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Why Logo Color Selection is Crucial To Your Brand’s Success

The last thing that probably comes to mind when getting a custom logo design is picking colors. After all, every person has a unique taste and prefers different colors, and you can’t please everyone. Well, not really. I’m here to tell you that just like marketers, great designers are very methodical when choosing colors and there’s a good reason behind it. Here’s why the color scheme you choose can impact your brand’s success.

We Are Pre-programmed to Colors

The way we perceive our environment and every day things are highly dependant on color. When you go to a food store, you can go to the bread section and you’ll see many manufacturers utilizing brown tones to suggest that the bread is home baked or fresh. Color even influences the effectiveness of placebo pills. Supposedly, hot-colored pills are more affective than their cool-colored counterparts. A few decades ago, the city of Glasgow installed blue colored lighting in their streets, and reported reduced crime in those areas.  Some cities found that even painting bridges in green reduced suicide rates by 30%.

Methodical color selection is prevalent in the fast food industry as well. You will often find fast food restauraunts utilizing yellow, orange and red colors as they have been found to increase appetite. KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s all utilize these colors. Another study doneby James Clear further demonstrated this interesting effect. He split a group into two, one with white plates and one with red ones. Each group could select to eat pasta with white sauce or red sauce. He found that people with red plates who chose the red sauce, ate 30% more than the group with white plates and white sauce.

Color affects us everywhere, even on the road. Important signals such as a stop light or signs are painted red, because they grab our attention and alertness. Red cars on the other hand, get more tickets than cars of any other color.

While all of these are highly dependant on cultures, one thing is clear, color has a real effect on people and every day life. It’s no surprise that our brain is being subconsciously programmed to react to colors and that this would carry over to logo design as well.

 Color Association

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Perception of color depends not only on our primal instincts but culture as well. Tones of red can create feelings of arousal, and blue tones can create feelings of relaxation. These positive emotions can be created purely by using the color since the feelings already come preprogrammed to us thanks to media. This is why we find specific colors in advertisements. This is how colors are perceived in the United States for example:

Red – lust, power, excitement, love

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Companies like KFC will use the color red to influence not only your excitement level but your appetite as well. You can see brown tones being used as well to suggest that the food is more natural and home made.

Yellow – competence, happiness

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McDonald’s desperately tries to convey happiness with its logo, yellow color, and even it’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it”.

Green – good taste, envy, natural

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Whole Foods uses the color green in its logo to appeal to those who want to shop for healthier and more natural foods.

Blue – masculine, competence, high quality, corporate

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Intil utilizes the color blue to appear as a competent producer of processors and gives itself a more corporate look.

Pink – sophistication, sincerity, feminine

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Cosmopolitan appeals and targets its female audience by using the color pink.

Purple – authority, sophistication, power

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Companies such as Jet use the color purple to appear more sophisticated while also trying to be modern.

Brown – ruggedness, comfort, organic

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It makes sense that a coffee company such as Nespresso would utilize brown tones to suggest comfort and organic to its consumers.

Black – grief, sophistication, luxury, fear, elegance

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You will often see fashion companies using purely black logos to appear more elegant.

White – happiness, sincerity, purity

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Companies will use white color on darker backgrounds not only to be more visible but to appear more sincere and pure.

Color Influences Us

Knowing everything we mentioned, it’s easy to see how businesses would use this to their advantage. Color is used every day to influence consumers into making decisions. The first thing people will often see related to your business is your name and logo. That’s why choosing the correct colors to convey your brand’s message is important. Depending on what you want to accomplish and what you are selling, a color could have significant impact.

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Just by looking at this, even without text or images, some people will report getting feelings of positivity and happiness.

Think about it. You are walking in a strip mall and you are feeling stressed and are craving some relaxation. Luckily, you see a massage place, but right on the front of the building it says “RELAXATION” in big bold red letters. Instead of your brain associating positive feelings which align with what you are looking for, now you get feelings of aggitation and anxiety. Instead, if the same logo was in cursive letters and lighter colors, you may have walked into the massage parlor.

What is The Best Color for Logo Design?

As you can see, color can create spaciousness or coziness. It can stimilate people differently and it can affect our behavior. To choose the correct color for your logo and branding, you need to consider your company’s message and its audience. What are you trying to convey? Which colors can convey that the best? You should even consider the timing and environment. People who are cold will prefer warm colors, while those who are feeling hot will look for cooler colors.

