Why Brands Use Black Logos: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to branding, colors can have a powerful effect on how people interpret and understand your brand. Black is often associated with strength, discipline, seriousness, protection, and confidence, making it a popular choice for sports companies such as Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, and Puma. It's also a timeless color that can be easily used with a wide range of other colors depending on the product line being advertised, the season, or as trends change. On the brand, a black logo can look elegant yet powerful and is used for its clean, strong and unadorned look. Many luxury brands, especially in the fashion industry, use black in their logo and as the main color of their brand.

Black tuxedos and black dresses are worn at elegant events such as weddings or other more formal parties. By limiting their color palette to black and white, they make a strong statement of power and value. Either you'll remember them or not. Given the absence of colors, black can still be a powerful color to include in the brand. It's traditionally seen as a symbol of professionalism and seriousness.

However, it can also be used to elicit feelings of elegance, substance and power. Brands that choose black seek to make a powerful statement and convey a sense of authority and respectability. Let's take a look at some of the most iconic brands that use black in their logos: Adidas is made up of three parallel stripes that represent a mountain and indicate goals and objectives; Prada is made up of unique letter shapes that speak to the dynamic quality of the brand; Sony's logo is a simple signature that seeks to convey simplicity and strength; Louis Vuitton's logo represents a Japanese-inspired floral motif; Nike's logo depicts the wing of the Greek goddess of victory; Coach's logo consists of a horse and carriage design that signifies heritage and pride. According to a survey, it has been found that 48% of consumers are more likely to connect to a brand when they buy a product for the first time. A logo plays a very important role as it attracts attention and makes a very strong first impression on consumers. When used in packaging, black can create a powerful and impressive effect, even making the product look more elegant or luxurious. It can also be used to “stabilize” or “dim” more vibrant colors that risk being overwhelming.

More recently (201), Taco Bell seemed to decide on an even more subdued logo with a minimalist and sophisticated approach using only purple, white and black. The Pittsburgh Zoo's PPG & aquarium provides a striking example of the negative space used within the simple black and white logo. It takes a bit of design finesse to create that high-end look but black can help make your brand feel like a luxury brand. While we've highlighted some great examples of the most effective ways to use black in design, there are times when it's simply not appropriate. In stark contrast to the positive associations of black, the color can have an unwelcoming and threatening feel. In other cinematographic references, most of the “evil” characters or villains are portrayed in black clothes. There are specific industries that often use black to communicate the raw emotion that color often evokes but others may want to take care to avoid large doses of color altogether.

In particular, white space and typography should be treated very differently depending on the use of black. The high contrast provided by black allows certain elements of the page (such as backgrounds) to recede so that the user can focus on product photos without making the overall design look complicated or exaggerated. Choosing a brand's color can have a powerful effect. When used correctly, black can be an asset to the emotion your brand wants to convey. However, you should be careful when using color in your designs as it can have an unwelcoming or threatening feel if used incorrectly.