conference Thursday 24th April 2014 | The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London


Blue is the new corporate grey09/21/2012 | Follow Neil | Connect with Neil


I’m on a mission, to get rid of blue in marketing. It is a safe colour that doesn’t cause offence but as a result it is an easy choice for companies. My firm (Team) has blue in its logo, which it has had long before I joined, in fact, looking back at all the companies I’ve worked for (there have been a few – occasionally good, often very bad), blue has been used as a primary or secondary colour in all but one company (which went for orange and purple – I think the first marketing manager was colour blind).

I just think it is bland, especially when it is used in solid blocks or as part of the corporate brand. But to companies and those serving enterprises it is just a good safe option. Look at LinkedIn. Yes, there are adverts that use splashes of colour and the individual photos add some colour, but overwhelmingly it is blue that I see.

Now the plus side is that those embracing other colours are finding it very easy to stand out. To promote the conference we are running some advertising on LinkedIn, which lets you create up to 15 different adverts using different images and descriptions. LinkedIn then uses all of them and works out which one is the most effective at grabbing attention. It then kindly displays that one all the time.

Our creative agency (The District) created a few different versions of our event logo and the orange one (as seen on the left) is the most successful one so far, by a considerable margin. So the widespread use of blue means that our little orange circle stands out.

I think we need to be braver when it comes to colour. I wonder if this comes down to the fact that lots of decisions get made by committee. As a result you naturally move towards the safe middle ground, rather than the exciting outer extremities.

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