The psychology of logos—how colors and other factors impact brands

by | Aug 22, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

When choosing a logo design and color scheme, not many business owners tend to think deeply about how their choices might impact the success of their brand. In fact, a recent poll of small business owners found that 65 percent admitted “personal taste and preference” was the biggest factor in choosing colors for their logo, and nearly half (48 percent) said they did not research the potential implications when choosing colors for their brand.

But new research from global creative platform 99designs reveals that most entrepreneurs are missing out on the benefits that color psychology can bring to their business and brand.

“Research clearly shows consumers are heavily influenced by color, and yet many entrepreneurs do little to no research when choosing theirs,” said Pamela Webber, COO of 99designs, in a news release. “While color psychology is an inexact science, we are committed to bringing research, resources and now an interactive tool to help small businesses think about what color best fits their brand personality.”

The study digs deep into eight industries: retail, real estate, technology, finance/accounting, legal, marketing/communications, healthcare and agriculture. Some of the key findings within this analysis include:


Blue dominates in marketing and PR, appearing as the dominant hue in nearly half (43 percent) of logos in this sector created on 99designs. Lighter shades of blue signify friendliness and trust, and darker blues evoke professionalism and security, which reflects the important role these companies play in shaping a client’s public image.


Blue also accounts for around 60 percent of tech logos both on 99designs and within wider industry leaders. Blue is associated with knowledge, security and trust, and it makes sense that companies breaking new ground and shaking up consumer behaviors want to reflect these traits in their branding.


Overall, attention-grabbing red is the most prevalent color in retail. Characteristically, a loud, playful, youthful and modern hue, red makes particular sense in the context of a storefront enticing customers in the door.


Logos for law firms tend to be simple and minimalist, and among industry leaders, there is a trend to have one dominant color and either a neutral secondary color or no secondary color at all. Shades of blue lead the color pack, while black and red are also popular choices, as are neutral colors—black, white and gray.


Green dominates both the agriculture logos of industry leaders (60 percent) as well as 99designs customers in the sector (64 percent). The top pairing colors are black, white and blue.

In response to these findings, 99designs has launched an innovative, interactive logo color discovery tool that helps users identify the right color for their brand personality based on their business goals. The tool is being launched as part of a comprehensive study that includes insights from academics on the psychological effects of colors and an analysis of more than 14,000 logos created on 99designs.

Get more tips on choosing logo colors in specific industries here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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