As with picking paint colour for our walls, the possibilities are limitless – and you don’t have to look very far to see the influence the colour ‘Blue’ has in our everyday lives. But why are blues so popular when it comes to branding; surely we’re not that predictable, are we?
The ultimate influencer
Just look up at the sky (OK, pick a clear summer day), at an expanse of open water; it’s one of natures canvas-colours. We tend to feel good about Blue, associating positive things such as ‘a beautiful summer day’ and placing trust towards it. It can feel calming and comforting, and feels inherently engaging, as if we’re pre-programmed to enjoy the affect blue has on us.
So, what's going on with colour usage on the web?
After wondering what the web’s major players were up to, designer Paul Herbert began to investigate the trends in colour useage across the web’s top 10 websites (as stated by Alexa.com). The results make for interesting viewing. For example, blue shades are used almost twice as often as reds and yellows. Green colour usage features less than 1/3 as much as blue.
“Blue is the most popular color period, not just in web design.
I think blue is the most common color used in design of all types.
Why? I think because it’s not controversial or polarizing.”
What's the problem with using blue?
Nothing, per se. Although in order for your brand identity to feel unique, there has to be something unique about it. If you share a blue colour palette with your competitors, you may not be differentiating yourself enough to create that unique ID in your market place. Just look at 3 of the most recognised social network logos as an example. If they weren’t supported by unique and distinguishable icons, most people would have real trouble telling them apart.
Should I use blues in my brand identity?
According to research by Spaceoasis® (experts in creating learning & working environments) blue is a calming colour, helpful for contemplation and focus. “Colour is complex and there are no easy ways of getting it right”, states Spaceoasis® MD Simon Hick in relation to learning environments, and the same is true of developing colourways for your brand. The key is to consider colour usage carefully – give it some time and attention (not treating it as an afterthought to the development of your brand) and the result will be something you’ll be proud of. It’s not that you shouldn’t use blue, more that you should know why you are.