Blue Is the Warmest Color

The Psychology Behind the Most Popular Color of Brands

Ajay Sharma
Nov 30, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash

The sky is blue. The oceans are blue. Just look around, and it appears. Blue is omnipresent, a primary color.

Also blue is the most dominant color that our eyes recognise in whole nature. We adapt our minds to perceive blue better than other colors.

The advertising industry asserts that one-third of the population in the world, regardless of their gender, social conditions or political choices, likes blue. It exhibits in their liking of brands.

Why do people like blue color? Why do the world’s successful brands have so much faith in blue?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg once spoke about his rationale behind choosing blue as the color of his brand. In an interview with The New Yorker in 2010, he said that ‘’blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue.’’ He further told them he was red-green color blind.

Design Buddy’s logo research data shows that 33% of the world’s most recognised brands use a shade of blue.

Big corporations in their print and digital branding, marketing and advertising depend on blue.

Blue is present in big tech firms’ branding; Windows, Intel, IBM, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Nokia, PayPal, Siemens, Philips and AT&T. Powerful social media giants keep hues of blue in their logos; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Foursquare and Yahoo. Businesses related to banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, SAP, Pfizer, Nivea, BMW, Ford, GE, and Visa all brand their presence in blue. Most of the aircraft and airline companies have either single color blue logos or a tone of blue. FMCG brands are not blue-lovers. Still, few of them like Nestle, P&G, Parry’s, Domino’s, PepsiCo, Unilever etc. wants to be in the league of progressive, even edgy according to the demands of the customers.

One thing is common in these brands. They communicate trust, authority, ability, power, security, loyalty and professionalism. And they want to extend these values to their customers day by day.

Blue also invokes a calm, aquatic, crisp tone- “coolness” along with reliance. That suits established brands and enterprises producing future-oriented technologies.

In most of these cases, the blue means bold.

There have been attempts to categorise the emotions corresponding to the colors by the advertisers. Reading the psychology of color has been one of the most controversial aspects of persuasion and marketing.

During research on the folk belief in brand logos in 2006, researchers found that people compare the positioning of the brand to the color for appropriation.

According to the analysis, the colors consciously affect our purchasing decisions. Advertisers know this.

We perceive blue with coolness, harmony, order, and peace.

Photo by Krystian Tambur on Unsplash

Color psychologists say that blue calms the senses and lowers our blood pressure. It may stimulate feelings of trust, security, and cleanliness. This color evokes trust, responsibility, honesty, loyalty, and confidence.

Perception is that bright blue comes for health, healing, and softness. Dark blue represents seriousness, stability, knowledge, and power.

You will find a variety of opinions in a discussion thread at Quora around the qualities blue conveys. One user says that ‘humans have evolved to see red and green effectively. Red and yellows can be signals of danger, whereas blue is calming and inoffensive.’’

According to a software program Color Wheel Pro, blue is ‘‘a masculine color; According to studies, males accept it. Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.’’

Interestingly, it also warns companies against using blue in food and cooking products, ‘‘because blue suppresses appetite.’’

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel for Unsplash

Blue is again a prominent color of denim. Jude Stewart, in her work ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color, has told mysteries surrounding colors.

She clarifies that the reason behind taking blue for denim was the chemical properties of the dye. Indigo dye when warmed, penetrate cloth fibres, binds to the cloth’s threads. With each washing, some of it removes away these dye particles, taking bits of the threads with them.

Science fiction movies portray a complete blue picture.

Designers and authors of ‘Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons From Science Fiction’ Chris Noessel and Nathan Shedroff have studied the science fiction films and catalogued the interface of every movie from 1968 through 2011. Both determined an average color per year. Their recommendations are interesting. They believe designers can learn from these movies.

Noessel also points out that there’s something mystical, unnatural, and inhuman about color.

Future technologies or prototypes use blue as their reference color.

And everywhere on the internet, you will find blue. This color is web positive. Hyperlinks in a webpage are blue since the days Tim Berners Lee co-founded the internet.

Business, finance, banking, social media and technology-related websites exploit branding in blue.

Modern-day screens hold blue as their template. Smartphones, computers, and iPads emit blue light.

You glance up at your smartphone screen, and you will notice a good number of icons (apps) twinkling in blue. Why? App architects know that this color will catch users’ attention fast.

Not all are in favour of blue.

Photo by Noah Grossenbacher on Unsplash

It is amusing that sometimes blue suggests a lack of emotions. English Blue is the color of depression (Nero) in Italian. Though only darker shades are avoidable here, not the lighter versions.

Feeling blue is a familiar term that conveys experiencing low. Historical linguistic references also agree to that.

A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) defines blue as being confounded, terrified, or disappointed. Later, ‘Dictionary of Americanisms’ (1848) categorised blue color as gloomy, severe; extreme and ultra. This dictionary also classifies blues as feeling low spirited, i.e., blue devils.

Italian researcher Gill Philip corroborated this meaning in her research. ‘‘The proximity of dark blue to black on the color scale and its historical grouping with dark colors may have contributed to blue’s links to depression and to fear.’’

Her research analysed the usage of phrases related to blue in the English and Italian languages. She drew together expressions adopted in English and Italian- feel blue, once in a blue moon, out of the blue, true blue (faithful individual), clear blue water, between the devil and the deep blue sea, scream blue and blue with cold.

So, how close do you connect to the blue? With gloomy emotions or relaxed and dependable?

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Ajay Sharma

Written by

Media professional | Interested in history, psychology, genealogy | atajaynet@gmail.com

Predict

Predict

where the future is written

Ajay Sharma

Written by

Media professional | Interested in history, psychology, genealogy | atajaynet@gmail.com

Predict

Predict

where the future is written

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