QUIZ: Do you know why these brands chose their famous colors?


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The famous Coca-Cola red and white branding is recognized the world around.

For some brands, their coloring can be as iconic as their logo or even their name.

But do you know why Coca-Cola chose red and white or why the Starbucks Siren is green?

Test your knowledge with our quiz.

Q: Why does the Financial Times newspaper and website use salmon pink coloring?

A: The newspaper switched coloring in 1893 to differentiate from its City of London financial news rival, the Financial News.

Q: Google has a rainbow-colored logo. Why?

A: The colors implied playfulness, particularly the order of the colors. Ruth Kedar, the graphic designer who developed the logo, told Wired: “We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”

Source: Wired

Q: Why is BMW’s logo blue and white?

A: The popular rumor is that the logo is meant to represent a propeller blade cutting through a blue sky. Wrong! The quadrants represent the colors of the Bavarian Free State.

Source: The New York Times

Q: Cadbury is so proud of its purple branding, it has fought (and lost) several cases in the courts to trademark the color. But why purple?

A: The color was first introduced as a tribute to Queen Victoria, in the early 20th century. Purple was Queen Victoria’s favorite color.

Source: Daily Mail

Q: Why is Facebook’s logo blue?

A: Because its founder is red-green color-blind. Mark Zuckerberg told the New Yorker “Blue is the richest color for me — I can see all of blue.”

Q: Why is Shell’s logo bright yellow and red?

A: When the Shell Company of California first started building service stations in 1915, it chose bright colors to stand out against its competitors. Red and yellow were chosen due to the state’s strong Spanish connections.

Source: Shell

Q: Why are UPS trucks brown?

A: UPS has used the “Pullman brown” for its trucks since 1916. UPS’ former vice president of advertising and public relations said “it was the epitome of luxury and class at the time.”

Source: The New York Times

Q: Why did Tiffany choose its famous, trademarked robin egg blue branding?

A: The color, known as Tiffany Blue, was selected by the company’s founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the first cover of its “Blue Book,” an annual collection of jewels first published in 1845. Tiffany & Co. says it may have been chosen due to the popularity of the turquoise gemstone in 19th-century jewelry, or because it was a favorite for Victorian brides who gave attendees dove-shaped turquoise brooches as wedding trinkets.

Source: Tiffany & Co.

Q: Starbucks used to have a brown logo. So why did it switch to green?

A: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz opened up his own espresso cafe called Il Giornale when he left the business briefly after he failed to convince Starbucks’ owners to introduce espresso to the menu. In 1987 the original owners of Starbucks sold the business to Schultz who introduced his espresso concept. The new logo was a mix of the Starbucks siren and Il Giornale’s “more affirming green,” Schultz said.

Source: Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz/via Brand Autopsy

Q: What’s the origin of Yahoo’s purple color?

A: According to Fast Company, Yahoo cofounder David Filo went out to buy some paint to redo the walls of their shabby office around 1995. There are two differing versions of the story. One is that Filo noticed a nearby store had a huge amount of cut-price lavender paint. The other is that he thought the paint was actually gray, but under the harsh fluorescent​ light in the office it looked purple.

Q: Why did Land Rover opt for green in its logo?

A: There’s a myth that the color harks back to its racing years, when British racing cars would be green, while Italians would race in red. But the brand has never really raced. A Land Rover spokeswoman told Business Insider green was chosen because that was the chosen color of the vehicle. The logo was originally light green with red letters, then light green to yellow, then dark green to yellow.

Q: Do you know why Coca-Cola first used its famous red and white branding?

A: We had to get Coke to delve deep into its archives for this one. Coca-Cola told us that beginning in the mid-1890s, the company began painting its syrup barrels red so that tax agents could easily tell them apart from alcohol during transport. The company even named its first magazine “The Red Barrel” in 1924.

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