Admit it. You’re reading this article because you’re scared that your colors for a logo are drab, dry, and dull as dishwater.
We’ve all seen Fifty Shades of Grey, right? Eye catching? Yes.
Good together? Not so much.
So, before we dive in, can we all please agree that a popular color palette isn’t necessarily a good one?
If you want to make sure that your logo colors actually work well together, there are some ground rules that we need to communicate.
Types of color combinations 🎨
Finding colors that go together is actually relatively simple. A color scheme is simply a set of complementary color combinations.
Luckily, choosing the right color combination is as simple as drawing lines on the color wheel and for all intents and purposes, there are only four options:
This color combination relies on color in two or more different hues. In terms of good color combinations for logo design, monochrome is hard to beat.
It will always look good and is simple to design. Remember, choosing three different shades of green is easier than trying to create a logo color scheme from scratch.
Best of all, you won’t need to hire a designer to help.
Complementary colors are high-contrast colors that go well together because they are on opposite sides of the wheel. Consider the bold colors matching with blue and yellow.
Usually, between two and five colors that combine, analogous colors have a more gentle palette. In this color scheme, one color dominates, and other similar shades offer subtle depth and a natural feel.
Triadic colors are the best color combination for brands that want dynamic color schemes for their logo. Draw a triangle on the wheel to find a logo color combination that will make your logo designs pop.
Branding, colors, and your logo
Color scheme is essential for brand design. That’s obvious. But did you know that there is a whole world of color theory out there?
Why does every bank and finance company out there seem to use blue? Why do we have such a different feeling when we see hot pink versus blush pink?
The answer is mood. Anyone in advertising or design can tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect color for logos; there are just moods and how they affect branding.
We know what to expect when we walk into a shop where the logo design style is all earth tones in the same way that we know instinctively the colors that go with green or the colors that go with blue.
A good logo design can do more with its color palette than just blue and yellow. So, with that in mind, let’s jump into the color combinations that will make your logo pop.
1. Blue and green: Keep it natural
Ecosia uses a blue-green color scheme combined with earth tones for accent colors so that there is no mistaking their brand inspiration.
This is an eco-conscious company in an industry that is not traditionally concerned with the environment. If you’re looking for logo ideas that communicate brand identity, look no further than the Ecosia logo design.
- Environmental companies
- Organic produce
2. Navy blue: Financial authority
It isn’t just banks that favour navy blue color combinations. It might seem counterintuitive but blue logos communicate money much more than green logos.
Sure, there is Visa, American Express, Chase, Citi, Barclays, Bank of America. But there is also Facebook, IBM, Ford, Intel, and Dell.
Why? Well, blue chip was once the buzz-word for technological innovation and financial success.
Oddly enough, the phrase comes from high-value chips in poker games. Still, there seems to be no gambling here.
The navy blue logo color scheme is an industry standard at this point and small business owners could benefit from the long standing insinuations of this color combo.
- Financial services
- Technology services
3. Yellow and orange: Playful and indulgent
Reese’s pieces anyone? The yellow-orange logo color combination is hard to do well but in the right industry analogous color schemes like this can be perfect.
Logo color can clash as well as complement and when it comes to things like candy, it helps if the logo can catch the eye.
Logos like this were much more popular in the 50s when this sort of color palette was in vogue. Try using it for a nostalgic look.
- Throwback designs
4. Silver and gold: A touch of class
There are plenty of colors that go with gold but the most obvious one is silver.
It is a color combination as old as time and these two colors evoke the luxury of the precious metals that they are named for.
Brands containing silver and gold palettes are advertising opulence.
- Designer clothing
- Luxury brands
5. Green and pink: Neon design
Lime green and shocking pink was everywhere in the 80s.
Once flickering outside sleazy bars, neon style renders have been reborn and are becoming more and more popular as online logo designs.
Check-out this retro design from MSHTV Camp basketball academy.
As color palettes go, it’s a way to add a little bit of spark to a logo that wants to appear fun and approachable.
- Creative design studios
- Web developers
- Retro designs
6. Yellow and green: Bright and bountiful
Yes, color theory does go this far back. The yellow-green logo color combination is there to remind you of the sun, grass, and everything natural.
It is an energetic representation of photosynthesis and growth and a great choice of colors for a sustainable brand.
That BP chose these brand colors in a flower pattern for their logo design gives you a good insight into the power that color can have in creating positive brand images.
- Environmental agencies
- Agricultural companies
- Organic produce
7. Blue and yellow: Striking and simple
The blue-yellow color combination is a feature of countless logos like Ikea, Walmart, and even Pokémon.
Consumers instantly recognize primary colors, and due to their striking contrast, a blue-yellow color logo is always going to be easy to read.
Brands often favor blue and yellow when they want to inspire confidence and trust. For many people, the distinction between these primary colors is one of the first things they learn.
- Visibility, scalability, and trust.
- Large retailers
8. Blue and purple: Personal mystique
Deep purple and dark blue are interpreted as very personal colors which often have business connotations of femininity.
While this connection is completely arbitrary, it has become one of the staple logo color combinations for products aimed towards female-identifying consumers.
Since they sit together on the analogous color chart, a little adjustment can help these two strong colors complement each other in unexpectedly soft ways.
- Personal products
- Special occasions
8. Red, yellow, orange: Gradient designs
Try using various shades. Their versatility makes them a great idea for background color, as in the new social media merger between Facebook and Instagram.
It could be argued that analogous color logos suggest the natural connections between diverse people.
However, it is more likely that the gradient design was inspired by the fact that orange logos are often tough to pull off without seeming too brash.
Pairing a softer orange hue with analogous color palettes is a simple way to create modern, stylish logo templates.
