If your logo is a more complex than simple and you want to improve brand recognition, consider your use of colour. Whether we identify colour or shapes first when recognising a logo, using colour in branding that is clear and consistent helps us form stronger associations with brands. The fewer colours the better and a single colour is ideal. We can think back to colour theory in art class at school, where red is interpreted as bold and exciting, while blue shows trust and strength. However colour in branding doesn’t necessarily need to invoke an emotion, rather it can be used to enhance differentiation and association that helps consumers identify a logo. Cadbury, Coca Cola, Hertz and Starbucks apply colour for these reasons.
Cadbury, Coca Cola and Hertz use their colour for differentiation. Despite their position in a crowded marketplace, each brand uses colour to stand out on the shelf, in the fridge and at the Airport hire car stands. It even led Cadbury to trademark their shade of purple just as Tiffany & Co have done. Starbucks, similarly use their signature green to help them stand out in their industry. However Starbucks’ green also creates an association with their brand that helps us to better recognise their detailed style of logomark from a distance. The simpler your logo, the easier it is to remember, recognise at scale AND associate by colour.