What does the brand stand for?

This the first question that you need to ask. The values your brand represents are manifested in form of colors. If you are a customer centric brand, red might be the best bet and if you are a knowledge centric one blue would be right. If the focus of your brand is environment, green and if it is a luxury brand then purple will be good.

See the connections?

More than the sector, ask what values your brand stands for. You can redefine the offerings in the sector. Thomas cook logo has blue and yellow in it to signify the intelligence and the trust with which they plan the tours and yellow for the joy the guests have on them. For luxury travel agencies, purple mixed with red will look good and for one providing complete transparency in their business white will go.

Same sector but different values and so different colors.

2.            Single color or multi color

If you want one strong message to come out from your business, you can go with single colored logo. If the brand represents diversity or want to show more than one side of it, multi color option might be a good idea.

Brands like Google, ebay and even Olympics are multi colored. They represent either diversity or offer a wide range of products and services.

3.            Local or global

Colors are interpreted differently and you need to understand your target market and the color connotations there. White is the color of death in India and red is color widely used in weddings resembling prosperity. A global brand needs to be very careful and walk the fine line and make sure the color of choice does not have strong negative connotations in it.

4.            Target Audience

If your key customers are women, selecting a light color and preferably pink or purple may be good. Anything but light. Choose bright colors for kids and for men based on the value you want to present.

The discussions on color can be a never ending and you need to think very carefully before deciding on the colors of logo. For starters, look at the logo designs of some of the reputed brands and understand why they chose a particular color and the sector they are in. Then look at the sector you are in and the current players. Do not jump start with startups as in hurry they might have missed out on crucial factors governing color selection but the big brands generally are very choosy.

In the end use your own logic and what you feel is all that matters.

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