Six Tips from Color Theory to Apply in Logo Design
The great majority of people are thinking that they are the victims of various types of manipulation. Yeah, it’s totally true, but we must accept that manipulation is not something invented in the last years and it’s impossible to have a world without people manipulating or manipulated. It sounds harsh but it’s the cruel reality.
In spite of blaming manipulation, it’s way better to find modalities to fight against it. Even the designers, a non-combat community, use various means to manipulate people. Yeah, the designers have always tried to influence people admiring their works. A very powerful tool to manipulate people is the color. It’s an immaterial item that seems to have no influence, but in practice the situation is very different. A color doesn’t say –”DO it right now” or “BUY it”, but at the subliminal level a wise selected one may have the power to manipulate the brain!
The common people should know that these have a “magic power” to impress the viewers and the web designers must know how to handle these in their advantage. A logo is maybe the most commercial part of a website, and it means that here the colors are even more important. Fortunately, this post contains six amazing tips related to color theory that a logo designer should apply in his works; in this way, the colors will work in his advantage. Keep in mind, any logo designer should be a good friend of colors!
#1. There are no favourite colors, there are only suitable ones
Every logo designer has its favourite color, colors or color combinations. It’s common and pure human, but it shouldn’t be a reason to be tributary to them. It’s a very important advice to learn from color theory because a good project is realised by using the suitable colors and not the ones loved by the creator.
It doesn’t seem as a rocket science idea, but many logo designers fall into the trap of being subjective.
#2. Each color has its friends and enemies
The title of this paragraph sounds a little too poetical but it’s true that each color has its friends and enemies. If you are still unconvinced about, I recommend studying the color wheel. It’s nothing difficult to catch: by selecting a point on the wheel, in fact you select a color. In the near proximity of it are “friends”- very similar nuances while on the opposite part are the “enemies”.
A logo designer should add the colors to his projects by taking into account the relationship between colors, else almost sure, his works will look modest. The “friends” are working better together, but sometimes it’s requires a dose of contrast in order to highlight what is important. In this case,”the enemies” are perfectly creating the needed contrast. The idea is that, both “friends” and “enemies” should be used in design projects.
#3. Each project needs at least two colors
It’s practically impossible to have a one single color project- it needs at least two colors- the background and the foreground. It’s obvious this fact, but many designers made a huge mistake. A superb color for background and another wonderful color for foreground doesn’t mean that their combination is amazing. It’s sad, but a wonderful color combination it’s extremely hard to obtain even if the number of colors is countless.
In conclusion, a logo designer can’t create a logo that uses a single color, therefore is extremely important to pay closer attention to color combinations. I am not here to disappoint you, but a wise logo designer, at least, should try to think on long time perspective and he must imagine scenarios where the logo will be used. Of course, he must imagine the context where the logo will be used and have an idea about the colors used. It’s an extremely hard work, but a good logo is never obtained without impressive efforts.
#4. Too many colors destroy a logo
Colorful logos are really beautiful and many times attract the eyes of the viewers- it’s a capital feature for a logo. In spite of that, too many colors easily kill a project. A part of the logo designers believe that having more colors will make the logo suitable in any context. The biggest issue is that each solution has its peculiarities and sometimes these must be opposite; under these circumstances the viewer can’t distinguish the message of the logo. Adding many colors that are “friends” is OK, but anyway, when playing with many is better to be cautious.
#5. Peace and harmony is everything!
A logo is an entire and not a plain sum of some elements. A mandatory condition in order to have a good logo is the harmony between the components. The nuances used are part of it and these must be “in good relationship” with the shapes or fonts used. Imagine a pinkish powerful motorbike- wouldn’t be strange? The pink is a color mostly reserved for women while the muscled motorbike is for bad boys! This antithesis will put in doubt the viewers and none will be interested in this logo. A black color will be more suitable and it will be realised the harmony between shapes used, in this case a motorbike, and the color- black.
#6. Don’t design for colors
A good best practice supposes to sketch the logo on paper and after that to create the digital file of it. Well, in both situations is highly recommended to use only the black and white version. Using this method the logo designer is fully focusing only on the concept of logo and not on the graphical representation of it. Of course, in the final states of designing the logo, the creator must find the best color combination to use. More pragmatically, you create a logo and use colors to better transmit the message instead of having a good color combination and deciding to create a logo.
A logo designer should understand the meaning of colors. These may be very reliable friends, helping anyone that likes them but also these may be strong enemies for the ones that ignore them. My last piece of advice is to try as much as you can to understand their hidden meanings and significances because there is no successful designer “hated” by colors.
– Written by Daniel –