Choosing the right logo color scheme for your brand can make a significant impact on memorability and awareness.
Whether you’re going through a rebrand or starting your business from scratch, here’s some inspiration for logo color combinations that you can use to create a memorable brand icon.
Understanding Color Theory and Meanings
Before we dive into brand logo color combinations, it’s important to understand general color theory.
There are a few ways to create an aesthetically pleasing color palette. A common way is by choosing complementary colors.
Complementary colors are pairs of colors that sit directly across each other on the color wheel.
When you put complementary colors next to each other in a design, they create a high degree of contrast (i.e., both colors stick out), and the result is usually quite harmonious.
Of course, complementary colors aren’t the only combination of colors that can make for a pleasing palette. There are also:
- Analogous colors — Colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel.
- Triadic colors — Three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.
- Split-complementary colors — These consist of a base color plus the two colors adjacent to the base color’s complement on the color wheel.
Here’s a diagram to help you understand these combinations better:
Now, truth be told, several other types of color combinations are based on the color wheel — these are just the most basic. By understanding how different colors are oriented on the color wheel, you can make more harmonious color choices.
Another element to consider when choosing a color combination for your brand’s logo is the different meanings of each color. For instance, red usually symbolizes passion and intensity, whereas green can represent growth or wealth.
99designs provides an excellent explainer video of the most popular colors and their meanings in the video below:
25 Logo Color Scheme Examples
If you’re looking for examples of different logo color combinations your brand can choose from, check out these examples from real-life companies. There are a few color combination categories that logos typically fall under, which include:
- Monochrome logos — Logos that have a single prominent color and may be supported with neutral accent colors like white or black.
- Two-color logos — Logos with two prominent colors.
- Multi-color logos — Logos with more than two colors.
1. Starbucks: Green
One of the most recognized logos worldwide, Starbucks has developed an iconic color scheme that demonstrates the power of green. “Starbucks Green” is a shade of green that’s hard to associate with any other company due to how well the coffee company has positioned itself and its logo.
The brand uses a “family of greens” in its full-color palette, which the company describes as “fresh and inviting.” Starbucks’ color palette is a perfect example of a monochromatic color scheme.
Instead of thinking of the green, dark green, and light green in Starbucks’ palette as separate colors, think of them as different flavors of the same color. Or, more accurately, various flavors of the same hue.
Here’s a quick explanation of hue and other related terms:
- Hue. What we usually mean when we talk about color. The hue is the overarching, discerning quality of a color (e.g., “green” or “blue”).
- Shade. What you get when you add black to a particular hue (e.g., dark green is a shade of green).
- Tint. What you get when you add white to a particular hue (e.g., light green is a tint of green).
- Tone. What you get when you add black and white — a.k.a. gray — to a particular hue (e.g., pastel green is a tone of green).
- Saturation. While “tone” is a popular painting term, in graphic design, you’ll be more likely to encounter the term “saturation” when dealing with adding gray to color. More specifically, saturation defines a range of colors, starting with gray (0% saturation) and ending with a pure, gray-less form of the color (100% saturation). Desaturated colors are softer and potentially duller than their vivid and highly saturated counterparts.
Shades of green create a fresh look and can communicate growth and prosperity and connect your brand with nature, making it a good brand color scheme for companies in the food and beverage or outdoor industries.
2. McDonald’s: Yellow
Recognized worldwide, McDonald’s has created one of the most iconic logos with its golden yellow arches.
In terms of color psychology, yellow, the prominent color in McDonald’s color palette, is associated with both energy and happiness — which is undoubtedly the feeling McDonald’s wants to invoke in its customers.
While yellow is the brand’s primary color, McDonald’s also uses accents of red in its branding. Red is the most emotionally charged color around, so it’s unsurprising that McDonald’s employs it in their logo: They want you to feel energized and excited.
3. Meta: Blue
Blue is one of the most common logo colors. In fact, one study of 500 company logos found that 37% were blue. Black was a close second at 31%. Blue is a reliable color that conveys positive feelings that many companies would likely want to express, such as trust, security, and intelligence.
