In only four short days those of us in the United States of America will be celebrating the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Along with all the history, reverence, and jubilation that accompanies such a commemoration, anyone who takes a simple trip to the grocery store will also find themselves surrounded by the familiar and patriotic hues of red, white, and blue. From the bank to the post office to the local shopping center, those three colors will be on full display.
While it is expected that businesses large and small will smatter their storefronts and window displays with the colors of United States’ federal banner, what about the rest of the year? What might those colors convey on non-holidays both solo and together?
As it turns out, the same colors that stir feelings of fidelity to country during federal holidays fare well the rest of the year as well.
Last September we posted a blog on The Colors of the Web. In that article, which analyzed where brands from the top 100 sites in the world fell on the color spectrum, the color red ran a close second to none other than blue.
Red, like blue, is a powerful color, easily identifiable and evocative. As a primary color, it is direct, easy to recognize, and maintains the integrity of the hue across many mediums. Culturally, red elicits strong emotions: in the West it is often the color associated with passion, love, warmth, vitality, and danger; in the East, red is often the color of prosperity and joy.
For businesses, red is a strong choice and one used by corporations large and small. Some well known brands that use red to great effect include:
Ah, blue. The king of business brand colors, its only competition is the aforementioned red. What’s the reasoning?
Theories are plentiful. One is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; after all, as many of the most successful businesses in the world utilize blue, why wouldn’t other businesses do their best to emulate the success attached to it?
Another reason may be that blue simply is the most popular color, crossing both gender lines and national borders.
In addition, blue is a calming color representing truth, moderation, sincerity, inspiration, and an open coolness.
Our clients at Rise use blue to great effect, many of them small businesses.
While it is rare that a business will use white as their primary branding color, it does happen from time to time. White isn’t actually a color but the presence of all colors, the complete energy of light. When used as a color, white represents purity, wholeness, openness, and truth.
Some successful brands that utilize white or something close to it include:
All Together Now: Red, White & Blue!
There are many businesses who prove it doesn’t need to be the fourth of July to pull off patriotic color combinations. If using one of the top two colors of the web is effective, it seems that combining them can be equally impressive.
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