An image showing canned drinks.

Colour choice: A vital part of any successful logo design

By Ben Walker on 30 March 2018

Your logo is arguably the single most important component of your brand. It should convey the ethos and values of your brand in one individual marque, as it’s often the first thing people see and the last thing they remember.

Visual equity and differentiation need to be carefully considered if you want to be successful in establishing a distinctive brand. Whenever a new product or brand emerges, it is only natural to compare it to others within the same sector, and colour choice is a crucial consideration in guaranteeing your brand can be distinguished from your competitors.


The power of colour in branding is not always apparent – as colours operate on a subliminal level. The concept of colour in branding and marketing is often referred to as the ‘silent salesman’, based on the mnemonic quality it carries and the role it plays in brand recognition. Ultimately, colour has the ability to make an astounding impact on our memory and create a lasting impression.

A McDonalds sign.

Colour choice

Have you ever walked down the street, passed that iconic red and yellow ‘M’ and suddenly got a craving for your favourite burger? Unsurprisingly, this has a lot to do with the colour choice of the logo.

The colour red conveys energy, love and power, but also communicates a sense of urgency. The association red has with the latter leads to a variety of fast food restaurants choosing it to appear in their branding. Furthermore, the colour yellow elicits feelings of happiness and friendliness and is also the most visible colour in daylight (the McDonald’s sign definitely doesn’t go unnoticed). When we combine the two colours together, it portrays speed and efficiency – a quick meal. The majority of fast food branches adopt this ‘in and out’ mentality, so it is no coincidence that red or yellow, or a combination of the two, is incorporated in their logos.

Fast food logos.


When you first come in contact with a brand, you subconsciously make a decision on whether you are interested in it or not. The logo is a core part of this decision as it forms part of the ‘visual grammar’ communicated between you, the consumer, and the brand. It also gives the brand an opportunity to allude to specific personality traits – you really can learn a lot about a brand from the logo.

Colour is not only used in a logo for recognition purposes, but also for differentiation purposes, allowing your logo to stand out. Imagine all chocolate brands had a purple logo – which chocolate bar would we choose? In order for brands to compete, there needs to be a distinguishable component.

Drink and food brand logos.

Take a risk

A longstanding rivalry in the Cola market between Coca-Cola and Pepsi is a credible example of how colour plays a crucial role in branding. Pepsi emerged on the market at a time when Coca-Cola was already a well-established brand. Pepsi has spent a lot of time and money reinventing their brand over the years in an effort to compete with Coca-Cola.  From the original red script typographic logo, very similar to that of Coca-Cola’s, to a bold San Serif font with a blue, red and white colourway. In 1998 Pepsi adopted blue as their primary colour and emphasised the colour change by investing money and time into a global advertising campaign. The change in the primary brand colour did help them to stand out in the Cola market, but they have never truly won the battle against Coca-Cola.

The battle for supremacy between Pepsi and Coca-Cola only goes to highlight how important it is to create a logo that will remain iconic. The numerous alterations in logo design, and ultimately colour choice, turned out to be Pepsi’s greatest downfall. To avoid constant changes to the brand and to maintain a consistent brand identity, it is essential to spend time defining your brand colours at the outset.

Pepsi logo design evolution.

Colour must be carefully considered in your logo design if you want your brand to compete in a busy market. Colour choice plays a significant role when it comes to ensuring your brand is memorable and stands apart from the competition.

At Firefly, we specialise in logo design and branding – our experience and knowledge in colour theory mean that we can help ensure colour is thoroughly considered in your logo design and that your brand is more appealing to your target audience than your competitors’.

If you’re looking to commission a design agency to create your company’s logo or branding, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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