Following the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Skype, many startups have adopted the colour blue in their branding—why blue?
The colour blue is the most universally favoured colour of all and therefore the safest to use. Blue has many positive associations—in North-American and European cultures the colour blue it’s said to create a feeling of trust, security, and authority. In some Middle-Eastern countries, it is considered to embody healing and evil repellence. In Eastern cultures, it symbolises immortality.
Blue is a colour often found in nature—think of blue sky or deep blue water. It is for this reason perhaps that it is also considered to be calming and soothing. Physiologically, it is known to reduce tension and fear. In fact, it slows the pulse rate, and it’s said to improve productivity, and some even say it reduces appetite.
For all these reasons blue has always been widely used in the corporate world, where many businesses such as accountancy firms, insurance companies, banks and other financial companies adopted it because of its association with trust and reliability.
However, not all colour choices seem to depend upon scientific or psychologic behaviour. According to The New Yorker, the real reason Facebook is blue is that Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. This means that blue is the colour he can see the best.
In fact, he says:
Blue is the richest color for me; I can see all of blue.Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
In a nutshell
Colour psychology and the science behind how it influences our buying choices are fascinating topics. They can be useful reference tools and a great starting point for choosing a colour in branding. However, it is important to remember that colours can carry different meanings depending on the culture and geographic location. It’s not set in stone—sometimes differentiating can result to be more beneficial than conforming to trends.
One notable example is Twitch.
In 2011, the video platform made a splash with their all-purple branding at a time when their competitors used bold greens and reds. The color became synonymous with their brand identity. The company was so successful it sold to Amazon for a cool $1 billion in 2014.Leo Widrich, Co-founder of Buffer