In United States, blue is the favorite color by far (35%), followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%). If you are unsure, blue seems like a safe bet in many cases.

There are many things to consider and that’s why here at 499 Logos we take color selection very seriously. We can help you select the right color for your logo and brand, and we can have your logo ready in 72 hours or less.

11 Biggest Logo Design Trends of 2018

Time doesn’t stand still and neither does design. Every year thousands of new companies will create identities that will serve as the face of their businesses. Every year there are new trends and techniques that designers use for custom logo design to set your company apart. 2018 was no exception as we saw certain elements commonly used in many logo designs across the board. Some ideas were unique to 2018 and some were ideas that have remained timeless.

While you may be inclined to jump onboard with any ongoing trends, be careful. As we mentioned in 6 Things Your Logo Should Say About Your Company you should balance trends with other important factors to make sure your logo design does not become irrelevant every year.

With no further ado, here are the biggest logo trends of 2018.

1. Smart Logos

Smart tvs, phones, and… smart logos. Logo designs that convey the company’s brand or message in a clever way are never going away, so it’s no surprise to see them very popular this year as well. The goal with these logos is to draw your attention and leave you in awe, all while making the logo easy to read and use.

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2. Light + Bright Color Schemes

Color is incredibly important when it comes to setting the tone for your customer and it can influence their decisions and emotion. Bright colors are always viewed as positive and upbeat, so its no wonder that brands are opting out for brighter color schemes for their logo designs to appeal to millenials.

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3. Inspiration from Geometric Shapes

There’s something about symmetry and geometric shapes that appeals to everyone. They are simple and straight to the point. More logo designs are seen using different shapes in their logo designs.

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4. Beautiful Retro Typography & Designs

Vintage type typography and logo design seems to have made its way back into our culture and logo design. Old style lettering and art can be seen in many new brands in 2018.

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5. Cut Text

This may seem puzzling on why its a trend, however, it’s becoming quite common. There are different types of cut text being used in logos. Some are letters or numbers being cut into separate parts. Other times, parts of letters or numbers are cut off. Just as with text, our brains are able to unscramble and fill in the gaps. Designs take advantage of this psychological phenomenon and simplify and enhance logo design using these interesting techniques.

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6. Smooth Gradients

There’s just something about a good gradient that is super satisfying to the eye. Gradients have been around since the 2.0 era, and luckily, have become much more soothing since then. Many companies have updated their logos and app icons to now include gradients.

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7. Simplified Crests

Since the existence of design, we have had crests. They were often used to represent families, kingdoms, alliances and more. It’s no surprise that people are still drawn to this type of logo design. However, the modern crest design tends to be much more simplistic, but still often includes majestic animals such as eagles, lions, and rhinos.

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8. Minimal Shapes

One of the biggest trends for the last few years have been minimalistic shapes in logo design that help convey the business’ message to the consumer. These minimal shapes are super easy to use anywhere and they tend to be a favorite of our customers as well.

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9. Structural grid logos

We are not talking about structural grid-based logos that actually include grids as part of the design. We are talking about using grids when planning and designing the logo to add symmetry and balance to the logo design. Whether its by using the golden ratio, or any other type of grid, this type of design seems very appealing to the human eye.

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10. Animated Logos

Another type of logo that is being seen more often is one with animation. It basically introduces or builds up the logo, drawing your attention to it, and letting you experience the brand. While it’s not practical to use it everywhere (website header, paper products, or anywhere offline), it is a great way to let your consumer form a bond with your brand and gain a different perspective.

 

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Design by MadVitas

Design by Anton Tkachev

Design by Anton Tkachev

11. Simplistic Logo Design

By far one of the biggest things we try to teach our customers is to create brands that will last. Simplistic designs that will stand the test of time. There is a reason why brands such as Nike don’t have to adjust their logos every year. Simplicity always wins.

