“Don’t get me wrong Mom, you know blue is one of my favorite colors. But there is so much more than teal, baby blue, royal and navy...”

I smiled to myself and thought how many times I’d been shopping only to find blue my only choice. And blue is not one of my favorites.

Two days later I was in a meeting with a prospective client. One of the senior marketers in the room asked a very thoughtful question.

“If those of us making the decisions here are a bunch of people in management and not necessarily reflective of the people making purchases, should we ask those shoppers to do the design for us?”

The answer was, “No.”

Sure, those shoppers know what they like. But so much of that is influenced by what they’ve seen. Importantly they cannot anticipate or appreciate a company’s vision for the future, for innovation or for newness. Couple that with the fact that in general people are creatures of habit. This means that we will typically gravitate to the known, the comfortable. This isn’t necessarily bad. However, it doesn’t provide the opportunity to stretch and find new expression.

And so the cycle perpetuates. We like blue. It’s comfortable. And thus our choices remain blue. Unfortunately this is the danger of having all of us be the designer. In the end, it doesn’t allow much opportunity to express a unique point of view in the final execution.

Perhaps that’s why we see so much blue out there.


What others think:

  • Do an image search for "Bower bird nest" and you'll see that we're not the only ones with a strange attraction for blue. 

    Ben Nov 1, 2010 — 8:08 pm

  • Blue is one of those colors that I feel brings life to objects. My wife has a collection of vintage dancewear from the 1980s. In this collection she must have 30 different leotards she wears to our local beach, each a different variety/intensity of blue and people comment to her "why don't they make colors like that anymore". Let's keep this discussion going!  

    Roy De Young Nov 5, 2010 — 8:03 pm

  • As promised Tricia, my blog dedicated to blue: 

    Roy Feb 25, 2011 — 11:22 am

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