Every brand needs a color palette for its logo. Even if yours is black and white or a few shades of gray, that’s a color palette. Brands use logo color combinations to express who they are. Color works at the primal level, signaling specific emotions in the viewer’s brain. Before anybody even takes a closer look at the logo or hears the name of your business, they’ll deduce who you are and what you do all based on your logo’s color palette.
In logo color combinations, individual colors work together to make brands memorable. When you’re designing a logo, the colors you choose are critical to its success and by extension, your brand’s success. Here’s everything you need to know about combining logo colors.
Color evokes emotions. Based on culture, traditions and even our own evolution, each color has deep-rooted psychological associations. For example, yellow evokes friendliness, while brown is more rugged and natural.
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Colors are hard workers. They tell stories, convey moods, communicate price points and connect ideas.
Aesthetically, color can play lots of different roles in logo design. You can use color to enhance design elements or to set a tone, you can make color the focal point or keep it in the background.
Sometimes, using black can make the other colors in a logo pop. In other logos, black is the main event.
Colors do it all—and they do it in an instant. That’s why it’s important to explore all of your color options and choose the right combination for your logo. Learn more about the fundamentals of color theory here.
There’s no set rule on how few colors you should use in your logo. You might only need one or two. How many colors you need depends on what your logo has to say for your brand.
Most logos use two or three distinct colors. Typically, it’s one primary color and one or two accent colors to give the logo more dimension and put the brand’s whole personality on display.
You’ve seen great logos that only use one color. Sometimes all you need is literally just one color or a few different shades of the same color. Other times, it makes sense to use a wider color palette to tell your brand’s story visually.
Highly-saturated hues are the best way to add energy and life to your logo design and build the perfect bold brand.
There’s a reason why red is so popular for sports team logos—it’s full of energy! Wanna yell with color? Pair bright orange and boisterous red.
Warm colors aren’t the only bold colors, though. A high-contrast logo is often a bold one, like a logo that pits a bright gold against ice blue.
Another complementary color combination, purple and yellow make a great bright and colorful team.
As the two most attention-grabbing colors, red and black together make a serious impact. While not for light-hearted brands, this combination suits the boldest of the bold.
If red and black alone are too severe, adding a white compliment can make them more accessible. You still get the gravity and urgency of a red-and-black combination, but with a nice accent to highlight each and make the logo less imposing.
The color combination of bees, black and yellow together can look like a warning as they’re both attention-grabbing. However, in the right measures, these two colors can draw out each other’s strengths to help your logo get noticed.
Fire and ice, warm and cold—the red-and-blue combination join both sides of the color spectrum for an edgy and offbeat feel.
Purple and orange may not be color opposites exactly, but they’re close enough to make an alluring contrast that’s hard to miss.
Pink and yellow are both attention-grabbing colors, and pair well with each other since they’re not far on the spectrum. This is a good choice for when you want your brand to be bold and playful—these colors are not as serious as the other bold choices but get noticed just the same.
Pink and yellow are both attention-grabbing colors, and pair well with each other since they’re not far on the spectrum. This is a good choice for when you want your brand to be bold and playful—these colors are not as serious as the other bold choices, but get noticed just the same.
Some brands choose color combinations that literally look like things. A popular way to use colors like this is to give abstract shapes specific colors that signal what they represent to the viewer, like blue squiggles to represent water or flesh-tone colored dots to symbolize people.
Bright reddish orange paired with shades of blue such as turquoise and navy is a complementary color combination that’s sure to stand out. It instantly evokes memories of the sea and sunsets and feels simultaneously warm and refreshing.
A literal color combination can also be used to communicate what a brand does when its name doesn’t make that clear, which is why you see so many green garden and landscaping logos.
This vibrant, tri-color gradient of warm colors perfectly evokes sunsets, heat or fire.
The colors of candy canes feel sweet and innocent like candy should. That makes pink/red and white a great logo color combination for snack foods or brands targeting young audiences.
Tone down brighter colors by adding white to a pure hue, creating a subdued, pastel variation known as a tint. Greys and blues work great, too.
This combination emphasizes the calm light of dawn. Both warm and cool colors can be part of a peaceful color palette, where the key is to use colors that blend together, rather than high contrast.
Combining different shades of green and blue in your logo has a calming, soothing effect and works great for brands that want to put their clients at ease.
Purples are the perfect picture of serenity. If you’re searching for the perfect main color to build a peaceful palette around, you can’t go wrong with purple.
Green and yellow sit right in the middle of the color spectrum, making them a good combination for brands that want the best of both worlds, such as businesses targeting a wide range of consumers.
While not as complementary as green and yellow, green and orange together still work as a gentle and all-inclusive color combination. The orange gives the logo more urgency than yellow, helping it stand out in a crowd.
Capture the magic of nature with color schemes that evoke the beauty of Earth. Forest- and garden-inspired earth tones work great, but don’t be afraid to explore beyond! For example, a combination of burnt sienna and yellow can create a hot desert-inspired nature palette, and dark blue with shades of silver and white can feel like a trek across the Arctic Circle. If you want your logo to feel like a specific natural setting, grab a photo of that setting and choose its most prominent colors.
Earthy doesn’t have to be boring! Try working less “traditional” earth tones into your logo. Pinks, reds and yellows can strike that balance between dynamic and down to earth.
Tip your hat to clear skies and crystal oceans by bringing cool blues into your logo. Pair it with green for a perfect combination.
Nothing says rustic like brown and black. These natural colors suggest sturdiness and dependability, perfect for old brands (or new brands that want to a vintage, old look and feel).
