Branding 101, Colors and Logos

Date: October 2021

They say that you eat with your eyes first, and we can say the same with consuming media.

By now, we’ve probably all heard about how color greatly influences human emotion. We know a multitude of brands that have red in their color palette because it has the power to stimulate us, or use blue because it exudes the aura of calmness and trust. In branding, taking ownership of a color and making a logo will keep your business in people’s minds and keep it recognizable.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”
Paul Rand, renowned artist and logo maker

Colors

Before you choose your color or colors, you have to understand what their significance is first. Color theory is a whole world of its own, discussing the color wheel, color harmony, and color mixing. We can start with discussing the basics of understanding colors first.

Red is often associated with danger, excitement, and energy. It’s also well-known to trigger the appetite, which explains why a lot of food chains and brands use it.

Blue is an indication of trustworthiness and reliability.

Green symbolizes nature, so it’s no-brainer that the Whole Foods and Starbucks logos are in green, going back to their roots of food and agriculture.

There’s also Black for luxury, and White for purity.

What do colors even have to do with your business? Aside from needing a color or two when making your logo, you’ll also need them when creating the rest of your assets such as brochures, ads, and the rest of your content. It will be a signature, something that will make you be top-of-mind.

Haven’t decided on your colors yet? As of 2021, there are 1,867 solid Pantone Matching System Colors you can check out and choose from!

💡 Unconventional tip: You don’t have to conform to your competitors’ brand colors. By not going the usual route, you can be easily identified and differentiated.

❗ Pro-tip from us: Choose one to two primary brand colors, then three to four secondary brand colors. The main colors will help in making people connect the visual materials back to you, while the secondary (complementing) colors will help make your publication materials crisper.

Fun facts: Mattel’s Barbie Pink (Pantone 219 C) is trademarked in over 100 categories, so be careful when using it or better yet, don’t at all! Tiffany & Co.’s blue (Pantone 1837) and the Cadbury purple (Pantone 2685 C) are trademarked as well.

Logos

No matter where you look, logos are all around you. Your phone has one, the coffee maker you use everyday as well, and the establishments around you have their own too. Logos can be anything. They can simply be the business name, something that tells the story, or even just a letter.

Before creating your brand’s logo, it’s important to ask these questions:

1. Who are my clients?
When doing your market research, you also have to determine what would get your target market’s interest. You can’t appeal to clients into luxury with a fun font.

2. What does my business stand for?
Go back to your goal and your core values. What do you want a tiny image to convey? Twitter’s logo says a lot with just an illustration of a bird. Not only does it allude to “tweeting”, but also to what a bird stands for, such as freedom, quick, and short—like how information on the site is shared and spread.

3. Where will I put my logos?
Your logos shouldn’t be one size fits all. A clunky, crowded logo won’t adapt well to a small product. Logos now are meant to be responsive, to ensure that you can put it anywhere.

While logos serve an integral part in your brand, remember that even the biggest retailers have done rebrands. Some were taken well, while others not so much!

A sample of a good rebrand:

And a sample of a rebrand that didn't even last a week, due to bad reception:

💡 Make sure to: design mockups! This allows you to see your logo in a different light and how it (adapts) to a completely different environment. You’re used to seeing it on paper or your screen, but you need to know how it translates on tangible items.

❗ Pro-tip from us: While there are a lot of tools available for logo creation now, when using Adobe, use Illustrator and not Photoshop!

Need a refresher on what brand, branding, and brand identity? Read our blog about it here.

Build your branding with us.

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