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Color Theory: What’s in a Logo?

There are a variety of factors that contribute to your brand’s holistic identity, and it goes without saying that images and graphics play a huge role. But within your brand’s visual identity, perhaps the most important component of all are your brand’s colors. Visually, a brand’s color palette makes an impression before any other aspect and evokes instantly the brand’s message and values. Therefore, defining a brand’s color palette requires an extra degree of consideration.

We’ve broken down some of the psychology behind brand colors, for you to keep in mind while choosing your primary and accent values.


In branding, blue tends to be widely used, given its connotations of security, officiality, trust, and calm. This has made it a particularly popular color of choice for both technology and finance brands, given the importance of communicating security, legitimacy, and trust in these sectors. Examples here would include PayPal, Facebook, citibank, or the NHS, all of which incorporate stability and reliability into their respective narratives in various ways.


In branding as in life, red represents passion, excitement, energy. Working well as both a principal tone and as an accent color, various degrees of red can inject your brand with an element of action. While brands more straightforwardly based on speed and energy like Ferrari or Red Bull have famously made use of red in their logos, the color is also used by entertainment brands like Netflix and AMC or by fast food chains such as McDonald’s or KFC to convey excitement and fun.


Known above all for its messaging of cleanliness, clarity, and peace, white represents an interesting case study in the challenge of using it as a primary brand value. Few brands have pulled off using white as their principal tone, many preferring to use it as an accent to lend brightness to the rest of the color scheme. However, one brand that has successfully used the color as its main hue is Apple, with both their marketing materials and many of their products maintaining a clean, white scheme to convey the brand’s overarching narrative of elegance and simplicity of use.


While the idea of connection to nature may be the color green’s most apparent connotation – often accompanying the image of a leaf, tree, or similar images as a kind of shorthand for a brand’s eco-friendly values – green can also represent the idea of growth and freshness in a more abstract way. Therefore, while green remains a sensible choice for brands explicitly connected to the environment, such as Whole Foods or the seal of USDA Organic, brands that want to communicate the novelty and innovation have also made use of the color. These include Starbucks, Android, Spotify, and Instacart.

Here at Octonano, our expert strategists and graphic designers are here to help you best present your brand’s visual identity, no matter what color palette you choose. Get in touch with our team today!

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