It’s no surprise that when working with logo design, choosing a color is a crucial consideration. But just how important is it? As it turns out, the choice of color is crucial for memorable logo design.
In 2013, Brazilian graphic designer Paula Rupulo embarked on an experiment. She simply swapped the color schemes of competing brand logos, looking to determine just how important these colors are to brand identity. McDonalds became green while Subway got red, Pepsi and Coke swapped blue for red and vice versa. No scientific study was done to determine user reactions; but the comments on her blog post spoke volumes.
Color Dominates Decisions
Not surprisingly, the reigning emotion was confusion. That’s because once a brand establishes its identity, we closely associate specific colors with that brand. In fact, a recent study found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product). That bears repeating: when we first see a brand’s graphic personality, we find the color so important that in many cases, we form our opinion about the product based on no more than its color scheme.
That emphasis on color may be surprising, but it’s predictable once we take into consideration another statistic: According to research, consumers make a sub-conscious decision about whether or not to buy a product within 90 seconds of initially seeing that product. Those 90 seconds don’t leave much time for research, or even cognitive evaluation of a product. Instead, first impressions are what matters most, and the single most eye-catching design item on a product is often the brand logo.
It Starts Early
The first impression thus leads to an emphasis on logo color, and this emphasis is evident even in the youngest members of our society. An Amsterdam study found that children as young as 2 years old can match logos with the correct colors, even without word marks included. By age 8, 100 percent of children were able to accomplish the same feat. That’s how closely color is related to brand and logo recognition.
Not surprisingly, brand identity, and logo design specifically place much more emphasis on color than many people think. Pepsi spent $1 million for its new logo in 2008, emphasizing the red over the previously dominant blue. BBC went black and white in 1997 for a cost of no less than $1.8 million.
The word mark, size, and layout all factor into a successful brand logo. But considering these facts, it should be no surprise that color is the single most crucial consideration in logo design. Taking the time to do color research will set you on the right track to producing a memorable logo design.