blue-corner Chances are, you’ve noticed it. It’s found in the upper right-hand corner of Compassion’s brochures, child sponsorship packets, posters, promotional materials and letters from our sponsored children.

For quite some time, that blue corner was a mystery to me. I scoured compassion.com and even resorted to a few different Google searches, but the meaning behind the blue corner remained an enigma.

Then I spoke with Kurt Birky, Compassion’s Global Brand Development Director, and discovered there is a lot of significance packed into that little blue box.

The blue corner debuted in 2007 when Compassion wanted a distinguishable marker to consistently tie together its materials.

According to color theory, the bold cobalt blue symbolizes trust, integrity and spirituality, so choosing cobalt blue for the corner serves as a visual reminder that Compassion is unabashedly Christian and that the staff strive to act with the highest level of integrity at all times.

The proportion of the blue corner is also significant. If you get out a ruler, you will discover that in most cases the length of one side of the corner is about one-tenth of the longest side of the printed material. The word tenth is synonymous with the word tithe and should remind Christians that we are called to give from our abundance.

The location of the square, in the corner of the materials, is a powerful depiction of a verse found in Leviticus.

This verse, along with hundreds of others in the Bible, shows us that God clearly expects us to share our resources and provide for the needs of the poor. We are to leave a corner of what we harvest so those who are going without can have enough to survive.

I never imagined any of this. I just thought the blue corner was a simple corporate logo or a way to display Compassion blue on the printed materials. Now I know better.

What do you think about it? Is it interesting, unnecessary, powerful, inspirational or something else?

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38 Comments Add a Comment
  1. May 20, 2011
    at 4:46 am

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn more! I’ll never look at that little corner of blue the same way again!

  2. May 20, 2011
    at 6:30 am

    Wow…someone put a lot of thought into that little blue square!

  3. Terese
    May 20, 2011
    at 6:37 am

    Very informative, Michelle! I love it! I previously did not give that blue box much thought – I’m glad you did. It’s a very powerful symbol.

  4. May 20, 2011
    at 7:15 am

    That’s a whole lot of statement being made with one small square! :)

  5. May 20, 2011
    at 7:56 am

    I love that! And it’s neat to know what the color blue symbolizes…it’s been my favorite color since I was a little kid!

  6. Ryshel
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:12 am

    I’m so glad you shared this! I love meaningful things like that. A wonderful reminder of God’s command. I never gave any thought to it before. Thank you!

  7. jenniferaslan
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:12 am

    When I worked the Compassion table at a concert last Sunday, we were told that the blu box identifies materials for the US market and that the box is red on Canadian materials. Is this not true?

    • May 20, 2011
      at 7:46 pm

      I know I have seen Canadian packets while working tables at Kingdom Bound, but I can’t remember exactly what it is that makes them different.

    • May 20, 2011
      at 11:38 pm

      Jennifer, I work with Compassion’s international offices and I can tell you that the square is blue everywhere: Canada, UK, S Korea, Australia, etc… Good question though.

    • May 21, 2011
      at 12:53 am

      It is blue on Canadian material as well.

    • Feb 28, 2013
      at 8:52 am

      Hi Jennifer, Compassion Canada uses the same blue square on all our materials as well. Some of our packets have red circles on them to identify children that have been waiting longest for a sponsor so that may be the confusion.

  8. Gina
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:13 am

    One small blue corner on paper, and one giant chunk of my heart goes out to all the children in need in our world. Thank you to all who make up that one small blue corner. Thanks for doing your part! God bless you all! xo :)

  9. Judy
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:24 am

    Sweet! Thanks for the info. The more I learn about Compassion, the more I just LOVE their organization. :)

  10. May 20, 2011
    at 8:51 am

    I think it’s more powerful knowing those reasons!

  11. May 20, 2011
    at 11:27 am

    It reminds me of finding God’s finger print in His perfect work. Like the cross-like shape cell adhesion molecule that holds us together. It’s inspiring to find purpose behind passionate work.

  12. May 20, 2011
    at 11:52 am

    So glad I now know the reason for the blue, It’s often puzzled me. Love the concept!

  13. May 20, 2011
    at 1:22 pm

    Cool! I love how even the smallest details at Compassion are done with a purpose and a message. I think such attention to detail is what makes an organization go from good to great.

  14. Elizabeth
    May 20, 2011
    at 2:08 pm

    This is surprising to me! I always use the blue corner to write the date that I received the letter from my children!

