Circle + Co.

Blue Colour Theory: Why it’s the most popular colour in branding

About a third of the world’s top brands use blue in their logos and branding. In industries where credibility and reliability matter most, blue is preferred for branding. But why? Let’s take a closer look at blue colour theory and the psychology behind this popular hue.

Blue colour theory in branding and marketing.

Blue is the colour of the sky and the ocean – two things that many people find calming and dependable (neither are going anywhere anytime soon). However, when it comes to branding and marketing, these emotions can work in your favour by making your brand feel more authoritative.

According to colour psychology, blue is associated with:

Blue is also a very likeable colour. In fact, research has found that blue is one of the most popular colours in the world.

Brands that use blue in their branding.

Some of the largest companies in the UK and world use blue in their branding, including: Unilver, PayPal, Barclays, GE, Boots, Dell, Facebook, American Express and LinkedIn to name a few.


Industries where blue works best for branding.

Because blue is associated with trustworthiness and dependability, it’s commonly used in industries where reliability and credibility are crucial, such as:

Many small businesses also use blue in their branding to gain the trust of their local customer base.

Ultimately, blue is a colour that can be used by any business in any industry. However, when dependability and credibility are more important than being lively or fun, blue is especially effective for branding.

Light or dark blue? What different shades mean for your branding.

Like any other colour, different shades of blue can evoke different feelings.

Light blue is often associated with peace and tranquillity.

Dark blue is linked to confidence and authority.

Using the wrong shade of blue can send the wrong message to your audience, so it’s important to keep these associations in mind when using this colour in branding. For example, a financial company may want to avoid light blue colours because it won’t drive home that message of authority, credibility and dependability that darker shades of blue evoke.

Blue can also be paired with other colours to deliver a more specific message. For example:

Red is energetic and bold, but it can also stimulate the appetite. When paired with blue, it can strengthen the authority and confidence message.

Orange is one of blue’s complementary colours. It’s associated with confidence, fun and joy. Together, orange and blue can make a brand feel more inviting, friendly and approachable.