Blue: The colour of a new evolution in the green revolution

It was an awakening moment for me (in the midst of a presentation),when my client involved in the business of reclaim produces, voiced his strong choice to have more of blue as opposed to green for the brand color palette. Given their green credentials, we presented a combination of blue and green to marry their professional and standardized approach (blue) and their minimum waste policy, which indicates responsible solutions (green). Our clients were of the opinion that green as ingrained in their value system, need not be represented overtly though the colour in their brand palette. Whereas blue, should be more abundant, since it invokes more than just sustainability.

So is Blue the new way to integrate green ideals?

Let us start by assessing both the colors through a semiotic lens:

Blue is the overwhelming "favourite color" for corporate identities. I’ll tell you why… Blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective colour of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming. Blue is the least "gender specific" color, having equal appeal to both men and women.

Green on the other hand, is the pervasive color in the natural world and is second only to blue as a favourite color. The natural greens, from forest to lime, are seen as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology. However, there is an institutional side to green, associated with illness or ‘Government-issued’, that conjure up negative emotions like ‘slimy’ and after all, greens the color of ‘envy’.

So does blue go where no green has gone before?

The colour blue has about as many direct and associative semiotic meanings as it has shades, but in the commercial world at least, one thing is clear – when it comes to corporate identity, blue is a safe bet. Among other things, it lends gravitas and austerity to Tata; it connotes cool, clear thinking at IBM; and it has become the de facto colour of social networking thanks to its adoption by Facebook and Twitter.

Cutting edge advertisers are already using BLUE instead of green when dealing with environmentalism.  Here are a couple of examples:

BLUE TEC - BMW's new "green" engine could have been called "green tec" but instead... BLUE TEC

BLUE MOTION - VW's fuel-saving technologies

BLUE DRIVE- Hyundai and Kia’s new hybrid technology

BLUE is also emerging as the color associated with modern technology- Bluetooth, Blue Ray Disc.

Some more evidence of the green movement turning BLUE:

BLUE ZONES - The areas on earth where people live longest could have been, and almost should have been, called "green zones", but instead are called BLUE ZONES.

BLUE PLANET RUN - an inspiring 15,000-mile relay race— the longest relay race in human history—in which 20 athletes spent 95 days running around the globe to spread awareness of the global water crisis.

After all it is the colour closest associated with this magnificent planet we live on:

THE BLUE MARBLE - The name of the famous photograph of the fully illuminated Earth taken by the crew of Apollo 17, the last journey of humans to the moon.  To the astronauts, Earth had the appearance of a glass marble (hence the name).

THE PALE BLUE DOT - When the Voyager 1 spacecraft photographed the planets of the Solar System, Earth showed up as a "pale blue dot" in the grainy photo. 

So if you’re serious about ‘going green’, you should seriously consider ‘being blue’! If not as an active choice, but at least in the safeguard of making the wrong one!

Contributed by Priyanka Shah, AGM - Strategy, DY Works

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