To the uninitiated, picking a color for your brand might seem like an arbitrary decision – as simple as “does it look good?” But take a closer look, and you’ll find there’s a combination of science and art that goes into choosing a brand’s colors.
Canva looked at the logos for the Fortune 500 to explore the color choices made by leading brands. In particular, we looked at the colors used for their logos, since they form the ‘face’ of a brand. Blue dominates the list, with a whopping 43% of the Fortune 500 picking a shade of blue for their logo. Pink didn’t feature at all.
We then looked at how different industries use color, and found some interesting patterns. While blue is common for financial services companies, orange is commonly used by fast food or ‘active’ brands – an interesting, perhaps even ironic intersection of industries, both of which focus on young customers.
Red, on the other hand, inspires excitement – which can work for some brands, and not others; it’s commonly used by technology and automotive companies.
Then there are the brands whose color choice becomes so iconic that it becomes as recognizable as the logo itself. Think of Starbuck’s green or Facebook’s blue – chosen due to founder Mark Zuckerberg’s red-green color blindness.
If you’re picking a color for your own company’s logo, take a look at your industry landscape, and the colors your competitors use. For consumers confronted with advertising thousands of times a day, these visual cues can be an unconscious message about what they’re being sold, and by whom.