Feeling Blue: The Psychology Behind the World’s Most Popular Colour

It’s calm blue skies and endless oceans. It’s traditional and trustworthy. In many countries, it’s linked to national identity. In business, blue has shown to help make us feel more productive and encourage our customers to buy.

In 2015, blue was named as the world's favourite colour according to the results of a YouGov survey covering 10 countries across four continents. More recently, a competition organised by Hull 2017 City of Culture and paper merchant GF Smith involving 30,000 people across 100 countries gave the option to select from an infinite colour palette.

Interestingly, while blue won out again in this poll too, given a broader palette to choose from, the most popular shade among participants was a green-blue aqua colour.

The Colour for Business is Blue


For businesses, using blue in logos and branding can provide an important visual cue to communicate corporate messages to customers. For financial institutions, this may be connotations of trust, strength and stability. Other large firms, including major tech brands, include it to reflect productivity and innovation.

Research by Color Communications Inc highlights the importance of this first contact – it found that it takes just 90 seconds for someone to form an opinion of a brand. Within that time, it estimates that between 62% and 90% of decisions are influenced by colour alone. Take colour away from a logo and it becomes completely unrecognisable.

In academic studies, blue light has also been shown to trigger an important brain function that helps to facilitate alertness and enhance attention. Blue light was also the focus of an experiment between car manufacturer Honda and neuroscience specialist Experience Insight and highlighted a significant impact on customer behaviour.

In the experiment reported by Marketing Week, sales transactions in a normal showroom were compared with those in a specially created ‘blue pod’. The calming blue walls made the customer more relaxed with the sales person, resulting in the profitability of sales negotiated in the pod being around 35% higher than deals struck in the normal showroom environment.


Helping businesses come ALIVE WITH COLOUR

Enabled by digital LED technology, OKI’s High Definition Colour printers ensure logos and images are sharp, crisp and glossy, while OKI’s software checks alignment, registration and colour balance, delivering exactly the right colour, every time.  Print on a wide range of media from A6 business cards to 1.2m banners as well as marketing brochures and flyers, all in-house on demand at the touch of a button.

Whether your logo is tranquil sapphire blue, your branding is chilli red or your product packaging is pumpkin orange, when it comes to the colours that represent, mood, shade and precision really matter. Get it right first and every time on print and you and your customers won’t be left feeling the wrong kind of blue.

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