We have gone a very long way since we have started to utilise colours to communicate our values in Brand Identity processes. Red = passion, emotions, love…Blue= tranquility, stability…And Black=???

In many cultures, black is a colour associated to death, tragedy (as when in soccer games, players use a black armband to mourn someone), and the like.

Still, it seems that despite some grotesque mistakes made in the past (and the associated lessons learned), companies make from time to time decisions that seem more to be communicating the wrong message, rather than being the result of a well-thought process.


As an instance, in one of my latest flights a few days ago, I happened to notice (and document) that the male crew member of that particular airline was fully dressed in…BLACK! (see attached pic).

Trousers, shirt, and even his tie…all black. For a moment, I just couldn’t avoid feeling we were being serviced by a gravedigger rather than a friendly flight attendant. With the variety of colours available out there, the selection of black for an airline seems to be simply a tragicomic mistake.

One more about colours and brand identity: Lavazza, the well-know Italian coffee brand has been using for a very long time a blue background couple with its with fonts. However, in a Duty Free Shop (during the same trip), I just happened to come across a red version of its logo.

Yes, we’ve all associated Italy to red (Ferrari red, maybe?). I just wonder if this was just a trial of the company, to explore people’s reaction to a potentially new logo background or the result of channel regulations? In any case, I was pretty surprised to see this Illy-driven (one of Lavazza’s main compatitors, Illy, uses with and red in its logo) approach at Lavazza.