A New Blue for Me and You

It's called YinMn Blue, and it packs a visual punch.

At our Charlotte branding agency, we spend a lot of time thinking about how colors affect perceptions and behaviors. This notion that color can impact someone’s impression of a brand, and even persuade them to make a purchase, is called color psychology, and it’s an important aspect to consider in our line of work. In fact, researchers have found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products may be based on color alone.

As you can see from the new birdsong gregory brand, we like blue. It’s a cool, soothing color that’s strongly associated with depth, intelligence, and trust, which is why brands like Facebook, IBM, Gillette, BMW, Ford, Samsung, and AT&T, just to name a few, use a blue as their primary brand color. So it was interesting to read in the New York Times that the first new inorganic blue pigment in over 200 years recently received EPA approval for use in industrial coatings and plastics. Before that, you’d have to go back to 1802 when the French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard discovered cobalt.

Branding Aside, Blue is an Interesting Color.

Between the sky and certain oceans, it’s one of the most prominent colors on earth, but less than 1 in 10 plants have blue flowers and far fewer animals are blue. There are, of course, bright blue butterflies, the irises of peacock tail feathers, berries, and a few other flora and fauna that impart rich blue hues to the landscape. There’s even a bright blue tarantula, but all these things perform tricks of light to appear blue. Even blueberries are technically deep purple, not blue (their color comes from the purple anthocyanin compound). This is why blue rocks and minerals are so rare and, historically, pricey. Ultramarine – a pigment originally made from grinding lapis lazuli – was once worth as much as gold.

A Serendipitous Discovery

Named after its chemical components’ symbols on the Periodic Table of Elements (yttrium, indium, and manganese), YinMn Blue was discovered by accident at the University of Oregon whilst a group of graduate students were trying to develop an inorganic material to be used inside electronic devices. When a sample came out of the furnace with a deep, vivid, vibrant hue of blue, they realized their new compound would be better suited for use in paint than buried inside the guts of a smartphone.

Today, you can find YinMn Blue at your local arts supply store, in a box of crayons, and on the walls of our Charlotte branding agency



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