Without red, the remaining warm colors yellow and orange seem a lot friendlier and a little more relaxed. This combination conjures up ideas of sunny days.
As an alternative to yellow and orange, the orange-and-red combination uses warm colors without yellow, focusing more on the flashy aspects of these colors. The combination of fire may not be as relaxing as yellow and orange, but its seriousness gets it noticed.
Whimsical + colorful = fun. If you’re not sure if your color scheme screams “fun,” ask yourself if you’d find those colors in a candy shop. Bright, warm, contrasting colors are loads of fun, as are neon and “unnatural” colors like pink and purple and lime green.
For a fun logo, green, pink and yellow go great together. Make the color combination your own by choosing interesting shades, like a minty shade of green or a corally shade of pink.
Typically, logos have one color and a few accents. Well, not all logos are typical. Up your fun factor with a rainbow of colors. Just make sure you’re using the right shades and amounts of each color so your logo isn’t overwhelming.
With its combination of high-powered energy and natural calmness, red and green complement each other to create a fun, carefree vibe.
Pink and turquoise make the ultimate fun logo color combination. Choose this pairing if you’re aiming for bold, bright and fun.
Yellow is the ultimate fun color, and this bright combination keeps it front and center. The blue and green accents balance it out for a color scheme that’s fun, natural and trustworthy.
Purple and pink complement each other well, as they’re right next to each other on the color spectrum. A purple and pink logo combines the fun and youthfulness of pink with the more mysterious atmosphere of purple.
While the contrast isn’t as stark as with blue and gold, the blue-and-orange combination is still an attention-grabber, but with a more fun and inviting air.
Green and purple may not seem like they’d go together, but something about it works—just ask an eggplant! This green tempers purple’s divisiveness, making it more accessible without losing its deep undertones.
Like pink and turquoise, red and turquoise pair well for a fun logo color. The advantage of using red instead of pink gives the logo more magnetism and makes it seem a little more serious.
Pink and yellow together seem like a light-hearted and cute combination, but when you add black the mix becomes a little more grounded—not to mention more memorable.
If you’re in finance, law, medicine—anything where serious is a selling point—your ideal color scheme is one that uses neutrals and deep shades that communicate how seriously viewers should take your brand.
And when in doubt, black is always seriously in style. Add dark accents for a splash of color. Think crimson instead of cherry, navy instead of turquoise.
Serious color schemes are bold, but they’re more of a confident bold than an in-your-face bold. This mix of blue and black evokes a dynamic, trusted brand personality.
Brown and beige tones have a distinctly vintage feel, which gives your logo instant credibility. Use different shades to add depth and detail.
This combination of three muted colors brings to mind elevated, upscale, professional services. Together with the hard lines of the shapes, you’ve got a logo with a subtly serious tone.
In color theory, dark blue and light blue are considered their own distinct colors: dark blue symbolizes professionalism and trust, while light blue symbolizes friendliness and welcoming. Put them together, and you get a trustworthy logo that takes care of business, but still has time to make new friends.
The brown-and-gold or -yellow logo color combination can be considered the “antiquity” color scheme. With brown associated with durability and gold associated with historical luxury, this combination conjures up a feeling of a “golden age.”
Sometimes, a color palette’s job is to communicate that a brand is meant for a specific audience. Using colors tailored to that population can make the brand stand out from its competitors.
Bright, primary colors like these often signify that a brand is for kids. But that’s not always the case. They are also great color options that will make your logo stand out.
Soft pastels are typically a go-to color scheme for baby products. But they can be used for a more light-hearted, elegant and fun logo too.
Pair navy with yellow and white for a sporty, dynamic feel. The navy is a great base for brighter colors to pop and stand out.
Pair soft, warm colors with neutrals if you want a lighter color combination. Blush pink and sunny yellow goes well with grey for a playful yet elegant look.
Deep purple and bright pink resonate with certain people more than others, so if you find your audience attracted to them this could be a smart combination. Scant highlights of blue add a natural complement.
Once you’ve picked a color palette, the next choice to make is how to create a logo with it. Will one color be the logo’s primary focus while the others give it contrast in the background? Or will each color be represented equally, maybe by giving each letter in your brand’s name its own color or working them into a pattern where they all get equal playing time.
Gradients are an easy way to put a whole color palette on display. Gradients are smooth and serene. They easily fade from one color to the next, creating beautiful in-between shades as they move through a palette. Your gradient logo could be subtle, moving between two fairly close colors or it can be a rainbow, going from one bold color to another and meeting plenty others along the way.
When you use a geometric pattern in your logo, you get the opportunity to emphasize your brand persona further by choosing shapes that fit. We cover shape psychology in more detail in our brand identity guide, but here’s the quick version: round shapes like circles and ovals tend to feel warmer, friendlier and more forgiving while straight lines and sharp angles feel strong, efficient and serious.
Another way to use your color palette is to use it to color in your logo. Pretend you’re a kid with a coloring book and your palette is your crayon set. You’ve only got a couple of crayons to work with, so you gotta use them creatively to bring your logo to life.
Choosing logo color combinations is work, but it’s fun work. Play with colors and combinations to find the ideal palette and don’t be afraid to look for inspiration from other brands in your industry or to ask for feedback. One effective way to figure out which colors should be in your palette is to use our logo color generator to match your brand identity to a logo color scheme.
Want help choosing the perfect blend of colors to represent your brand? Our designer community’s got you! Work with a designer, and they’ll bring fresh ideas for logo color combinations to the table so you have a whole spread to choose from.
Want to learn more about logo design? Check out our article on how to design a logo.
This article was originally published in 2019. It has been updated with new examples and information.

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