Have you chosen the colours you will use in your logo and brand design? Today, I’m talking about the impact of black, and the messages it sends to all those who come in contact with your brand.

Any professional brand design expert will tell you: there’s more to brand design and logo design than choosing your favourite colours. Every colour of the rainbow (and each subsequent shade) sends an emotionally charged message that is powerful and that transcends words. Black, though technically the absence of colour, is no exception. Let’s talk about black, so you can determine if it’s right for your brand design.

Is Black Right for Your Brand Design?

When determining if a colour is right for your branding message, it can be helpful to honestly assess your own reactions to the colour. They are most likely the same or similar to the reactions others will feel when looking at it.

Black absorbs light, causing a recessive, yet dominant, feel.

Black denotes sophistication, heavy substance, power, glamour, maturity, masculinity, and no-fuss efficiency. It works wells when used to convey messages to mature audiences who demand a reliable and streamlined product or service.

Hotel Chocolat, Gucci, Prada, Dior, BMW, and Dolce & Gabbana have used black with great effectiveness. Does black contribute to your perception of these brands? Does it help to bolster their proprietors’ messages of sophistication and strength? At How to Build a Brand, we think it does, and we often recommend the use of black in brand design when a new brand (or one that’s rebranding) wants to convey the above-mentioned values.


Conversely, black will not work if you’re trying to convey messages of youth, light-heartedness, or fun. When attempting to lift your audience from a dark place, black is not advisable. These are the reasons why you won’t see black used in branding for baby products, children’s toys, or funeral parlours.

Before learning how to build a brand and before choosing colours to use in your branding strategy and logo, it is crucial that you take the time to explore your establishment’s core values. Colour can communicate these with great efficiency, but only if you choose the right ones.

To determine if black is right for your brand design, refer to your brand’s core values. If those values are related to power, sophistication, strength, or reliability, black might be the right choice. Of course, black won’t be the only colour you use in your logo and brand design, and the other colour or colours you use with it must also convey your brand’s core values. Stay tuned for future posts about the power of colour in brand design and how to choose the colours that best convey your brand’s meaning. Or, subscribe to Brand Brain Magazine or contact me, the brand design expert at How to Build a Brand.

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