Dear Blue, Why is the sky blue? Why are you?

Dear Blue,
Why is the sky blue? Why are you?

— Curiously Cerulean

Dear Curious,

We’re no scientists, but we’ll sure give it a shot. Gasses and particles in Earth’s atmosphere scatter sunlight in all directions, and blue light is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. The result? A beautiful shade of blue.

Phew, okay. Now that the science lesson is over, let’s tackle the rest of your question. Why in the world do so many brands—including ours—choose blue as their color? We’re so glad you asked.

When companies, brands, or individuals want to convey something to a client, choosing the right combination of colors, along with designs and words, can make all the difference. Emotions play a big factor when it comes to decision-making, and oftentimes a brand’s colors are one of the first defining characteristics a customer will see.

The psychology of color plays a role in everything from energy to tone to influencing decisions.

Psychologically speaking, blue is a calming color.

It evokes feelings of stability, harmony, peace, and trust (you can just taste the relaxation in a bottle of Fiji water). But every color in the rainbow has different emotions tied to it, and companies use those psychological tricks to their advantage.

Photo credit: Brandfetch

It’s no coincidence many fast food restaurants use red and yellow in their logos—it helps evoke hunger. The same goes for social media, which has been notoriously blue since its early Myspace days to make users feel safe and promote a desire to communicate with others.

So think about your business’s end goal. What type of response are you looking for from the person you’re trying to market to?
Do you want them to be tickled pink, or green with envy? Intrigued, or relaxed? Trusting, or hungry?

And although a company’s choice of color may start with psychology, good branding can turn the shade into something much bigger than a combination of R, G, and B. Choosing the right color can help a brand’s look and feel just as much as logo design, font, and even the name.

In fact, let’s play a little word association game, shall we? We’ll say the name of a company or product, then you think of the first color that comes to mind. Ready?

• Coca-Cola
• Nickelodeon
• Snapchat
• Spotify
• Tiffany & Co.
• Taco Bell
• Barbie

Did we just create a rainbow in your mind? You bet we did, thanks to good branding. But despite how synonymous they now feel with the products, these iconic colors weren’t just chosen out of the blue (see what we did there?).

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Coca-Cola red signifies energy and triggers appetite. Spotify green feels energetic and motivating (bonus points for office playlists). And Barbie pink is fun, vibrant, and, well, pink.

And just like your grandmother, colors can also be complementary.

Adding accent colors to your branding can help pump up and round out the vibe you want to give off, differentiating you from all the single-colored brands out there.

Plus, it can strengthen brand recognition even further. For example, Blue Flamingo chose blue as our main color to demonstrate trust in our work and our communication. We often use yellow accent colors for cheerfulness, pink for passion, and orange for dynamic fun. Altogether, these colors show we’re bold, brave, and creative.

So, yes, the sky is blue because of light particles. However, we like to think the universe just wants everyone to calm down, communicate with one another, and enjoy the day.

Dreaming in color,

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Blue Flamingo is a creative messaging, communications, and PR firm known for helping organizations stand out and get noticed.

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