Why do all companies only use, red, blue or black for their logo colors?

Go looky at any major company’s logo. What colors do you see? Any psychological reasoning behind this?

General Electric, largest company in the USA, has a purple logo – http://ge.com

maybe you should have begun your thread with “many” instead of “all” :slight_smile:

Red excites and makes people hungry, hence many restraunts. People see read -> get anxious.

Not sure about blue, but black reassures.

Blue is calming

(But Yellow Pages obviously uses just that Yellow ;))


Red actually stands for Fearful, Pioneering, Leadership and Strong among a few others, the colour of blood is red, meaning to alert! These companies who use this colour want to make an impact and i think it works

this would be a rough guide to meaning of colors:


You’re pretty off-base with that. They are common, but they certainly don’t hold a monopoly. Red is agressive, Blue is calm and traditional… other colors have other meanings, also used in logos. The Bank of New York? Sprint? The Bahamas? Cingular? Just off the top of my head.

No they don’t. They’ve just got it purple on their main page to match the scheme of the main page.

GE’s traditional colors of their logo are black & white, which is still used on some products, but you also see it in blue & white too.

Move anywhere off the main index page at ge.com and you’ll see their logo in blue.

Most high-end corporate logos are produced so they look good in any colour, hence a usual two tone colour scheme (addidas, nike, universal, apple).

A lot of large corporations use mutiple coloured logos that aren’t black, blue or red: British Petrolium, British Telecom, Shell, Apple (also falls into this category)

As I think’s already been mentioned, blue is supposedly calming, peaceful; red is striking and provocative; black on white stands out the clearest.

Most logos produced by professional design companies are developed in black and white first before any colour/ styling is added.


They’re out there, but generally fall into categories where other colors are more appropriate.

Blue is the most common favorite color according to Crayola. :stuck_out_tongue: (http://www.crayola.com/colorcensus/americas_favorites/index.cfm)

Red is bright, eye-catching and professional.

Purple and pink are often seen as girly and could lead to a misinterpretation of the company.

Green screams environment, grass, trees, nature, etc. I guess it says money, too, since a few banks use it.

Yellow is bright, hard to see on white, and a lot of people don’t like it.

Orange? It’s often used in combination with blue (see Firefox, MCI, Sitepoint, Cingular, etc.).

Off Topic:

Just wanted to point out that it isn’t British Petroleum anymore. It is just “BP” since 2002, or more officially, “BP p.l.c”. You may notice their newer tagline in some commercials “Beyond Petroleum” which I think is partly an effort to get people to move away from the idea that BP is just British Petroleum.

Yeah I agree with this. It isn’t that I don’t like yellow, but I don’t like too much yellow. I think DHL’s scheme of all yellow with some specks of red is horrific. But on the other hand, you cannot mistake a vehicle or worker of theirs for something else, and you can spot a DHL van or truck from a mile away. I think Sprint’s new scheme is pretty bad too. I like their new logo design better, but they’ve got way too much yellow going on.

Oh but let’s not forget Google. They’ve got all the primary colors + yellow in theirs. [I don’t mind the yellow here]

Though, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the Fortune 500 companies use some combination of red, blue, black [and white]. I checked the top 10 and all of them do, several using blue & red [& white].

edit just checked top 20, and all but a couple use some combo of those colors. Altria (#20) being the most rebellious of the pack.

It would also be interesting to see the common colors of corporations from different areas of the world. It is quite possible that culture plays an important role too.

I know it’s BP, I wrote British Petroleum for those who don’t live in the UK who may not be aware what BP stands for.

It doesn’t stand for “British Petroleum” either. That was my point.

It’s all about the Feng Shui, baby!

I understand the question because primary colors in general are always safe choices to use in logo designs, but your premise that “ALL companies use…” is so far off it ignores the obvious: some companies choose different colors specifically so that they stand out from the crowd. For example, these world leading brands - with not a red or blue among them:

[CENTER]Black And Decker

Stanley Tools



British Petroleum

The Home Depot

I think this is the answer you seek:

But seriously,

The question isn’t halfway valid. Like many have already said: “All companies” don’t use those colors. Msnbc, (one of the biggest corporations in the world) uses the entire rainbow in their peacock logo. But I think I see where you’re coming from and it relates to corporate identity trend…

Many companies, as well as corporations use cool tones because they are safe colors. Theey’re patriotic, casual, and welcoming.

As far as red goes, it stands out. That’s basic marketting that goes back for ages. And professionals should and do use red wisely. Use red incorrectly and run the risk of looking like a devil worshipper.

Personally, the only colors I use are the right one’s. KNOW - YOUR - MARKET.

Actually, the largest company in America is Citigroup Banking… but we’ll forgive you. :slight_smile:

I know I’m tired of seeing blue and orange: Not because of SitePoint, but because this the official colour scheme of many companies here, and became over-used.

Hey guys I found this thread on google by researching Colors (LOL) So I guess I should say “Hi”

Wanted to ad that I believe “Bloomberg” was the first Company to really push the “Orange” as the “New Black” Everything about Bloomberg is Orange Orange Orange.

My companies that I run are all blue and yellow type colors mostly for the same reasons listed above.

But like I said, I was researching colors as I am looking for something New and Different. maybe even a bit “Forceful”