Corporate Eye

Two Colors Dominate Web Branding

social-web-logos-2In a recent article on, the two most popular colors for brands on the web were determined to be blue and red.  In fact, blue and red aren’t just in the lead — they dominate the web.  Take a look at the image showing just a handful of logos for major players in the world of social media to see for yourself!

Interestingly, the research done by also found that brands in similar categories use similar color schemes in their branded online destinations.  However, it appears that for most of these brands, color palettes were chosen in a far less technical manner than you might expect.

Most of the popular online destinations started small with no budgets for logo development.  Colors were chosen not based on research but rather on what leaders of these technology start-ups thought looked good.

Sometimes branding really is that simple, and sometimes that simple approach actually works.

The popularity of blue and red online isn’t really surprising if you look at color branding offline.  As points out, a study conducted a decade ago by Wired Magazine revealed that blue and red dominated brands and logos of Corporate America at the time.  This was years before brands like Twitter and foursquare became household words.

But what do blue and red actually mean?

Blue: Cool blue is perceived as trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure. Strongly associated with the sky and sea, blue is serene and universally well-liked. Blue is an especially popular color with financial institutions, as its message of stability inspires trust.

Red: Red activates your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This visceral response makes red aggressive, energetic, provocative and attention-grabbing. Count on red to evoke a passionate response, albeit not always a favorable one. For example, red can represent danger or indebtedness.

What do you think?  Are blue and red the best choices for online brands?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.