History of Color

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History of Color

Colors have varying meanings, histories, symbolism, and associations across cultures. In branding, colors combine color theory with business and conjure emotions to cultivate strong emotional connections with a brands' customers. Three of the more common colors used in branding are red, blue, and green.


  • Red is a primary color and one of the first colors to be used by artists-dating back to prehistory.
  • It has unique importance for cultures around the world and is mostly related to love in western culture and brings attention to itself.
  • The red color is considered to mean love, strength, determination, passion, desire, happiness, bravery, leadership and vigor.
  • The red color is linked with emotions of excitement, aggressiveness, warmth, comfort, and confidence.
  • Red color can easily be remembered and it is attractive.
  • In addition to the aforementioned emotions, in branding red is used to represent a brand that is energetic, youthful and loud.


  • Blue is linked with earth's natural features such as the sky and the sea.
  • Blue shades were used by master artists to create most of the famous works of art and continues to evolve as the latest shade was found less than ten years ago.
  • Blue is a "cool and calming color that shows creativity and intelligence". It symbolizes loyalty, strength, wisdom and trust.
  • Blue is associated with calmness, trustworthy, serenity and inspires security.
  • Blue results in reliability and loyalty, hence many companies use it in their brands.
  • Most banks use blue in their branding.
  • Some brands that use color blue are IBM, Dell, Facebook, and PayPal.


  • "In painting (substructure color system), green is not a primary color, but is created by mixing yellow and blue". It has been used since ancient times in form of natural earth and malachite used mainly by Egyptians.
  • The color green is associated with nature, life, growth, money, banking, finances, and ambition.
  • "Most businesses use the color green to represent their brands as young and playful. Green is a very down-to-earth color. It represents new beginnings or growth."
  • Green color reduces anxiety, depression, nervousness and brings a sense of hope, health and compassion.
  • The impact that color green has is that it is soothing, youthful and relaxing.
  • Green "is generally associated with nature, growth and money and may also represent health, freshness and peace."
  • Some brands that use color green include Acer, Starbucks, Android, BP, LandRover, and Lacoste.
  • "The color’s meaning varies according to its different shades. For example, dark green is associated with status and wealth, whereas light green represents serenity or something which is really soothing. The natural green color, which is perfectly balanced with cool and warm undertones, is a symbol of freshness, tranquility and peace."

Research strategy

The three colors were chosen as they appear as the most referenced colors used in branding across most types of articles, blogs, and marketing sources. In addition, these 3 colors are used in branding by some of the largest companies in the world.