What Black & White Logos Mean For Your Business

Last Updated on September 29th, 2020

Finding the right logo is essential for every organization, whether you’re creating a brand from scratch or giving a new look to an organization.

Graphics designers carefully choose the font, color, and frames of their logo to showcase their offerings and identity

The right colors can make your design stand out and catch your viewers’ attention. The most important feature of your design is contrast. It makes the logo pop.

Many successful companies use vivid colors in their logos to add contrast and gain prominence. For example, Coca Cola uses white text over a red background to give their logo a unique look.

Logo of Coca Cola

Logo of Coca Cola

McDonald’s is one of the most recognized logos in the world and they used the combination of red and yellow. These color combinations have proven to be attractive and catchy.

While many combinations can render that effect, what better way to add contrast than using two common colors that are poles apart? Black and white are the colors that can make your design simple, yet catchy.

Linda Leader, the graphic designer, and creator of the FedEx logo said “I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great Design is born of those two things.” Black and white logos are prime examples of simple and clear design.

According to Paul Rand, a famous graphic designer, “Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated”.

I must agree with Paul Rand here. When it comes to monochrome or black and white logo designs, it looks so simple yet there’s so much thought that goes into it.

In short, some of the greatest artists and designers agree that design has to be simple and clear.

A binary color theme is considered more versatile and is a classic way to make your logo distinct.

Why Black and White Logo

Black and white logos

Although a collection of different shades in a logo can look great, sometimes a black and white theme can do a better job of getting the message across. These colors have power in their simplicity, and they work for almost every platform.

It could be printed on a T-shirt. It could be plastered on a wall, featured in a billboard, or even printed on the window of a car.

It can be posted online, used in an Instagram profile, or as a Facebook display. It can be printed on an athlete’s gear for the promotion of brands. Whenever you need a logo that can fit in every environment, you should opt for a binary color logo.

Printing in other colors can be expensive but binary colors, such as black and white, are cost-effective. Black and white inks are easily available when compared to other colors.

Apart from that, a binary themed logo is likely to consume less power in comparison to the colored ones.

Famous Black and White Logos

Do you ever wonder why many famous companies are adopting binary color themes for their logos?

They are not only embracing simplicity but also offering a logo that goes with every background and theme.

Who doesn’t like Nike’s swoosh? It is everywhere from clothing to wrist bands. And what’s the color Nike chose for it?

Nike’s Logo

Nike’s Logo

Black, with lots of white space around it. Let’s not forget that Nike is one of the brands that doesn’t need to have its name on the logo to be recognized.

Just like Nike, Apple has achieved this stage of brand recognition too.

Apple Logo

Apple Logo

Customers can see the shape of an apple and they immediately recognize the brand. And guess what’s the color theme Apple’s logo has? Black and White.

Black and white logos often represent minimalism. That’s why they appear to be so simple, yet graceful.

Minimalism In Black And White Logos

Up till now, we have discussed the pros of the binary colored logos and have looked into some brilliant examples as well. But let’s have a look at a different approach to designing a logo.

A minimalistic black and white logo looks clean and simple instead of flashy, complex, and cluttered. In a lot of cases, minimalist design can please the viewers’ eyes. It mostly depends on the type of audience the brand aims to target.

For example, sharp, colorful logos can be a great attraction to children or people in an informal setting, but when your target is a formal, prestigious, or corporate segment of people, or if you’re trying to give off that impression, the black and white theme is the go-to.

Uber has done a great job of creating a minimalistic and simple logo. They have achieved this by using binary colors such as white or light gray background with black text and it proved to be a great example of minimalism.

Uber Logo

Uber Logo

In the picture above, you can see that Uber’s minimalistic logotype of binary colors where they only used a font to differentiate themselves from others.

Louis Vuitton is a high-end clothing brand that also embraces a minimalistic logo design. Their logo is widely recognized, and it targets a rich class of people.

Louis Vuitton Logo

Louis Vuitton Logo

You can see that this brand has also used the same minimalistic approach. The placement of their initials in the right way creates its distinct logo. Notice how these letters are merged to form one object to make it easier for your mind to register the logo.

Important for you: How To Protect Your Brand From Generic Logos?

Geometric Binary Logos

A unique quality of black and white symbols is that they can pretty much take on any shape, and still look great. A few of the most effective approaches include geometric plans (sharp points, faceted impacts, and key dividing). With this style, the symbol isn’t just a fair shape with a few letters—it’s craftsmanship.

Roman Films logo

Roman Films logo

In the Roman Films logo, there are abstract shapes in the logo. The black and white theme makes it look simple, clear, and unique, but the more you look at it, the more shapes you discover.

