Why is the Financial Times Pink?

Apr 23, 2019

What’s black and white and read all over?

Most newspapers – but not The Financial Times.

In 1893, The Financial Times, a prominent London newspaper, decided to start printing its articles on light salmon-pink paper. The pink background was meant to distinguish the paper from the Financial and Mining News.

The paper’s PR team explained the change. “In order to provide outward features which will distinguish the Financial Times from other journals, a new heading and distinctive features will be introduced, and the paper will be slightly tinted.”

Plus, it was also marginally cheaper to print on unbleached, slightly pink paper at the time.

Pink is the New Black

Little did the company know, this decision would turn out to be the most significant branding step the company would ever take. The Financial Times is still pink to this day, and its coloring has become a distinguishing factor. Just ask anyone at the London Stock Exchange.

Over the years, it has intensified the pink hue as the company’s brand has become increasingly synonymous with the color. Experts at the Pantone Color Institute say the modern color is actually a “bisque” hue that works because it’s welcoming, nurturing and tactile.

The Financial Times’ Marketing Goes Pink

Today, The Financial Times actually pays more to maintain its color in print. The color has survived major changes to the print media landscape as the paper bolstered its digital and social media distribution strategies in response to changing reader demands. The company’s website even features a pink background.

Long story short: Not every differentiator has to be tied to your product or service’s value proposition. Sometimes a tweak to your brand’s visual identity is enough to stand out from your competitors and get your audience to take a second look.

This article also appeared in our weekly newsletter, Long Story Short. It was written by Ben Cooper.

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