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How to Pick The Right Style & Designer

With so many different types of trends and styles, it may be difficult for your or your company to hire a designer. After all, each designer has their own specific style and does have a limit of what they can produce. This is why at 499 Logos, our process is a bit different. We have a team of in-house designers with various styles that have been tought the fundamentals of building brands that not only stand the test of time but also stand out. Whenever we receive a new project, our team leader hand-picks the designer that would best be suited to bring your logo to life. We believe being flexible and having many designers specializing in different styles is the key to successful projects.  Send us your inquiry and we can have your logo done in 72 hours or less!

4 Costly Mistakes You Will Make with Branding

PBranding is an incredibly important part of starting and growing a business. It allows your business to establish an identity that sets you apart from the rest of the businesses and to retain your existing customers. However, there are 4 mistakes that you can make which can cost your company a lot of money or kill your business altogether.

1. Lack of Consistency

One of the basic principles of branding is consistency. After all, there is a reason why you put your logo on all your products. Branding not only establishes your ownership of something, it also allows you to build trust and familiarity with your customer base. Still, the one mistake I see over and over, is the lack of consistency. For example, last night I got a spam e-mail from a “Joshua Tolento” offering me website design services. He gives me a link to his “website and portfolio”, which is “WWW.JTMARKETING.INFO” (yep, yelling it out in all capitals). After clicking on the link, the domain name forwards me to “Tolentogroup.com”. Their business name shows “Tolento Group Consulting” and their logo reads “Tolento Group Consulting & Design, LLC”. Also, their banner image included a young man, who I assume was Joshua, with his arms crossed in front of a car. Not really what you’d expect from a design and consulting company. So at this point, how can any customer trust this business? How do I know who I am dealing with in the first place? Before I even consider making the payment, I feel mislead and confused. Lack of consistency.

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Thanks for the spam, Joshua.

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The famous header image.  Screenshot from archive.org.

It’s the little details that matter. For starters, keep all your domain names the same, including capitalization in e-mails and even “www” in front. Also, please don’t forward customers from one domain to another. The only time that’s okay is when your business has changed names (but even then, a simple text can let them know “we’ve moved to ____”) or if you have typo domain names and you want to forward the customers to the right name. For example, Google.com owns Gooogle.com. They have millions of people who type their domain every hour, so it’s only safe to assume that a good portion of them tend to mistype their name.

This extends to your logo as well. Keep your logo the same everywhere you use it. That includes colors, proportional sizing of text to symbol, fonts, and more. Corporations have literally booklets that they give out to designers before any work, describing how they can and can’t use their logos. Don’t confuse your customers by constantly altering your logo from product to product. Once your brand is strong enough, you may choose to use your symbol instead of using the entire logo with the text. A good example is Nike. The Nike swoosh is now a globally recognized symbol, no one needs to be told what company that is.

However, brand consistency extends beyond your domain name and logo. You also need to be consistent with your brand’s message. This brings us to a second commonly made mistake.

2. Lack of Depth

Many companies believe that their logo is their brand. While in some ways that’s true, a brand is more than a logo. A brand is about building a certain perception, trust and loyalty. Every action that your business takes will either add value to this or take away from it. Let’s take one of the top boxers in the world, Manny Pacquiao as an example. After all, his name is his brand.  Up until now, Manny Pacquiao was not only regarded as one of the top fighters in the world but also as a family man with values. He was loved for his genuine personality and respect of his fans. However, recently, Manny decided to blurb something out on Twitter about his beliefs on homosexuality. Within minutes, his single tweet traveled around the globe and was shared on nearly every major news outlet. Nike terminated his contract (worth millions) almost immediately. One tweet cost Manny thousands of fans, millions of dollars and possibly put a dent in his legacy.

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Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, Martin Shkreli, becomes the villain of the pharma industry.

Now, a lesser known person or company may afford to be able to make small mistakes now and then. However, there’s no telling what it will cost you. Just recently, a low-key pharmaceutical company called Turing Pharmaceuticals dramatically increased pricing on some drugs that they own. At the same time Hilary Clinton, was looking for a hot issue to stir up and chose drug pricing as something to fight if elected. Their timing was unfortunate, because Hilary was looking to make an example out of somebody. It took Hilary only a few mentions of the company, and their pricing increases, and the entire world was attacking the company for its otherwise normal practices. Bad timing is all that took for a small company to go from unknown to America’s most hated. This is why branding requires careful crafting and maintenance.

