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Is fedex blue or purple?

The color of the FedEx logo and branding has been a source of debate for years. At a glance, the logo appears to use a shade of dark purple. However, many claim that the color is actually a shade of blue. In this article, we’ll examine the history of the FedEx logo, break down the exact hex codes and Pantone colors used, and analyze why people seem to differ on whether the logo looks blue or purple.

The History of the FedEx Logo

The FedEx logo was originally designed in 1994 by Lindon Leader of Landor Associates. The goal was to create a bold, simple, and memorable logo that would set FedEx apart from its competitors.

According to Leader, he chose the color because it was both masculine and vibrant: “Though this dark color purple might connote blood, it possesses no threat because it is offset by orange. It is authoritative, yet with approachable masculinity.”

The logo has remained relatively unchanged since it was first designed nearly 30 years ago. Over the years, minor tweaks have been made to update the typography and simplify the iconography. However, the core elements – the bold FedEx wordmark and the dark purple/blue color – have stayed consistent.

FedEx Logo Hex Codes

When examining the specific colors used in the FedEx logo, we can break it down into exact hex codes:

  • FedEx Wordmark Purple: #4D148C
  • FedEx Wordmark Orange: #FF6600
  • FedEx Arrow: #FFFFFF

The main FedEx wordmark uses the hex code #4D148C. This is a shade of dark purple that skews slightly blue. The brightness value of this color is 29% which places it solidly in a dark tone.

The supporting orange uses the code #FF6600. This provides a bright, vivid contrast to the darker purple. Finally, the white arrow uses #FFFFFF for maximum brightness.

FedEx Logo Pantone Colors

Examining the Pantone colors used in the FedEx logo also gives us some insight into the exact shades:

  • FedEx Purple: Pantone 268C
  • FedEx Orange: Pantone 151C

Pantone 268C is described as a “strong, glistening purple.” This again reinforces that FedEx intended this color to be perceived as a bold, vivid shade of purple.

Pantone 151C is a neon-like “vibrant orange” that contrasts well with the deeper purple.

Why Do Some People See the Logo as Blue?

Given the information directly from FedEx about their logo’s brand colors, it may seem strange that some people continue to adamantly claim the logo is blue instead of purple.

There are a few potential explanations for this:

Color Perception

Human color perception is subjective. Two people with normal color vision can look at the exact same color but describe it differently. We don’t all have uniform color vision. Subtle differences in our eyes and visual processing can alter color perception.

Additionally, optical illusions can cause a single color to appear different depending on the surrounding colors and contrast. In the FedEx logo, the vibrant orange may cause the purple to shift slightly towards blue for some viewers.

Display Differences

The rise of digital screens has complicated color consistency. Screens display RGB colors, while print uses CMYK. This can cause variations between how a logo looks on a website vs a printed package. The FedEx purple on your computer screen may appear more blue than on a FedEx envelope.

Differences in screen brightness, white balance, resolution, and calibration can also impact color rendering. Your screen may show the FedEx logo as straight purple, while on someone else’s display it looks blue-ish.

Branding Evolution

While the core FedEx logo has remained unchanged since 1994, the broader brand styling has evolved. In some applications, FedEx uses shades of blue alongside the main purple. This branding extension into blue hues may influence how people perceive the logo color.

FedEx has also experimented with stylized versions of the logo on websites, apps, and digital interfaces. These altered versions sometimes tweak the color, which may fuel the “blue vs purple” debate.

Scientific Breakdown of the FedEx Logo Color

To bring some scientific rigor to this analysis, we can examine the FedEx purple on various color models:

RGB Color Model

In the RGB color model, the FedEx purple breaks down as:

  • R value: 77
  • G value: 20
  • B value: 140

The higher B value gives this color a bluer tone compared to a true purple. However, it still maintains a stronger red value than blue value, keeping it firmly in purple territory.

HSV Model

The HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) model gives us another perspective:

  • Hue: 267°
  • Saturation: 76%
  • Value: 29%

With a hue value of 267°, this FedEx color falls closer to the pure purple hue of 270° than it does to the blue hue of 240°. The high saturation indicates a vivid, intense shade.

CMYK Model

Examining the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) breakdown:

  • C: 80%
  • M: 100%
  • Y: 0%
  • K: 40%

The 100% magenta ink component clearly defines this as a shade of purple rather than blue.

Color Model Color Components
RGB R: 77 G: 20 B: 140
HSV H: 267° S: 76% V: 29%
CMYK C: 80% M: 100% Y: 0% K: 40%


While the exact color of the FedEx logo may be up for debate, when digging into the technical details, it’s evident that the intended color is a shade of dark purple. The higher amounts of magenta ink and closer hue to pure purple on the color spectrum demonstrate this.

However, it’s understandable why some people perceive the color as having a bluish tint. Color is subjective and digital displays can alter logo colors. Tweaks to the broader FedEx branding may also influence perceptions.

At the end of the day, the FedEx logo color is not definitively blue or purple – it falls somewhere in between. But according to the company itself and color science, FedEx purple leans closer to purple than blue.