Vorsprung durch Technik in the land of gold & blue

Everybody knows that Germany is the land of Vorsprung durch Technik and that you have to get up pretty early if you want to get your towels around the pool before the Shmidts, the Müller and the Rhinehousens – right?

But did you also know that Deutschland is the land of gold and blue?

There’s a good lesson here for anyone working in website design and development, or working in technology generally i.e. gold and blue livery colours are used extensively throughout Germany to embody positive messages of…

* competence

* trust

* authority

* efficiency and,

* functionality

So it is that big German brands including SAP and Lufthansa both use the gold and blue colour scheme to create their (arguably remarkably plain but) incredibly distinctive logos.

NOTE: It is important to note that we focus on a gold or dull yellow-orange colour here and NOT yellow itself, which is not only extremely bad for web page design – it also embodies a fairly insipid feeling wherever it is employed, unless you are trying to sell bananas, lemons or custard.


If you happen to find yourself trapped (albeit very pleasantly) inside the modern traveler’s metropolis that is Frankfurt Main airport for 36 hours on a business meeting (as your reporter was in this case), then you will see plenty more German gold and blue.

The cleaning staff teams all sport a gold and blue uniform, with snappy blue trousers and a goldy-yellow styled day-glo tabard (for safety purposes of course).

The “blue-spot” on the Blaupunkt sound equipment in the Duty Free area has a blue spot on it, plus of course gold detailing.

Even the cheese appears to be sporting gold and blue, with the Laughing Cow asking us to trust its taste and quality.

Geoffrey “Inside the Tornado” Moore has apparently written a paper on the use of this type of colour scheme.

Web designers and developers can take some of these messages on board and think about the way their designs will be perceived by different kinds of users in different cultures around the world…

… and, if you happen to be targeting the German market – you can’t go far wrong with gold and blue.

As for the UK, do we like red, white and blue best? We might possibly drop the blue and just go for the red and the white, after all…

… if it’s good enough for the cross of St George and Computer Weekly then it’s good enough for anyone right?

NOTE: If you want more proof, just look at the logos of Germany’s top 30 companies on the DAX stock exchange (below) and linked here too!