  15. Maria
    May 20, 2011
    at 4:27 pm

    Wow! It’s amazing how such a small simple thing can hold such incredible meaning! Praise God!

  16. Allison
    May 20, 2011
    at 4:28 pm

    I honestly never noticed the blue corner! That’s kind of cool though. :-)

  17. Sarah Rose
    May 20, 2011
    at 5:27 pm

    I see continuity in the logo on all Compassion literature. I see unity in the continuity. I see Family in the unity. I see strength in continuity. I see strength in family. The Compassion family has strength in unity;. action and safety in continuity.. We give our kids strength in the continuity of our relationship with them. We teach them they can trust us with continuity of of contact. Trust brings strength. In strength our kids will feel safe to reach out to others building unity and continuity in their community

    • May 22, 2011
      at 1:17 am

      Sarah Rose, I just love your comments on the blue corner! Thank you!

  18. Amanda
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:20 pm

    It is all very interesting. I have been sponsoring for years and this is the first I have ever heard of it. I see the purpose of it now, but it seems like alot of the symbolism is lost for those who have never heard about it. It just seems like something that should be explained more openly for all of that wonderful symbolism to make sense and be useful to sponsors. I do love the thought that has gone into it!

  19. Debbie
    May 20, 2011
    at 8:38 pm

    Congratulations on your first ‘official’ Compassion blog.

    As you know, even though I spend hours a day on Compassion sites, I didn’t even notice it until it was mentioned a few weeks ago. I think, on a few things, the verse should be printed.
    Now I notice it!

  20. Lisa
    May 20, 2011
    at 10:25 pm

    Nice job Michelle- explaining something that can seem so trivial but really packs a punch- I love that when even the little things matter!@

  21. Lindy
    May 21, 2011
    at 10:32 am

    Thanks, Michelle! I’d wondered about the blue square, and couldn’t figure out it’s purpose. Now, every time I see it, I’ll remember its message!

  22. May 21, 2011
    at 11:59 am

    Michelle, I absolutely love the symbolism and message that the cobalt blue square provides. Thanks for an informative post!

  23. May 21, 2011
    at 6:32 pm

    how cool is that… I will never look at that little blue box the same anymore either… and the reasons touched me deep as the Lord continues to show me that Compassion intergrity is not something to take lightly. God is faithful, Compassion is faithful and I am thankful to be a part of CI.

  24. barb
    May 22, 2011
    at 5:47 am

    Hi MW.
    I am so blessed that the Lord has raised you up for such a time as this… all praise, honor and glory is His!
    xoox
    barb

  25. Isaac Rana Bonik
    May 23, 2011
    at 1:00 am

    That’s interesting!! I have been working at Compassion but never knew it. Thanks

  26. May 23, 2011
    at 11:22 pm

    Did you know that when Ruth (from the book of Ruth) was gathering wheat in Boaz’s fields it was that verse in Leviticus that provided the culture that allowed her to be there? One of the greatest romance stories of all time is related to the blue square :) Somehow I don’t think this is part of Compassion’s symbolism but it’s fun to think about…. which leads me to the romances within the Compassion blue square as formerly sponsored children fall in love, marry and serve God together… sigh…

  27. Aimee
    May 24, 2011
    at 6:28 pm

    You just love got to love the “wizards of branding” who can cast a story from a blue smear…. it could have been a grain of sand after all… or a broken doll…

  28. Mary Ellen
    May 26, 2011
    at 7:37 am

    Michelle, Thank you for letting us all know the importance of that little blue square. I only chose my little boy from Tanzania this last Sunday. It is very good to know the symbol is more than just a logo.May the Lord bless you

  29. Debra Stevens
    Jun 16, 2011
    at 3:03 pm

    That is certainly VERY interesting to me. Honestly …. i thought it was just for looks :/ seriously MY BAD!

    It “symbolizes trust, integrity and spirituality…”, a “tenth”, and to “leave a corner of what we harvest so those who are going without …:”

    Amazingly creative!!!! Thanks for sharing :D

  30. Lizzie
    Sep 19, 2011
    at 3:13 pm

    WOW! I would have never guessed!

  31. kate
    Aug 22, 2012
    at 8:02 pm

    I think it’s wonderful! I love the whole concept.
    God bless Compassion.

  32. Aug 28, 2012
    at 9:33 am

    Fantastic information. I love discovering hidden meanings like this. Thanks for sharing the information, Michelle.

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