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Sick of blue hues? 15 branding colors that aren’t shades of blue

Blue is everywhere these days. And the preference for varying blue colors seems splashed across all professional industries.

 

Blue

This makes some sense, as the psychology of color says that blue shades create feelings of peace, tranquility, security, and serenity in those who view them, and, when people feel secure, they buy more.

In the business world, this line of thought has saturated the design process of logo and brand construction. Many businesses have come to believe that if they depend on color psychology by using different types of blue, they’ll be perceived as non-threatening, stable, loyal, and reliable.

What business doesn’t want their customers to trust them? No wonder blue is so popular! But contrary to popular knowledge, blue isn’t the only color with these qualities. Branding with a more niche color will help you stand out from the overused blues, while also making your brand more uniquely recognizable.

Here are a few of these non-blue hues:

1. Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is an earthy hue-- warm and inviting. It feels comfortable, yet established. Some types of blue only hit one of those two things, but cinnamon has a wonderful way of emanating both. Comfort and trust are two things that most businesses want to exude, and cinnamon has them in spades.

You can pair cinnamon with black for a sophisticated masculine look, or you can soften your palette by pairing cinnamon with a soft creamy mauve.

See? Not blue, but still a great hue.

 

2. Emerald

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Emerald evokes harmony and growth. There’s a feeling of renewal and knowledge that comes with this serene color, similar to the feeling that comes from a deep blue.

You can pair it with gold for the most traditional and sophisticated look, or you could opt for a more modern rose gold. Emerald also shines with an extremely light pink.

3. Violet

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Violet isn’t shy, that’s for sure. It brings with it feelings of luxury, power, wisdom, creativity, and magic. A little bit like a more turquoise blue color. It’s bold, fun, and not used often enough.

Violet pairs nicely with light or dark shades of the same hue, or it can do just fine all on its own.

 

4. Blush

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Blush is almost nude, with just a hint of pink. It's velvety and soft in a way most blues can’t touch. This color is also seen as mellow, easygoing and pleasant-- similar to a soft, sky blue.

For a bold statement, use blush with sage green or deep maroon. For a lighter touch, stick with a medium gray.

5. Soft Berry

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This soft berry is a purple-pink hue that has a little more punch than a classic blush. It’s got more personality and sass, while also being kind, nurturing, and compassionate. It’s distinct, and says a lot with a little.

You can pair berry with black or white. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, check it out with teal. Now there’s a pop of color.

 

6. Greige

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Greige is a warm gray. Cool grays have blue undertones, while warm grays have earthy undertones-- the same benefit as a cinnamon color.

Alone, greige has a tendency to feel lonely and isolated, so be sure to pair this with bold, deep hues like rusty browns/reds, or white to brighten up the tone a bit.

 

7. Golden Yellow

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Yellow often gets dismissed because it can be fatiguing to the eye in large quantities. But with a thoughtful color palette (even just pairing it with white or black), yellow becomes more balanced and less harsh.

Besides, yellow is ripe, creative, energetic, and optimistic. Blue who?

 

8. Coral Peach

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This coral has muted peachy undertones. Because it’s not a bright or flaming coral, it feels softer, warmer, and even enchanting. Kind of like a Cinderella blue.

Intensify this charming palette by adding black or dark gray, or make it lighter with whites and creams.

 

9. Orange

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Orange is loud, proud, and has a punch of vigor. It feels both tough and enthusiastic. Orange is a great option when you’re looking to make a bold statement. Your brand certainly won’t be forgotten.

Pair this with black for a roaring, dominant color palette. Or, for something less harsh, try pairing this with white or tan.

 

10. Poppy

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Poppy isn’t as intense as a true red, so it’s also not as visually potent or demanding. It’s safe and cozy. It doesn’t evoke the same moods of danger that some true reds can.

You can pair poppy colors with light pinks or peaches, or keep it neutral with tan, black or white.

 

11. Mint

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Mint is so refreshing! This hue feels new and creative (especially when compared to a true blue). Mint is a frosty hue, so it feels a bit innocent and fresh, and reflects a lot of the same qualities as blue (calm and cool).

Pairing mint with peach, coral, or a soft green are all good ways to go.

 

12. Burgundy

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Burgundy is a warm combination of red and brown. It comes off as powerful and mature. Because of the rich intensity of this color, burgundy feels strong-willed, like a conqueror.

If you’re looking for those traits, but want to soften this palette a bit, pair with blush, gold, tan, or white.

 

13. Lime

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Because this lime is pretty yellowy and muted, it feels more charming and lucky than envious (like a true green may feel). It also leans toward light and airy instead of obviously organic and earthy. Lime is especially compelling for fresh brands looking to emphasize their youth and fun, while also establishing their merit.

Pair this shade with deep black-brown, tan, or cream.

 

14. Mustard

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Mustard is a dirtier yellow, so it’s not as blaring as a true yellow. This means it feels a little more mature, sensible, and wise rather than youthful and overly cheery. 

You can pair mustard with white, light pink, or cream for a lighter feel. Or you can go darker and more urbane by pairing it with a deep gray or black.

 

15. Magenta

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Magenta lives between purple and pink. It’s an exciting, passionate color. Spirited and wild, it doesn’t back down.

You can pair this color with other hues of pink/purple, or stick with the starkly bold black and white.

Choose a Non-blue Hue

We’re willing to bet you’ll see blue everywhere now. You’ll notice it in places you’d never expect. But, the next time you sit down to design your own logo, think again before choosing a blue hue. Instead, reach outside of the box and bring your brand to life with unique colors that meet your business’s purposes twice as well.

 

CRO redesign whitepaper 2

Maggie Call

Maggie is a Senior Designer at 97th Floor, developing content for print and web by creating infographics, websites, and interactives.

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