The Science of Color and Why Twitter is Blue

Though some people say believing that color affects human behaviour is the same thing as trusting in tarot cards, Color Psychology says otherwise. The report actually concludes that color is a determinant of human behavior. The report should give you some simple answers right? Unfortunately it’s more complicated than that. There are plenty of other factors as well such as: culture, religion, personal references etc. that actually determine human behavior (do you know for example that different cultures see colors differently?).

When it comes to marketing and branding, or business in general, at the end of the day it always comes back to sales. There are some important studies on the correlation of color to customer purchase/buying behaviour, but I’ll deal with them in a bit. First let me cover some of the studies about color psychology. In fact you can find one here. These studies find that the colors (of our brand) help build the positioning and perception of the product in the minds of consumers.

Please have a quick look at below infographic by The Logo Company. Those big brands didn’t ‘accidentally’ pick the color of their brands, right? In fact, and this is quite interesting, the big technology companies that are often led by engineers and not designers seem to consistently come back to using one color. Anyways, have a quick look at the infographic and then I’ll continue.

Yeah, technology companies mostly pick blue to represent them; like IBM, HP, Dell, and even Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr and also Twitter. Another thing to note is that brands connected to the food and drinks industry mostly use Red, Orange, Yellow and green.

Speaking of color does matters, let’s take the blue color spectrum for an example. Why do you think so many brands pick blue to represent them? Do you know that “Blue” is the most popular color in the world? All these factors (trustworthiness, strength, loyalty and dependability) are highly critical to brands that connected to technology.

Let’s bring blue to the next level, still in terms that color does matter. Yet there are plenty of shades of blue and some sell better than others. Google did a test on 41 shades of blue because they couldn’t decide between two blues. Being programmers they decided to analyze which shade of blue people worked the best (and they found it).

Of course if you use Google you already know which shade of blue has the highest click through rate. Though the testing on 41 shades of blue seems ridiculous, the increased click through rate earns the company an extra $200 million a year per annum.

Bottom-line, color emotion guide can also be used for your design (yup, not only for logos, but for the color of links as well). It won’t harm anyone to take advantage of this knowledge when coming up with a business marketing plan. Remember to test your designs. What works for you. Though you never know unless you try.

Make it a great day


2 responses to “The Science of Color and Why Twitter is Blue”

  1. Juan Manuel Colome Avatar
    Juan Manuel Colome

    great article

  2. Dale Brose Avatar
    Dale Brose

    Hello Nico,

    Great information. Something important for start-ups to consider and I will share it in my blog. I did find it rather ironic for Kmart for fall into the “Youthful, Exciting and Bold” category when the brand itself is almost the opposite of any of those. I guess it’s a case where public perception of the brand are in contrary to even the best intended branding efforts. Maybe Kmart was youthful, exciting and bold 30+ years ago. I still remember, as a child, the anticipation of the blue light special and the race around the store to find it.

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