# Contrast vs. balance in a logo

I'm not a designer. I'm making a new logo for an online community I'm a part of. I always liked bright colors, but not saturated enough to hurt the eyes. I'm usually using the HUSL palette to verify that the color is indeed human-friendly.

#1 is #008bd1 [200, 100, 82] and #d14700 [20, 100, 82]
#2 is #0053a0 [209, 100, 63] and #e61a27 [356, 89, 90]


After some thinking and fiddling around, I came up with #1. The colors were taken from the game our community is related to, but that doesn't matter. I could might as well pick them in Paletton. What matters is that I think they look good.

Now, my companion believes strongly that we should use popular colors instead, something off a Coca-Cola/Pepsi label. So I made #2 (Pepsi blue and Cola red). And he honestly thinks that it's better than #1.

Clearly, luminosity is more balanced in #1 (between blue and red), and it's somewhat in the middle of the scale, so the logo stands out equally well on both white and black. Now, #2 looks somewhat focused on "1", even on white background. Which looks odd to me.

Another thing to consider is that since #1 is brighter on average, it'll stand out better in big groups of logos. It'll also grab more attention at the top of a website or a document.

My opinion is based on intuition, though, and I'd like to know if there is some objective way to back it. Or is this all about our tastes, and I'm just imagining things?

This question might seem too specific, but I believe it's not. I just have no examples, other than my current task.

• could you please name the colors in both Logo in HSB. – hsawires Nov 24 '14 at 13:55
• Colors added (HSB in square brackets). Basically, both #1 colors have the same brightness and saturation, while #2's don't. – Olegs Jeremejevs Nov 24 '14 at 14:31
• I find it strange that you have those outlines, as a mere user they make it look that the colors are "bleeding" out, as if the logo was some kind of backlit plastic. – Kroltan Nov 25 '14 at 1:11
• You say you're not a designer... From these logos and you question I disagree! – Mike Chamberlain Nov 28 '14 at 22:52

While there are many principles of design that are very useful, design is about intuition (hence why some people are naturally 'better at it').

In this case I would agree with you that the first design is more balanced on both black or white backgrounds. In addition, the colours are more friendly on the eye. The strong colours in the second logo are reminiscent of limited colour palette systems (such as old 8 bit), which in turn gives a slightly dated appearance.

A counter argument is that the second has stronger colours, giving a 'bolder' appearance and making it more likely to stand out. However the different luminosity shifts the focus between the two characters.

As I said this is more of a personal design choice rather than a hard and fast rule, but I hope to have helped somewhat.

I left blue untouched.

Before altering the colors you need to calculate the luminosity. Then you can make colors brighter by using more luminosity and darker with less.

you should consider the printing result of your logo while your "branding" for someone. What I mean you should consider the CMYK, now the blue in both logos have a very little yellow in it 1.5% and 4.5% ... in the phase of the design you should do some approximation and I think in both blue you should eliminate yellow complexly. Also the red in both versions have a little black 3% and the second about .3% which is so little ration that we could eliminate too. let's see your logos with some adjustment and try when you apply any color to approximate it to a remarkable values without fractions. the logo and its color after all will be "Brand"

Now let's talk about the black background .. of course we don't think about the background unless we consider it in our pallet .. of course MacDonald will never put his yellow M over a yellow background and the red in the logo should be put in a considerable background. in your case the 100% Black of the back ground will not be so good for the vivid version while the vivid version is more memorable and eye catch.

• Thanks for the tips on printing! About the background, I care about both light and dark because the logo will be used in the game, and there are all kinds of surfaces in it, ranging from snow white to asphalt gray. And I don't want to complicate matters with an outline, if we can have a logo without one. – Olegs Jeremejevs Nov 24 '14 at 15:42
• Just a thought, since he mentions a game community chances are the logo will mostly be screen based and chances are it will not be printed, as such CMYK isn't so relevant. good point about the background however, definitely something to consider. – Paul Brown Nov 24 '14 at 15:42