Meta’s logo color scheme includes a blue gradient as the primary color for its logo symbol. It’s complemented by black with the text element of the logo.
4. Target: Red
Red is powerful, bold, and attention-grabbing, which makes it the perfect color to pair with Target’s symbol. The retailer uses red as the primary color in its logo, along with white accents throughout the rest of its branding.
5. Duolingo: Green
Language learning app Duolingo also has a primarily green logo and dubs its core color “Feather Green.” This shade of green is vibrant and playful, effectively communicating energy and growth.
6. Etsy: Orange
Orange is used to convey creativity, enthusiasm, playfulness, and energy. It is an excellent color to incorporate in your logo color scheme if your brand is in a creative industry or you have a fun product.
For example, orange perfectly represents what Etsy wants to put into the world as a global marketplace for handmade and artisan goods from creative individuals.
7. Stripe: Modern Purple
Purple can be seen as part of many logo color combinations for tech brands as it’s become a more modern version of the standard blue color that companies have leaned towards previously.
Stripe, for instance, uses a hue referred to as blurple, which is blue and purple combined. This tone of purple is a lighter spin on the traditional blue and helps position Stripe as a modern brand.
8. Urban Decay: Violet
As a logo color, purple can signify luxury and royalty. It’s a great color to choose if you want to position your brand as a luxury product like Urban Decay. The makeup brand uses a violet hue as its primary logo color.
Combined with the font style, Urban Decay’s logo looks elegant and expressive, a great way to reflect their products.
Two-Color Logo Combinations
9. FedEx: Purple and Orange
FedEx has a highly recognizable brand logo, and its contrasting logo color combination is a significant reason for that (another reason is the clever placement of the arrow). The shipping company’s brand colors are “FedEx Purple” and “FedEx Orange.”
The reason these two colors work well together is because they are complementary. Being on opposite sides of the color wheel means these two colors contrast and create a bold combination.
Regarding the psychology behind these two colors, orange evokes friendliness, vitality, and energy. Purple represents luxury and creativity. Combined, this color combination makes a powerful duo.
10. Wimbledon: Purple and Green
Purple and green are somewhat analogous on the color wheel. While they aren’t right next to each other, they aren’t complete opposites either. Their relation on the color wheel is connected through tones and saturation.
Wimbledon’s logo color scheme uses the official brand colors Wimbledon Green and Wimbledon Purple. These shades have deep tones which connect the two colors. As we mentioned above, purple signifies luxury.
When combined with the green hue, which can convey wealth, health, and sustainability, it makes sense why this color scheme is used to represent an elite tennis tournament.
11. Mailchimp: Yellow and Black
Yellow is a popular logo color choice among companies, and for good reason. The color creates happiness, energy, optimism, and youth, all positive feelings associated with a brand.
Mailchimp’s primary logo color is Cavendish Yellow. The email marketing company describes its overall branding as playful and expressive, and its brand color contributes to that concept by communicating brightness and energy — black balances out the yellow to bring in modern and professional accents.
12. Chase: Blue and Black
The color blue conveys trust, professionalism, and security, which makes it a color commonly used by financial institutions like Chase Bank. Chase uses both blue and black in its logo color scheme, and combined, these colors communicate a secure, trustworthy, powerful, and modern brand.
13. Bank of America: Red and blue
Red and blue are a classic color combination. The complementary colors are instantly recognizable and associated with tradition, professionalism, importance, and trust when used together. As a long-established financial institution, Bank of America conveys these attributes through its logo color combination. It also works well with its name and nods to the American flag.
14. UPS: Brown and Gold
Brown is an earthy and traditional color, while gold communicates success. By using this color combination, UPS is letting its customers know that it’s an established and successful brand that can be trusted to support shipping needs.
15. Baskin Robbins: Brown and Pink
Brown and pink are contrasting colors, which can make for an interesting color combination for a logo. As we mentioned above, brown can evoke an old-fashioned feeling. On the flip side, pink is playful, youthful, and modern.