This incites the mind and the intellectual stimulation only excites the audience with each new revelation. It also helps spark word of mouth among fandoms as they go on to crack its codes and reveal more messages.

Luxe Binary Color Logos

A monochromatic symbol ought not to be boring. In truth, it can be the ideal approach for a brand that is looking to give off a modern vibe at all times.

Black and white never go out of date. It’s been there since the beginning of the design and seems to be here to last.

Think of extravagant names like boutique lodgings, high-end retailers, and goal realtors. Brands like these flourish on a statement-making black and white symbol, maybe with a hint of metallic trim.

JWF group logo

JWF group logo

JWF group logo is designed by Mihai Frankfurt. As you can see, this logo represents luxury. The geometric design just shows how much thought and effort has been put into it. It represents quality.

Inspired by Logo

Inspired by Logo

Inspired by’ the logo was designed by Pecas. This logo represents luxury. It targets those looking for high-end products and services.

Given the fact that their target audience is from London, Paris, and Mumbai, it only makes sense to go for Black and White since the cultural differences or the variation in color psychology won’t be at play while flashing this logo at them.

Playful Binary Color Logos

Monochrome branding is regularly utilized by brands that need to appear proficient and dependable.

But black and white logos don’t have to be all formal and serious. With a little bit of wit and softening, you can give it a fun, perky vibe while keeping it basic, clear, and simple.

Octopia logo

Octopia logo

The Octopia logo seems harmless, friendly, and simple. It does not have fancy shapes and textures, yet it looks playful. A good logo designer knows how to give off the best vibe using the most basic of themes.

The Bald Badger Logo

The Bald Badger Logo

Just like Octopia, The Bald Badger logo identifies its brand as a bold and friendly. The clever placement of text, and the right depiction of the badger’s pose, all come together to represent the ultimate mood. The hat is the cherry on top.

What If We Need Colors in Our Logos?

You’re possibly at a point where you’re truly considering discarding color altogether to go with black and white.

It sounds like a great idea but there’s something you’ve got to keep in mind. Your logo, despite being black and white, needs to have room for color.

This helps your brand in case of an event where you need a different color to either stand out or match with the occasion’s theme.

One of the best qualities of a black and white symbol is its flexibility. The Nike swoosh is a great example of a neutral logo that enters the world of color every now and then.

Nike Colorful Logo

Nike Colorful Logo

When required, you can alter the color of a black and white logo to suit your needs. For example, you can see many colored variations of Nike’s logo for different events and trends.

Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog

Another example of this is Naughty Dog, a famous video game studio that changed colors to express solidarity with one of the world’s most hated community.

Interesting for you: How Design Empowers Brand Storytelling?

Key Takeaways

In this article, we have discussed why design in binary colors is simple and minimalistic. We have had a look into real-life examples such as Apple Inc, Nike, JVF group, etc. We talked about why companies opt for black and white logo design.

There is plenty of room to get creative

Even though your color palette consists of only 2 colors, there is plenty of space to maneuver in terms of creativity. Some common approaches to differentiate your brand in a black and white theme are: 

  • Minimalistic binary colored themes
  • Geometric binary color logo designs
  • Luxe binary color logos
  • Playful binary color logos

In these approaches, we did the analysis and determined what kind of attributes makes them different from others.

We have heard from famous designers and CEOs and all of them believe that design should be accessible, simple, and minimalistic.

Monochrome means malleable

A binary color logo provides the facility to be diverse in every situation, for example whenever they want to print their logo on an athlete’s clothes, they can opt for monochrome colors and when they need to create awareness of any event, they can easily color their logos to match the brand theme.

Today, most of the organizations also create a monochrome logo to create diversity in the logo and this logo can be used anywhere.  For example, the England Cricket team has already created their monochrome logo and they are printed on the cricketer’s shirts and trousers. 

Simplicity means savings

Black and white logos were once the most popular logo style when printed products were still the primary advertising medium. The monochrome color was used to save ink and thus cut down on expenses for the company. Newspapers and televisions were also black and white, so this made choosing a black and white logo design quite easy.

While it may not seem like much printing costs can add up quickly. For many mid to large scale organizations, reduction in color could make a difference to the tune of thousands, potentially even tens of thousands of dollars.

Cut the clutter to create a lasting impression

Scaling back on color could be a key choice that can lead your symbol to a tall standard of acknowledgment, versatility, and modernity. Presently, it is the time to make a dark and white symbol that hoists your brand. See no advance than our worldwide community of originators.

To keep you motivated, I would like to share a quotation about design.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have– Maya Angelou, Author, a civil rights activist. 

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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