What’s your favorite color? If you want to be on the winning side of this question, you choose blue.
Blue is, by far, America’s’ favorite color, according to at least two surveys. A survey of 1,974 people by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen that was published by Live Science website showed that blue is men and women’s favorite color. Forty-two percent of the men picked blue as their favorite color compared to 25 percent for second-place green. Women favored blue 29 percent to 27 percent for purple.
A survey by academic researcher Joe Hallock had more dramatic results although only 232 people participated. In this survey, blue was the favorite color of 42 percent of the mostly American respondents.
Green and purple tied for second at 14 percent. Like Cohen, Hallock found that men liked blue more than women. Fifty-seven percent of men chose blue compared to 14 percent who chose green. Among women, blue “won” the survey 35 to 23 percent over purple (curiously, no men chose purple).
Blue also received almost no votes in Hallock’s “least favorite color” survey and “won” the vote among all six age groups, winning five of the groups by overwhelming margins and edging out green among people 18 years old and younger.
The results of the Cohen and Hallock surveys correspond with previous surveys, according to a Forbes magazine article.
“When asked what their favorite color is, the most common answer around the world is blue,” the article reports. “This may be because when our ancestors used to see blue – like a clear blue sky or a watering hole – it was a good sign, according to (color psychology expert Sally) Augustin.”
Why people like blue
If you own a small business or want to start one and hasn’t read the first four articles of our series of articles on logos, you might be thinking ‘so people like blue. So what?’
In the first article of the series, though, we explained that social scientists have concluded that people’s behavior is often affected by colors and logos often affected prospective customers’ purchasing decisions. The first article also explained what kinds of companies should use red logos. The second through fourth articles offered similar advice to business owners on orange, yellow, and green logos.
Red, orange, yellow and green all have meanings to many people. Red, for example, means love to millions of Americans. So what is it about blue that makes it so popular?
“Blue is associated with the sky and the ocean, which both evoke feelings of tranquility and security,” contends the article “The Hidden Meanings Behind Famous Logo Colors.” “It has also been proven that people are the most productive when they work in blue rooms.”
As part of his color survey, Hallock asked people which color best represents inexpensive, reliability, trust, security, speed, fun, high quality, high technology, loneliness, fear, disease, and courage. Blue got the most votes for trust, security, and reliability and finished second in high quality and high technology, according to his “Color Associations” report.
Hallock’s findings and “The Hidden Meanings” analysis correspond with other analyses. The Color Emotion Guide in the Entrepreneur magazine article “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” correlates blue with trust, dependability, and strength. Another Entrepreneur article, “Your Brand’s True Colors,” reports that blue is perceived as dependable, fiscally responsible, secure, serene, and trustworthy.
“Blue is often associated with the coolness of the sea and sky,” reports the Fast Company magazine article “What Your Logo’s Color Says About Your Company.” “It has been shown to calm the senses and lower blood pressure. It may stimulate feelings of trust, security, order, and cleanliness.”
Blue logos galore
Blue is an extremely popular logo color. The logos in blue include:
- American Express
Companies with a blue logo are often trying to convey that they have characteristics that correspond with people’s perceptions of blue, including dependability and trustworthiness.
Boeing, Dell, Ford, General Electric (GE), General Motors (GM), and Intel are listed as dependable. Many of these companies have been around for years.
American Express, Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chase Bank, and Visa may use blue in their logos to help instill trust in these financial brands.
Because blue also conveys feelings of serenity and tranquility, dentists and dental products often use blue logos in an attempt to calm people’s nerves.
Is blue for you?
The popularity of blue logos doesn’t mean that a blue logo is right for your business.
For one thing, blue is a “cool” color. Many businesses should select warm colors like red, orange, and yellow because those colors spur people to make impulse buys while cool colors relax and comfort people. If your objective is establishing long-term relationships with customers that is more contingent on trust and high quality, a blue logo could be for you.
Your industry should dictate whether you have a blue logo. “This color is used by various businesses related to software, finance, the pharmaceutical industry, government, and banks,” notes the article “Meaning and Uses of Colors in Logo Design,” which says that blue represents authority, loyalty, power, professionalism, and trust.
If you’re in the financial services industry, you should consider a blue logo. Take a look at this article — “Top 10 Financial And Bank Logos.” Eight of the 10 bank logos that “do the best job of convincing people to entrust them with their financial future” have logos in blue. Prudential, Merrill Lynch, Liberty Mutual, Barclay’s, Aflac, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and Wachovia probably have data that shows their blue logos work.
A blue logo could work for you too if you’re in financial services.
“A blue logo shows that your brand is professional and logical, but not invasive,” reports the article “The Hidden Meanings Behind Famous Logo Colors.” “It can create a sense of security and trust in your company.”
> For more ideas, browse through our logo maker. Choose a design that fits your business, and customize it with whatever colors are best for your brand.