color theory of blue logos

Understand the color theory of blue to make the right choice for your branding and marketing

If you are considering blue as a primary color for your brand, it’s a good idea to understand the color theory of blue and cultural references that are associated with it and the nuances between different shades of blue.

Color psychology: blue is associated with water

Blue is associated with water. The oceans look blue when viewed from outer space and blue is nearly always used to indicate water on maps. Although clean water is (hopefully) clear, blue is used on the packaging of the majority of bottled waters. Depending on the nature of your business, blue can bring a connection with water.

blue logos and association with water
Blue is the dominant brand color for bottled water.

Color psychology: blue means clean or pure

The idea of pureness is associated with both water and the sky (fresh air). The color theory of blue connects to the idea of cleanliness. Many brands use blue for a pure, almost medical feel. You can see this with brands like Nivea, Noxzema and Oral B.

color psychology of blue
Blue in logos and packaging is used to represent clean in branding

Color psychology: blue is very likable

In the U.S., blue is frequently cited as a favorite color. Even if it’s not your favorite color, very few people dislike blue, making it a safe and likable choice. Maybe that’s why social networks Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in all use blue in their logos.

blue logos suggest likability
Blue is used for the logos of three powerful social media companies.

Color psychology: blue is the color of business

Blue has become a very safe, predictable and somewhat conservative color choice for corporate brands. Blue has traditionally been associated with suits, ties and button-down shirts. IBM famously made their blue striped logo because of the association with pin striped suits. Nowadays, many large international corporations have blue logos. These include long-standing enterprises such as American Express, GE, Chase, and also younger B2B software platforms like SalesForce.

best blue logos
Many of the most successful brands in the world have blue logos

Color theory of blue: Understanding shades of blue for your branding

Not all blue looks the same, and these variations are important. Blue can be lighter or darker and can also move closer to green or to purple.

Is blue right for your brand?

Finding the right color for your brand depends on what associations you want to come to mind when people see your brand. Overall, blue brands come across as likable, trustworthy, business-focused and clean.

Blue is the most used color for the worlds most valuable brands, so blue has a huge track record for success. But, it can be difficult to stand out when you choose blue for your logo or branding because it is so popular. Take some time to review your competitors and partners and see how much blue is already in use in your market.