ASAP Brand Test: Color and Logo Design

Color can evoke emotional responses in people that are powerful and long-lasting. That’s why color and logo design is one of the most important elements for you to consider. Memory recall is also greatly affected by color.

Suffice it to say, it’s best to think long and hard about the color of your company logo before you design it.

Think of the colors used in the logos of big companies and popular brands. The McDonald’s arches are yellow (or golden). Coca-Cola is red. These colors are forever tied to the brands they represent. These are great examples of food and beverage logos. Your logo  design should do the same for your brand over time.

In the fourth step of my ASAP Brand Test which helps businesses quickly and effectively develop brands, you’re asked what color represents your brand as shown below:

A = Advantage (Content of your Message)
S = Style (Style of your Message)
A = Adjective (Verbal Cue to your Message.)
P = PMS Color (Visual Cue to your Message.)

What Color Does Your Brand Own?

Color is a powerful thing. It sends a direct message to our brains and stimulates neurological reactions that we aren’t even aware of. A company logo that is filled with a wide spectrum of colors sends multiple, often conflicting, messages to consumers’ brains. It’s also expensive to reproduce multi-color logos in print. Therefore, the best logos designs use one dominant color.

Consistency is critical to brand success, so to ensure your logo is always printed and displayed in the correct color, choose a PMS color from the Pantone Matching System ( You can provide the specific PMS color to printers or web designers, so they reproduce it correctly, and you can even find the correct color codes to use your selected PMS color in web design with a simple Google search if you ever need them.

The PMS color that you choose to be your primary brand and logo color should become the primary color you use everywhere to represent your business. From trade show shirts to envelopes and letterhead and everything in between, that color should be inextricably tied to your brand.

The Basics of Color Psychology

The colors you choose to represent your business should appropriately fit your line of business and industry. Keep in mind, colors might mean different things in different regions, cultures and industries. Even different shades or tints of a single color can mean different things. However, color psychology studies suggest that there are several universal color meanings. Some of those meanings are listed below:

Red: Dark red is often connected to passion or aggression. Bright orange-red is often used to communicate danger. On the other end of the red spectrum, hot pinks evoke feelings of energy and excitement while dusty pinks are considered to be sentimental, and light pinks are viewed as romantic.

Green: Light greens are thought to be calming, and lime green is usually tied to freshness or health. Deeper greens are connected to wealth and prestige.

Purple: For a feeling of nostalgia and youthfulness, lavender is the perfect color choice. Darker shades of purple are associated with mystery and sophistication.

Remember, no two people are affected exactly the same by a single color, so its up to you to choose a PMS color for your logo that is most appropriate and effective in appealing to your target audience’s relevant emotions. Choose your color strategically, so you and your target audience are happy with it for years to come.

Author Note: John Williams is Founder and President of, the web’s most popular do-it-yourself logo design website.

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