The restaurant industry is one of the most competitive segments out there. As a restaurant owner, it can be quite challenging to get people to notice your restaurant.
Great ambiance, quality food, timely service, and other specialties you offer, will go unrecognized if you do not get customers to visit your restaurant. To make them choose your restaurant from the many options they have, it takes strong branding strategies. And your logo design lies at the crux of it all.
There are several aspects of a logo design that determine whether it communicates the right message to your guests. A few of them are typography, type of logo, and finally, the color of the logo.
According to a study by Website Planet, color influences 90% of the first impressions of a logo. That’s why brands spend a lot of time picking colors for their logos. So, let’s talk about using color psychology and picking the best colors for your restaurant logo. But before that, let’s take a closer look at why a logo is really that important for a restaurant.
Image source: Kimp
Is the logo that big of a deal for a restaurant?
The short answer, yes. Let’s explain this with an example.
You set out on a road trip and you are hungry and driving in unfamiliar places. If you catch sight of something as familiar as the McDonald’s logo on a billboard, wouldn’t you be happy? It feels relieving to dine at a familiar restaurant in unknown territory. That particular outlet might be totally new to you but the brand isn’t!
That’s the power of branding for a restaurant. And that’s the power of a good logo.
Here are some reasons why good logo design plays a critical role in restaurant marketing:
- Statistics show that 90% of restaurant guests read reviews and look for information online before they visit a restaurant. Your logo might be the first thing they notice about your restaurant when they read about it. You definitely want it to be a credible representation of your restaurant.
- In the fast-paced digital landscape, first impressions are critical. A good logo helps a restaurant make a great first impression.
- A good logo builds credibility. And credibility is an important factor for restaurants to flourish.
- The quality of your logo design indirectly leads to people forming opinions about the quality of services you offer even before they dine at your restaurant.
In short, when you are trying to grab the attention of new customers and retain the trust of your old customers a good logo design is important. And since color is one of the strongest traits of a logo design, let’s talk about the different colors to use and why they are popular in restaurant logos.
The most popular colors for a restaurant logo
Yellow is a happy color. It also has a vibrant and energetic vibe that draws people in. The logo of McDonald’s is a very popular yellow logo in the restaurant and fast food industry.
So, yellow might be a great choice for your restaurant logo if you want to target a young audience. You can also use it if the cheerful ambiance of your restaurant is what sets it apart.
One other major benefit is the visibility of yellow. Yellow in your signage, ads, and billboards will make them easily visible in all types of lighting. With a bright yellow logo, people will notice your restaurant easily even in a crowded food court with plenty of other stores.
Red is an exciting color. The sense of urgency that the color red kindles makes it a great choice for drive-through and fast-food restaurants. The logo of KFC, which most people are familiar with, is the perfect example of a red logo.
You are most likely to find red color used along with yellow in restaurant logos. This combination is known to induce hunger. No wonder you feel hungry the moment you spot a McDonald’s far away!
If you own a fast food joint or if you want people to look at your restaurant as the perfect late-night takeaway place, red and yellow would be a great combination for your logo.
Green symbolizes freshness and is also a calming color. Most people think of ‘organic’ ingredients or an ‘eco-friendly’ approach when they spot green in a restaurant logo. The Starbucks logo is one of the most popular green logos.
The green in the Starbucks logo could represent many things like the brand’s focus on ethically sourcing its coffee beans and how it supports local farmers. The calming effect of green also depicts the relaxing atmosphere at the Starbucks outlets.
So, green makes a great choice for your restaurant logo if you have a vegan menu. Or if you want to showcase the freshness of ingredients you use or the calm ambiance you have. It also makes a great color for restaurants that embrace healthy food culture.
Brown is an earthy color that reminds people of coffee or chocolate. So, you will find brown being used mostly in coffee shop logos. Pastry outlets and dining joints serving the best desserts in town can also use brown to indicate the chocolate dishes they serve. The logos of Hershey’s and M&Ms are some of the most popular food logos in brown.
Image source: CSP Daily News
Image source: Logos World
That said, you will also find brown used in restaurant logos and logos of fast food chains that have a connection with the color. Take A&W, for instance. Famous for their iconic root beer and burgers, they’ve made brown a very prominent part of their logo.
Image Source: A&W Franchising
Blue is commonly perceived as a professional color and also happens to be one of the most commonly used colors in business logos. But it is used sparingly in restaurant logos because it makes people feel content or curbs hunger. And that’s something a restaurant owner would not want. So, if you do choose to use blue, use it to accent other primary logo colors. Blue here can be used to indicate the reliability of the restaurant.
The use of blue in the logo of Domino’s Pizza is a great example. The hint of blue in this logo indicates the trust that the brand has built over the years.
You can use a touch of blue in your restaurant logo if you want to showcase it as a heritage restaurant or one that has earned the trust of its guests. It also makes a relevant color if your restaurant specializes in seafood. The use of sea blue in the symbols comes in handy if you create a logo design that depicts the items on your menu.
6. Black and white
The combination of black and white or the colors used separately embody minimalism. There is also a touch of sophistication in using these colors. Both these colors are not very common as the core colors in restaurant logos. Eleven Madison Park, a popular fine dining restaurant in New York, has an elegant black and white logo.
Image source: Eleven Madison Park
As you can see, the above logo perfectly reflects the refined fine dining experience the restaurant offers. The leaves symbolize the trees of Madison Park and also the brand’s idea of going “back to nature”.
Black and white logos can look very bland if designed poorly or used in a bad design. If you do choose to use these colors in your restaurant logo, make sure that you add interesting visual elements or hints of other colors to make your logo look chic.
1. What aspects should you consider when you choose a restaurant logo color?
There are factors to weigh in your decision process. The colors you choose for your logo can depend on:
- The cuisine you offer, for example - green for a vegan menu, brown for chocolate/coffee.
- The service, e.g. black, gold, and other regal colors look good in the logo of a fine-dining restaurant.
Matching your logo color to your ambiance and menu color will help strengthen your branding efforts. So, choose your color palette accordingly. This also gives you another reason to go with a combination of colors rather than a monochromatic logo.
2. How do you make a restaurant logo timeless?
Start by identifying the unique personality of your restaurant and then come up with a logo design concept that captures this idea. The design should communicate with your guests, draw the crowd in and build their trust.
If you are working with a graphic designer to get your restaurant logo designed, explain to the designer what makes your restaurant special. Use visual metaphors or symbols and typography to depict the essence of this concept. With great color, good typography, and visual elements are also very important in a restaurant logo.
3. What’s a cost-effective way to design a restaurant logo?
There are countless options for getting a logo designed and that can make the process overwhelming. Especially since you are likely strapped for time, and funds, with all of the challenges of the pandemic.
That said, the option that probably best covers your bases is an unlimited design subscription. You pay a flat fee to work with professional designers, and you can request as many iterations, mockups and revisions as you need. What’s more, once your logo is finalized you can even get your marketing designs done with your design subscription.