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This is the Data Soapbox logo icon, rendered in blue.

Blue (da ba dee da ba di)

If you listened to pop music in the late 90’s, you surely remember this little gem by Eiffel 65. (<– Click this link now and you’ll have a great soundtrack for reading the rest of this post!)

I was doing branding work for several clients recently and realized that, like Data Soapbox, blue is one of their main brand colors.

And then I looked at my whole slate of clients and discovered that more than three quarters of them had blue branding.

And then I looked at some of my favorite books related to research communication:

This is a photo of four books with blue covers: presentation zen by garrr reynolds, storytelling with data by cole nussbaumer knaflic, resonate by nancy duarte, and presenting data effectively by stephanie evergreen.

So, apparently, there’s something going on with blue and organizations that want to communicate about data.

If you do a Google image search for “logo colors,” you’ll see that many designers have created infographics that organize well-known logos by color; one of my favorites was created by The Logo Company. The blue logos in this chart represent, among other industries, science and technology (Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, NASA, IBM), communication (AT&T, Southern Bell, Twitter, Facebook), and health (Oral-B, Pfizer).* Organizations that collect data (behavioral health data, in the case of many Data Soapbox clients) and want to communicate their findings are a nice conceptual fit with that crew.

I reviewed some online resources about the psychology of color. Here are the characteristics that are said to be associated with the color blue:

  • Dependability (honesty, integrity, loyalty, responsibility, security, trust)
  • Competence (intelligence, wisdom)
  • Order (logic, stability)
  • Power (ambition, authority, confidence, control, purpose, strength, success)
  • Awareness (openness, perspective)
  • Serenity (calm, clean, dignity, nature, patience, peace, water)
  • Faith (devotion, religion)

In other words, blue is subconsciously telling the world that you can trust us to do a great job communicating complex information without freaking out about it. :)

Are you blue, too? Or are you more of a bold red, cheerful yellow, or earthy green? Let us know in the comments!

Does your research project or lab need branding? Data Soapbox can help you create something great in any color. Contact us here!

*However, my far-and-away favorite blue brand in the chart is Oreo. Notable blue logos not included in the chart include the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, the World Health Organization, and almost every professional, major league sports franchise in New York, including my beloved Yankees.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Current company and previous company both have blue and are both in the data world which requires trust.

    Previous companies though were purple and red and yellow. I’ve tasted the rainbow.

    When I look at our logo brag slide of clients, there is so much blue. You’d stand out more with a green!

    1. That’s a good point…there’s some value in standing out from the crowd! Maybe in that case, you pick a color that’s aligned with your unique selling proposition (e.g., a data company that’s focused on environmental data [green] or has a really perky brand personality [yellow]), rather than the general color for your brand category.

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