Is it ok from a brand perspective to have different color schemes for your logo for different purposes?

For example, your app icon would be blue and black and your logo on printed shirts would be red and black.


Building a brand takes more than a logo. With that said, consistency is key for obtaining a competitive advantage that speaks to your market for longer. I would recommend against using different styles and colors for various purposes and instead maybe avoid using in lieu of the logo use maybe instead borders or patterns that use your logo's or brand colors. The idea of a logo is to engrave a mission or product into potential customers when they simply see the brand or logo... Once a logo is pushed and promoted you can strengthen that image by enforcing the brands colors through different materials or media :)

Answered 6 years ago

I'd avoid this at all costs.

You want your company to be as rememberable as possible so consistency and repetition is key. People recognize andr remember patterns so use this to your advantage. You need to keep a consistent visual language across all touch points so people remember you and associate a look and feel to your company and your product.

I'd pick one and stick with it - and if you aren't sure which one to select, do some split testing to check performance.

I hope this helps,


Answered 6 years ago

I suppose the Yes/No answer would have to be a "No", however, there are some considerations.

The purpose of a logo is to build recognition by repetition. Therefore, diluting the logo with variations (be they in shape or in color) are likely to decrease its effectiveness since the consumer would take a little longer to reach the point of instant recognition.

Having said that, if you feel strongly about having logo variations (perhaps to represent different products that you're offering?), try keeping a core of the logo unchanged and build variations only on certain elements. The most notable example that I can think of is FedEx: see

You mentioned printed shirts so that brought up the topic of branded merchandise. If your brand will be present on a variety of merchandise, keep in mind that many colors won't look good against certain backgrounds and textures. If you must have / offer merchandise that comes in both very light and very dark backgrounds, it'd be a good idea to let your designer know that before creating and settling for a color scheme.

Answered 6 years ago

Absolutely! In fact you should design your logo with this in mind. There's so many poorly marks that don't hold up these days.

It's not just about how it looks on the internet! People still do use Xerox machines these days believe it or not. At that point it's black and white. I know, ancient technology! =)

Seriously though. Think about the following cases:
- Business cards (small print)
- Footers on letterhead
- Billboards (massive size)
- Photocopies (and copies of copies)
- Home printers (bleeding ink, low resolution, bad paper)
- Like you said, t-shirts and other cloth or vinyl or plastic or ceramic...

If your mark holds up to all that...You need not worry so much about how it looks on screen.

Just don't go wild with the color. I mean some brands do, right? You see logos in all sorts of color. It's the mark that matters. However, I'd suggest having an overall color scheme you stick to. You should have a brand style guide and it should be used and given to all designers for all purposes from web to print.

Answered 6 years ago

As with so many things involved in creating a memorable brand, the answer is "it depends". In this case, it really comes down to establishing whether or not there is a fundamental element of your brand position that requires or suggests multiple color schemes. Otilia's example , FedEx, is a good one. The core logo was reimagined in different colors to support the company's diversification of services. In other words, it became a cohesive system, with clear rules for when to use each version. This was, of course, relatively easy for FedEx to pull off, as their visual identity was well established. I've seen this done well, many times for other companies, often represent different divisions, or even different customer experiences.

Your example, on the other hand seems to suggest that you want to introduce variation primarily for aesthetic reasons. Unless your logo is very well known, I'd think will, as others have said, hurt the recognition and recall of your mark. Good luck!

Answered 6 years ago

BRANDING IS NO A BLACK AND WHITE FIELD. iT IS ART AND SCIENCE. You need experience, as I have after more than 30 years serving small to large brands

The idea of a fixed color for a logo is valid for medium or large size corporations. A start up may be smart and client focused.
The logo color is an instrument to talk to the customer heart. As long as it is consistent and planned in advance, a logo may have a color palette (an expessive one) and use it according to diferent audience. There is exempoles of Fortune 500s logo that follows such policy, for exemple: Apple, Citi, Coca Cola, Yahoo, Googlr.

This is what I call the Camaleon Law. In America, use red and blue, in Brasil, yellow and green, and so on.

I will be very happy to give you insight about how to build an effective brand identity.

Marco Rezende

Answered 6 years ago

I would only say “yes” if you are Google but my guess is that you are not. If it is a corporate logo and you are just starting to build brand recognition, then you will want to make sure your identity stays intact and establish guidelines around how it is used (brand standards style guide).

If you are wanting sub brand products/services under the parent brand, you can use elements within your logo and use different colors to identify the sub brands but make sure they all look like part of the family.

A logo is only your visual identity and does not create your “brand.” Your brand is created by your clients/customers.

Here is a short article we have published on logo and identities.

Answered 6 years ago

There is a yes and no answer here. If your brand is going to "stay in place" and offer a single service, then NO. If your company services different locations or different products, that can be good enough reason to have a different color schemes, then YES. However the logo itself (lettering & symbol) should not change.

Just remember that some professionals with a design/graphic background may be too opiniated on this (with good reason, for most), but don't waste too much time around the logotype if you have other more pressing problems (marketing, sales, like some of my consulting clients).

Answered 6 years ago

This is absolutely fine as long as you create and incorporate it into your branding guide and keep it consistent.

You should define theses alternate logos, and then creates rules around how they are used and when it's appropriate.

But above all, what is the REASON you want to use different colors? If it's "just because" then no, you shouldn't.

Keep in mind, the branding of your logo is about being recognized and creating an emotional connection with your customers that makes them feel they trust your product and your message.

Changing your logo constantly means your customers no longer recognize you as easily.

Answered 6 years ago

In a world where people's attention span is about 5s, having different color schemes would not only contribute to reduce your target's attention span but also create confusion that would annihilate whatever your target remembers about your brand.

Consumers typically accepts different color schemes when having B&W vs color. See the following examples of good color branding.

Answered 6 years ago

This is a great question and you have received a lot of advice from really wise people here. :)

I'll come straight to answering your question according to my perspective.

A brand includes a large package of things like your services, your products, your customer relations and all that you do.

A logo is basically created to represent all that in a single icon. It pictorially reminds your customers what you stand about.

When your brand expands and grows into multiple verticals, a single logo sometimes becomes less effective to convey all those messages strongly.

To create a different colored logo, or even similar looking logo with added traits, is a good approach and should be used without fear when you want to target customers that know your overall brand but are interacting with different verticals and services.

To understand more, you may want to read:

All the best. If you happen to have more questions, please feel free to drop a message. :)

Answered 6 years ago

IMO, people get a "disconnect" when the colors are all different.

What's the reason for the different colors?

Answered 6 years ago

So, I think the thrust of the answers are: "No"... Unless you have a good reason to do so.

There seems to be no real need. All the reasons given by other contributors I would pretty much agree with are (possible) valid reasons - different countries, different product groups, different channels etc

But you're asking.... App Icon... T-Shirt Icon...

So, brutally, I wouldn't waste another minute of your precious brain power on it unless you have a tangible reason that is CUSTOMER focused and makes it a very valid reason to do so. Otherwise you are just distracting yourself from your core business activity with meaningless design (art) activities and neglecting your business.

Answered 4 years ago

If the logo is distinct enough-- I say break the rules. This kind of codification could show flexibility, confidence if done right. I suggest keeping it in the color family-- all cool --- or all warm colors. Maybe charcoal vs black?

Answered 3 years ago

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