A very common mistake that nearly every company is guilty of is misplaced advertising. Whether a banner appears on their site that directly contradicts what their company stands for or they themselves advertise their business in the wrong venue. Some companies also waste precious marketing dollars on advertising in venues that will inevitably result in terrible conversion rates. Think about it this way, what if there was a charity event to end hunger in Africa and McDonalds came out and plastered advertisements for burgers everywhere next to the pictures of the starving kids? It would only take one snapped photo of this to hurt their entire company’s brand.

Before posting a tweet, collaborating with a company, hiring an employee or otherwise exposing your brand, ask yourself this: will this add value to my brand or will it do nothing or possibly even put my brand at risk? If done right, every action will add trust and value to your business.

3. Ignoring Your Customer Base

When creating a logo, name or maintaining your brand, your customer base is incredibly important. After all, every single dollar that your company makes depends on them. However, sometimes companies seemingly go out of their way to ignore their customers.

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“Evolution” of Gap’s logo

Gap worked for many years to establish its brand and their logo was another globally recognized mark. However, the company decided the blue box with the classy letters “G A P” is a bit out of date, so they spend millions to modernize their logo and re-brand their company’s look. Well, the customers didn’t like it and there was a huge backlash. Gap was forced to revert back to their old logo, which in turn cost them even more money.

In another case, the company Xerox had so much influence in the copying machine business, that their name was interchangeably used as the word copying. As in “James, can you xerox these documents?” Seems like a fantastic thing. But Xerox got greedy, they wanted to expand into new markets and they didn’t want to be known simply as the “copy machine company” and their name being only using to describe copying. They resisted their customer base and in turn allowed competitors to swoop in and cost a good portion of their share in their own market.

The lesson here is this: if the customers love something, embrace it. Don’t turn an advantage into a disadvantage. Most importantly, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to change, experiment and evolve. Just do so subtly.

4. Failing to Evolve

Everything gets old. Products, names, logos, ideas – they all get boring after a while. It may not necessarily be a bad thing, if you are still dominating your market and have increasing sales. On the other hand, if this is causing your sales to decline or you are losing market share, or simply want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to evolve. Staying stagnant can kill your business. Branding visually and audibly represents your company and staying relevant is important.

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Blockbuster at one point dominated the video rental market. They created a monopoly in new releases and capitalized on it by increasing their prices. However, new companies started to pop up that offered alternative ways to watch movies without the hassle of going to the store on foot and hoping that their VHS or DVD was in stock. Blockbuster seemingly ignored these new ways, hoping that their customers would stick around. Well, Blockbuster is out of business, while Netflix, RedBox and several online streaming companies share this market now. They could have easily acquired one of these companies or at least adapted to the new ways, but instead they chose to do nothing. Don’t be afraid to adapt your business and products.

If you want to search something online, searching is almost synonymous with Google. If you find yourself on Yahoo, it is probably accidental. But things could have turned out differently for Yahoo, as in 2002, before Google went public, they had the chance to acquire its competitor. However, the price of $5 billion seemed to be to steep and they decided to try to crush their competitor instead. But we know how this turned out as Google now controls about 75% of the search engine share, while Yahoo owns a measly 10%. Don’t ignore your competitors, stay ahead of the competition and make acquisitions when necessary.

Evolving is important not only in your business practices and your products, it’s also important in branding. Imagine if a company kept their website design and logos from early 2000’s? Even if their products were new and revolutionary, new customers would question whether or not their business is legitimate or even if they are still in business all together. While a logo doesn’t have to drastically change over the years, subtle changes could tell your customer “Yes, we are still here and we are still on top of our game”. And at the very least, it’s visually pleasing. Google’s logo changed 6 or 7 times since its inception, but it has been easily recognizable through out. Their last logo can be easily linked to their first. Why is this important? People simultaneously love and hate change. A new customer wants something modern and unique, while your existing customers want to keep the brand they love and trust. Subtle changes allows you to keep both parties happy.

The Hidden Fine Print Behind Custom Logo Design

With the inception of any business idea there is is myriad of choices that can be made. Choices are great but they can also be overwhelming. Logo design is advertised as the “easy” part of setting up a business, however, it is often filled with hurdles. There are 5 known ways to get a logo and benefits of each are quite public. However, our designers share the hidden “fine print” (or pitfalls) behind each of these options that companies don’t want you to know.

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