Color Blue Meaning and Symbolism In Branding And Logo Design

If you are planning to use blue as the main color of your brand and logo for business, you have to understand its color theory, cultural references associated with it, and the nuances between its different shades.

Blue is both a primary and cool color. It can therefore form any other color when used together with the other two primary colors, which are yellow and red.

We will provide you with its psychological meaning and its cultural symbolism.

Blue Infinity Logo

The History of Blue

Color did not exist until recently. The ancient Greeks did not have a word for this color and they combined it with other colors, such as purple and red. Homer did not call the see blue. Instead, he named it “wine-dark.”

The color was seen as a luxury in art because the blue pigment was hard to find and there were no materials to make the dye. Actually, people started including color in their art after Egyptians found lapis lazuli in mines. Lapis lazuli was a semi-precious stone and therefore very expensive. Later, people started combining metals to make the color but that ended after they discovered the method of extracting dyes from plant leaves.

Due to the value of the color blue, people used it to depict important people in the pre-Renaissance and Renaissance eras. Virgin Mary was depicted wearing this color as a sign of respect and to differentiate her from the other figures. Furthermore, people associated color with royalty because the France monarchy wore it regularly. Royalties from other countries also adopted the fashion trend and it became part of the French royal coat of arms in the 12th century and the paintings of the mythological King Arthur started showing him in blue clothes.

The Discovery of plant-based dyes made the color available to the common people. Working-class people started wearing luxurious colors. Johann Jacob Diesbach discovered Prussian blue in 1709 when experimenting with iron and potassium sulfide, therefore, giving artists a cheaper alternative to ultramarine, which was very expensive. Today, this color stands as the most popular.

The Psychological Meaning of the Color Blue

Like other colors, blue has psychological effects. In nature, the color exists as the rich dark blue of water pools and the pale blue color of the daytime sky. This might be the reason people describe it as calm and peaceful. In color psychology:

  • Blue is the favorite color of most people and most men prefer it. Only a few people dislike it, something that makes it a perfect branding color.
  • People associate blue with water. All water bodies look blue when watched from outer space and therefore this color is used to represent water on maps. Also, most bottled water brands use this color to decorate their packaging.
  • Many people view the color as non-threatening, conservative, and traditional.
  • Most people from all parts of the world associate the sky (fresh air) and water with pureness. Therefore the theory of the color blue connects to cleanliness. Most brands, particularly pharmaceutical companies, use blue to represent purity.
  • Blue triggers feelings of serenity and calmness. This might be the reason people describe it as tranquil, peaceful, orderly, and secure.
  • Color is a sign of reliability and stability. Brands that want to appear reliable and stable use color in their marketing and advertising.
  • Blue also triggers feelings of aloofness and sadness.
  • Blue is known to reduce the body temperature and the pulse rate

People have been using the color in office decoration because studies have shown that individuals who work in blue-painted rooms are more productive than those who work in rooms painted with other colors. Unfortunately, the color is the least appetizing. It is, for this reason, some weight-loss coaches advise their clients to their food off blue plates.

blue logo for real estate

The Symbolism of the Color Blue in Different Cultures

The symbolism of the color blue varies from one culture to the other.

  • In Chinese culture, people associate this color with the four seasons, the directions, and the five primary elements. They associate it with east, wood, and spring.
  • In Iran, people consider blue, green, and blue-green sacred colors and they use them to symbolize paradise.
  • In Latin America, the color symbolizes hope and this might be the reason most Catholics wear it.
  • Some Greeks believe that the color wards off evil eyes and they, therefore, wear blue charm necklaces or bracelets to protect themselves.
  • In India, the drawings of the god Krishna are in blue.
  •  In Northern America, the color symbolizes serenity and trust but it can also represent loneliness and depression.
  • The Aztecs used it to symbolize sacrifice while the Mexicans associated it with mourning.
  • In Ukraine, this color symbolizes healing.
  • In the Bible, blue is an important color because it symbolizes heaven. It also represents the Ten Commandments, the law, revelation, grace, and the Holy Spirit. Lighter blue shades represent Virgin Mary.

Positive and Negative Traits of the Color Blue

Positive traits of the color blue include trust, loyalty, tact, integrity, perseverance, conservatism, responsibility and reliability, caring and concern, perseverance and conservatism, idealism and orderliness, devotion, authority, peace, contemplation, and calm.

The negative traits of the color include being deceitful, rigid, spiteful, sad, depressive, passive, superstitious, self-righteous, emotionally unstable, old-fashioned, too conservative, weak and predictable, aloof, frigid, and unforgiving. Other negative traits are untrustworthy, unfaithful, and manipulation.


Making Color Blue Work for You

Before using blue color in your branding, you have to decide on the shades to use. While the shades might look similar, they have different names and meanings. Light blue represents tranquility, healing, health, softness, and understanding. Dark blue on the other hand represents power, knowledge, integrity, and professionalism.

company logo with light blue colors


The process of choosing colors for your brand should start by deciding on what you would want people to associate with the brand. Generally, blue brands are seen as business-focused, trustworthy, likable, and clean. A large number of valuable brands use this color and it can therefore be hard to stand out in your target market after using it as the main color of your brand. So, review your peers and competitors to know how many are using it.

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