Why Are So Many Logos Blue?

Why Are So Many Logos Blue?

I was reading Techcrunch this morning about top-paid iPhone and iPad apps. Someone made this comment:

Conclusion: if your app doesn’t have a blue icon, there’s no chance you’ll be in the all time top-ten one day

Scrolling back up and looking at the photo of the apps, the comment is dead-on.

This got me thinking about business logos in general. A lot of Fortune 500 company logos really are blue. But why? According to the Wikipedia article on logo design:

Color is considered important to brand recognition, but it should not be an integral component to the logo design, which could conflict with its functionality. Some colors are formed/associated with certain emotions that the designer wants to convey. For instance loud primary colors, such as red, are meant to attract the attention of drivers on highways are appropriate for companies that require such attention. In the United States red, white, and blue are often used in logos for companies that want to project patriotic feelings. Green is often associated with the health and hygiene sector, and light blue or silver is often used to reflect diet foods. For other brands, more subdued tones and lower saturation can communicate reliability, quality, relaxation, or other traits.

So, companies in the United States use blue because they want to project feelings of patriotism? Hmm. According to an article on inspiredology.com:

The color blue is considered to be nonthreatening yet instill confidence. In addition, it’s a traditionally masculine color, so it’s no surprise that it also evokes ties to the corporate world. In advertising, blue is a good color choice for products with themes of clean liquids and airlines, according to Color Wheel Pro. And all those technologies that use blue in their logos? It’s no coincidence – blue is said to conjure thoughts of precision and intellect. Blue is also considered to symbolize justice, loyalty and perseverance – one of the reasons the American flag is believed to include that color. Take a look at these 15 blue-heavy logos and decide if the color makes you feel what the designer likely intended.

So blue is considered to be a masculine color, nonthreatening, and inspire confidence. But wait… the American flag is said to use blue because it symbolizes justice, loyalty, and perseverance? Interesting.

A guy at The Natural Sapphire Company says that blue is associated with trust and security. But he’s biased as he sells blue rocks!

Facebook’s logo and design is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind, so no conspiracy there.

Ahhh… finally a Quora thread with some answers! Responders state that:

  1. Humans have evolved to see red and green effectively, red and yellows can be signals of danger. Stop lights? Therefore, we notice blue more often out of the corner of our eye. I’m not sure I buy this response. If we can see red/greens so effectively and red/yellows are signals of dangers, you would think that colors that we notice should be signals of danger. Personally, I don’t think I notice blue more than the other colors.
  2. Others use blue, so thats why so many companies use blue. This answer is a bit unsatisfying, but could be true.
  3. Blue is a majority of people’s favorite color. Backed with sources: 1 2 3 4 But why is blue so many people’s favorite color?
  4. Psychologically it’s calming and inoffensive. But what makes it calming and inoffensive?
  5. Blue hue offers more diversity changes.

So many different answers and reasons. Why doesn’t anyone mention that we’re surrounded by blue from nature? Whether it’s the ocean or the blue sky? Maybe it invokes feelings of comfort because we see it so much.

What are your thoughts? What color is your logo and why?

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