Colours on the web

The web landscape is dominated by a large number of blue brands… but red occupies a large amount of space as well. What’s driving this?

The image below is a summary of the results of an analysis earlier this year by Colourlovers, showing the dominance of red and blue colour schemes in the top 100 web-sites, as ranked by Google.

You might think that carefully organized branding research and market tests were done to choose the perfect colours to make us spend our money, but a lot of the brands that have grown to be global web powerhouses started as small web startups.

And while large corporate giants with branding departments spend quite a lot on market research, user testing, branding, etc, lots of the sites depicted above got started with brands created by the founders themselves with little or no research into the impact their colour choices would have.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was once asked why he chose blue for his site design… “I’m colour blind, it’s the only colour I can see.” …and now 500 million people around the world stare at a mostly blue website for hours each week.

While the initial reasoning for the colours chosen may be trivial, the impact that these dominant players now have in the web world will surely influence the smaller startups that want to share in the positive colour associations created by their bigger siblings.

Once the rocketship of a web startup takes flight, there are a number of junior internet astronauts hoping to emulate their success… and being inspired by their brands.

So, blue and red will probably continue to dominate – but we can have hope for the GoWalla’s, DailyBooth’s and other more adventurous brands out there.

Would a corporate with another colour still profit as well?

Colour is an important part of any brand, but so is the actual name of a company. Is it a great brand that builds a great company, or the other way around? Would Google google just as well with another name? I suspect so.

With a name like ours (Colours) and a logo depicting a red tomato that has turned blue, perhaps we have the best of both worlds.

Almost 10 years ago, Wired Magazine looked at the colours of corporate America. Blue and red dominated, even back then – as this flickr link shows.



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