Today we’re talking about colors and how they make you feel! In this post you will find out basic color theory, which colors make people feel which emotions, and how to us this to your advantage for logo design.
Have you ever been so mad you saw red? What about green with envy? Has anyone ever accused you of being yellow-bellied? While I’m sure you weren’t actually colored in the way these descriptions assert, it shows the deep ties we have between emotion and color. There are many other idioms I could mention (out of the blue, caught red handed, having a green thumb, sorry…) showing how these ideas date back for ages before psychology became a science. Today through various studies we have learned that color does, in fact, affect our moods. That our brains are almost programmed to respond to color.nike air max Online Store
So what is it about how light breaks up that gets to us? What kinds of affects do different colors have? Can you use color in design to attract an audience? It’s important to understand the answers to these questions so you can effectively make wise choices about colors for your logo design and branding. Below I’ll be going over the color wheel, the psychology behind certain colors, and show them demonstrated in original designs from Logo123.com.air jordan retro 6
THE COLOR WHEEL
Most color wheels contain 12 colors, but can have many more (some as many as 96!). A color wheel like this one is divided into three sections: Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, and Tertiary Colors.
The three primary colors are Red, Blue, and Yellow. These three can be combined in varying amounts to, in theory, create all other colors. As you can see from the chart, mixing Red and Yellow creates Orange, Yellow and Blue create Green, and Blue and Red create Violet.
The three secondary colors are Orange, Green, and Violet, each a combination of the three primary colors, respectively. When you combine one of these secondary colors to an adjacent primary color from the wheel you delve into the tertiary colors.
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There are six tertiary colors: Red-Orange, Orange-Yellow, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green (Teal), Blue-Violet (Indigo), and Red-Violet (Magenta). Even these can continue to be combined to achieve more specific color combinations, but these make up the standard set of colors.
Warm & Cool
Along with the breakdown above, the entire wheel is divided between warm and cool colors. Warm colors falling between Red to Yellow-Green, cool colors falling between Green to Magenta (clockwise). As the name implies, warm colors give the impression of sunlight and heat. Along with darker colors, warm colors will give the feeling of closing in, which is used in interior decorating to make a large room more intimate. Cool colors will calm and soothe the viewer, making them think of ice, water, or the sky. Just as warm colors draw in, cool colors push out. Interior designers use this to their advance by making smaller rooms painted with cool colors seem larger.
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There are specific combinations of the colors in the color wheel that are proven to be effective. Complementary colors are directly opposite from one another on the wheel (think Red and Green). This creates a powerful contrast that is very appealing to the eyes. Analogous colors are on either side of any given color (think Green, Yellow-Green, and Teal). Due to their likeness combinations like this are perceived as peaceful or comfortable. Triadic combinations are, on a wheel like this one, situated 120 degrees from one another (think Green, Purple, Orange). A combination like this creates a harmony, because they include a form of the primary colors.
Now let’s take a look at some color combinations applied to working logos. Below are some project winning logo designs created through Logo123.com. I’m going to break down the psychology behind the colors, and how they affect the logos they’re used in.
RED is associated with passion, love, high-energy, and excitement. Seeing the color red will cause your body to breath more rapidly, and increase your blood pressure and heart rate. We have not control over this, it’s a chemical reaction in our body chemistry.
This logo of Rush Sports by andriakew features a very powerful color combination: black, white, and red. The contrast of black and white only highlights the intensity of the red. No other color combination compliments red more. Being sports related, this design hints at the thrill of watching or even participating in an athletic event.
YELLOW is tied by every society to the heat of the sun. It reminds us of the warmth and light that it gives. Yellow represents energy, joy, and caution. Naturally bright, it draws our attention with its intensity. Even when darkened, yellow still stands out brightly.
Veron created this logo for Mimos de Pet. Yellow is used to bring focus to the purple name and bone. It also compliments the happy puppy in the “O.” Using complimentary colors, the yellow and purple sit beautifully against one another. Between the softness of the purple, the smile on the puppy, and the fun style of the illustrations (bone & puppy), yellow is a brilliant choice to liven up this design. Imagine the yellow as green, or orange, it just wouldn’t have the same effect.
BLUE reminds us of the ocean and skies. Because is has a calming and trustworthy effect on the viewer, it is extremely popular for businesses. When used as Navy it’s seen as reliable and constant, in lighter shades like cyan it’s safe seen as and peaceful.air jordan retro 8
You have to trust someone giving you advice, that’s why using blue in the consulting logo by Jones12 is a smart choice. The red gives it a bit of excitement, but it is overshadowed by the large amout of blue. Using a lighter shade gives a more fun impression, which is appropriate for the social media ties. It still keeps the calm, peaceful effect that blues will give.
GREEN is money. Literally, it’s been adapted to be associated with wealth, greed, and ambition. But before that, in a more primal way, green makes us think of fresh vegetation, the growing grass and leaves, and natural harmony.
I would say the tagline in this design by Dondeekenz is key to the color choice. “Fresh” is a word directly linked to the color green. “Local” also ties you to the ground you’re standing on, usually at home, where there’s grass around. Combining those ideas with the yellow sun reflect a natural, harmonious design.
ORANGE represents a variety of emotions, starting with boldness, friendliness, and vitality, spreading to enthusiasm and heat. Not as powerful as red, but too bright to be considered calm, orange is mainly seen as kid friendly. In more mature variations it can stand for passion.
The Tanzle design by Jaize uses orange as passionate and fun. It combines beautifully with grey. As a modern variation of red and black, it works well as professional without being so aggressive. The orange is also prominent in this design because it is paired with all cool colors.
PUPRLE is notorious for royalty. For this reason, it’s seen as unique, dignified, and spiritual. It has the calming effect of cool blue colors combined with the senility of reds, the two colors it comes from, incidentally. With these feeling invoked, purple can be seen as a bit complex.
Coolwanz uses purple for fun in this design for Agape Kids. The lighter lavenders act playfully in the icon with the bright blue, green, and yellow. Using a darker purple for the name reminds me of the trustfulness of a navy blue. Combined in this way feels fun and inviting. A children’s ministry for a church, purple appropriately acts as a reminder to the spirituality of it’s program.
Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So now how do you apply all this information about colors to your logo? Determine what feeling you want most for your audience to perceive with your company. Everyone wants to show trust, professionalism, and quality with their logo, that’s assumed so don’t say those. But what reaction do you want to get out of your viewers? What feeling will cause them to pursue your business the most? That can help you decide what color to use for your logo.
Once you have that decided, explore including colors from the color combinations list. Complementary colors will help give contrast and impact to your design. Analogous will allow you to further focus on drawing one specific feeling out of your imagery. Triadic gives harmony and diversity when applied. Since every logo, and every business, is diverse and has different goals, you will have to apply these questions to your specific situation and decide what’s best.
I hope this has been interesting and informative for you. Maybe soon we can discuss some more on color theory and the impressions the Tertiary colors make!
So what’s your favorite color?
Lets talk about it in the comments below!
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