Even before the logo merger, Instagram used a red, yellow, orange gradient logo color combination.
Brands like Instagram are built on idealized lifestyles and nostalgia. Little surprise then that the company color palettes chose to evoke sunset logo color combinations.
- Vacation logo
- Social media logo
9. Black and white: Clean and clear
Logo rule number one: Make sure everyone can understand your logo.
The black and white logo is the original logo color combination.
Originally, this logo style was the only choice. Before modern technology, printing or painting in color was expensive and difficult.
The black and white logo is still popular as it communicates history, trust, and quality in a brand.
- Professional logo
- Legal logo
- Tech logo
9. Outline only : Modern and innovative
You won’t have to worry about logo color combinations if your logo design doesn’t feature any color.
A big concern in logo color is legibility. Some colors are nearly impossible to understand when placed in conjunction with each other.
This is especially true if your logo design needs to feature text.
One design rule that applies across the board is that white or transparent elements with a black outline can be read against any color.
While this approach has traditionally been used for creating legible texts, it is becoming more and more popular with digital-first companies as the ability to make a logo transparent continues to be a symbol of innovation.
- Digital product logo
- Tech logo
- Start-up logo
10. Orange and blue : Creative contrast
Orange and blue are the archetype of complementary hues on the color wheel.
These classic logo color combinations are used regularly by sports teams that want to stand out from competitors and market a bold brand design to their fans.
It is not just the sports industry that makes use of orange and blue. It is a favorite complementary color design for arts and crafts brands, as well as logos for candy brand design.
In the confectionery industry, colors like orange are used regularly in brand design as it represents playfulness and energy.
Still, the most obvious reason that orange is used in candy is that an orange is naturally sweet-tasting and the color is bright and appealing to the eye.
- Sports logo
- Arts logo
- Confectionary logo
11. Pastels : Soft and soothing
Pastel color schemes have the advantage that they can be created in complementary, triadic, analogous, and monochromatic forms.
The only prerequisite is to increase the “white-balance” of the color to give it a softer hue.
Pastel colors work well as variants of primary tones. Blue, red, and yellow can be made into “cool” colors by reducing contrast.
This gives color combinations such as mint, peach, or rose. Pastel logo color schemes are often popular when a brand wants to appear more approachable or has a younger target market.
Since these color combinations lack the intensity of their brighter counterparts, it is a common trend when a company sells a non-essential product.
A brand selling a luxury item such as skin-care products may choose pastel colors to reinforce the notion that their product is soothing rather than abrasive.
- Beauty company logo
- Children’s product logo
- Homeware logo
12. Accent color : Make it pop
You need to think about three things in logo color design: tint, shade, and accent.
Usually, you will pick one main color to dominate your logo (that will be the color that people think about when they remember your brand logo) and an accent to add a little bit of excitement.
Tint and shade are useful for expressing your company characteristics.
For example, if you were picking between shades of green, choosing a deep forest green would suggest environmental concerns. While neon green might suggest a tech-focused company.
The same logic applies with accent colors. Usually, a memorable color should have a high contrast to the main color.
Pick an accent from the complementary color wheel or the triadic color wheel to ensure that people will notice because an accent should only make up a small part of the logo.
Think about the yellow edge on the blue Visa logo. It is just enough to differentiate it from its competitors while maintaining a trustworthy image.
- Clothing logo
- Digital products
- Online services
13. Pink and purple : Pamper yourself
Pink and purple aren’t far from each other on the color wheel and can work as an analogous gradient color logo like on the Instagram logo.
Admittedly, this combination can sometimes appear a little too sugary.
But think back to when you were a kid. This logo color combo works perfectly for companies like Baskin Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts that want to advertise the indulgent aspect of their product.
If you are unsure, use a logo maker to generate hundreds of options instantaneously. It might just help you decide.
- Children’s logo
- Non-essential products
- Toys and luxury items
14. Green, yellow, blue: Creative and cohesive
Combine a primary color with a secondary color to create a coherent visual aesthetic. Blue and yellow are both classic choices for logo color.
Mixing them together gives green, so you can guarantee that a logo with this color combination won’t clash.
Think about how the Google Drive icon uses yellow, blue, and green as its primary color set up.
While the accent of red is a simple nod to the Google logo color scheme, the overall color theme is a combination of yellow color, blue color, and green color.
Since we all know those colors mix, it gives the impression of connectivity and collaboration.
That’s exactly what Google Drive is all about.
- Charity logo
- Communications logo
- Technology logo
15. Red and yellow and green: Performance and progression
Think about a traffic light. Everyone understands what red, yellow, and green mean.
In a business logo, red and yellow, and green color combinations are representative of progression.
- Red color logo – The color red in a logo shows that your company takes the time to stop, think, and plan.
- Yellow color logo – The color yellow in a logo suggests a bias towards action. Those moments where your business gives it a go, performs tests, and isn’t afraid to try something new.
- Green color logo – Using green in your logo means it is go time. Your company has done its due diligence and is confident to enter into the market.
Consider the way that the work productivity company Monday uses this color scheme. They understand that bringing a project from ideation to completion is a process.
Our natural associations with those colors make sense in understanding progression, but they also encourage us to perform better.
- Business logo
- Communications logo
- Workflow logo
16. Blue, blue, blue: Technology and innovation
Most people consider blue to be their favorite color. More importantly, though, it is also deeply associated with success in innovation and technology.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all use blue. It has become the go-to color for tech companies in need of inspiration. In fact, only Instagram has avoided blue so far.
Communicate your success with a monochromatic color scheme to get the most out of this powerful color.
- Tech logo
- Social logo
- Banking logo