Together, brown and pink can conjure images of desserts like ice cream or other sweet treats. Using these colors together as Baskin Robbins can communicate dual emotions for a balanced brand concept.
16. Dunkin: Orange and Pink
Pink and orange are analogous on the color wheel, which means they pair well as a color palette. Dunkin’s logo has evolved over the years, but orange remains its primary color, while pink is used more as a secondary one and sometimes as an accent.
As we mentioned above, pink evokes a feeling of playfulness and youth. Orange can also be used to communicate youthfulness and energy, which makes these the perfect colors to use for a lighthearted brand for a donut shop.
Multi-Color Logo Combinations
17. Google: Primary Colors
Another instantly recognizable logo, this blue, green, yellow, and red color palette, belongs to none other than Google. Even without having any previous education about color theory, there are some basic lessons we can take away from this palette on how different color models work.
For starters, you may have noticed that the red, blue, and yellow in Google’s palette are primary colors — colors you can mix to form all other colors.
While the green in Google’s color scheme is a secondary color in the CMYK system — cyan (blue-ish), magenta (reddish), yellow, and key (black) — it’s a primary color in the RGB system (red, green, blue).
Another interesting thing to note is four distinct hues and no root color binding them all together. So, why do Google’s colors still seem to mesh and look good next to each other? A key reason is that they all have similarly high saturation levels. Keep this in mind when you want to create logos with multiple colors.
18. Figma: Vibrant Color Palette
Figma, a collaborative design software, uses multiple vibrant colors in its brand logo. This logo and the color palette are often used against a black background, making the bold colors pop even more.
While these colors seemingly contrast one another — they’re shades of red, green, and purple — they all have the same tone and saturation, which makes them flow together seamlessly. This color palette works well for a company that operates in the creative design industry.
19. Quickbooks: Green, White, and Navy Blue
Quickbooks also uses green as its primary logo color. Green is commonly used to signify money and growth, so it makes sense for the financial platform to put green front and center. Quickbooks shares its full brand color scheme on its website, as shown below.
While green is the primary logo color, the rest of Quickbooks’ color palette includes complementary colors that are shades of blue, beige, and gray.
20. YouTube: Red, White, and Black
YouTube’s brand color scheme comprises red, white, and black. YouTube’s big red play button is easily recognizable thanks to the attention-grabbing color, which makes sense when you consider that red is a bold and impactful color in terms of color theory. It makes sense to use red to highlight the icon element of its logo.
21. Slack: Modern Primary Colors
Slack uses four core colors in its logo: red, yellow, blue, and green. These colors are shades of the standard primary colors used to express the brand’s personality.
Logo color combinations like this exemplify how you can take a standard set of primary colors and make them your own by adjusting the tone to match your style.
22. Oatly: Light Blue, White, and Black
Oatly’s use of blue, particularly in this lighter shade, creates a sense of calm, especially when paired with white. Blue and white are a classic color combination that can be used to signify a brand is cool, calm, and collected.
When you add black into the mix, it complements the lighter tones of blue and white, which helps create a more balanced look.
23. Wayfair: Purple, Yellow, and Green
As we mentioned above, purple in logos can have many meanings. It’s often used to convey luxury. It can also communicate creativity, expression, and uniqueness. For Wayfair’s logo color scheme, purple is complemented by yellow and green, and the purple is extended with lighter shades of the hue.
24. TikTok: Black, Red, and Turquoise
Black is a foundational logo color that’s easy to build off of with accent colors. Take TikTok’s brand color scheme, for example. The social media platform uses black as the base color and includes a pinkish shade of red and a light blue turquoise hue as accents.
25. Trivago: Blue, Orange, and Red
Trivago’s logo is a perfect example of a split-complementary color scheme. As a refresher, split-complementary color schemes consist of a base color plus the two colors adjacent to the base color’s complement on the color wheel.
In this case, blue is the base color, with orange and red being the adjacent complementary colors.
Your brand colors are just as important in your logo as they are throughout the rest of your brand assets.
With the right color scheme, you can create a recognizable logo that reflects your brand and helps people remember your company.