Why is the LaCie Rugged Orange?

The LaCie Rugged isn’t sentimental… it’s muscular, hard-nosed, dependable and all-business. It thrives where only the toughest survive. And oh yes, it’s orange!

But the people who’ve depended on it for so many years have a special place in their hearts for this tough orange workhorse. Why? Because LaCie Rugged products are the industry’s most trusted way to capture and transport data in the field.

And of course, they really love those orange bumpers. But “why orange?” they ask. Many people know the Rugged, like several LaCie drives, was designed by acclaimed industrial designer Neil Poulton.

Why did he choose orange for the drive’s protective rubber sleeve?

Rugged fans took their best guesses

As part of the #LaCieTurns30 celebration, we asked LaCie fans to give us their best guesses to explain why the iconic LaCie Rugged comes in its own very special orange color. And we got a big pile of … uh … interesting answers. Some answers were familiar, some were similar to each other, and others were decidedly “different.” Yes, some were quite enlightening — about the frame of mind of certain LaCie fans!

In the end, of course not all the answers could be the “right” one. But a lot of the ideas really do help highlight the Rugged’s unique awesomeness, and the love so many people have for its orange wonderfulness.

Check out this list of fan guesses, before you sneak a peek at the correct answer at the bottom of the page. Which of them seem reasonable to you? Which is your favorite?

LaCie fans guess why the Rugged is orange:

    • LaCie means orange in French?
    • Because, “fun!”
    • Persimmon wasn’t quite the right shade
    • Rugged is orange so it attracts people. It gives you a warmth, creativity, happiness, and balanced feeling. It’s so uplifting!
    • Because it’s ripe with possibility
    • Because orange stands out? I sure know when someone uses LaCie because I can visually see that’s LaCie orange!
    • Orange is the new black
    • Someone at LaCie was a big Crash Bandicoot fan?
    • Because it looks like fire — another breakthrough invention that’s become a basic necessity
    • It means, “watch out, I’m here!”
    • So you can’t see the Cheeto dust on it… when you’re working all night to finish the big project…
    • Because orange is known to stimulate the brain to secrete serotonin … but everybody knew that right?
    • It’s easy to find it in low light conditions. No fumbling in the dark. 
    • Because LaCie made the first Rugged in the Fall?
    • Neil Poulton’s favorite color is orange
    • It signals “Precious cargo…”
    • LaCie’s founder was a fruitarian, just like Steve Jobs?
    • The bright orange makes it easy to see in harsh conditions. 
    • LaCie has U.S. offices in Oregon, which may look like Orange if you read it too fast
    • Because it’s beautiful but so powerful, like a tiger!
    • It looks like nachos! And just like the first nachos combined chips, jalapenos and cheese, the Rugged combines three brilliant ingredients: a fast hard drive/SSD, a fast interface, and a beautiful orange covering!
    • Just like a Monarch is the most beautiful butterfly, LaCie wanted Rugged to be the most beautiful hard drive
    • So you’ll be able to recognize a LaCie rugged hard drive from miles away. It’s original. It’s branding!
    • Rugged can bounce like an (orange) basketball?
    • Someone’s an Oregon State U fan?
    • So not even low visibility will prevent your LaCie drive from making it home from the trip!
    • Orange is the safest color. LaCie drives are the safest on the market. 
    • It’s made for astronauts, just like Tang
    • LaCie drives are orange because if you take all of the letters in the word, “orange,” rearrange them, take a few away, and add a few different ones, it’ll spell “LaCie”
    • Orange is associated with safety — it’s keeping all that important data safe. 
    • Like a Basketball! It’s drop resistant!
    • Easy to see when you’re shooting in the field, and when it’s dark!
    • Like life-vests, the color orange stands for protection and visibility. The protection on a LaCie hard drive works like a life vest!
    • It makes people happy like a beautiful orange sunset.
    • Because it looks like a lifeboat?
    • Because falling from the tree doesn’t effect the orange fruits
    • Since the LaCie rugged hard drives are widely used by photographers and filmmakers, when you see a bright orange case you know it’s a LaCie device.
    • It’s industrial orange — it’s tough like a hard hat.
    • It’s easy to keep track of with its bright color protective shell.
    • Just like the sun, Rugged is the source of all life-giving energy!

So — what’s the right answer?

So really … why is the LaCie Rugged orange?

Our long-time LaCie marketing expert Clement Barberis says the Rugged’s designer Poulton “chose the color orange because he wanted the Rugged to be as tough as a basketball.”

That’s right. According to Poulton himself, he chose the color because to him, it is synonymous with “Tonka toys, hard hats, life rafts…but mostly a basketball that’s meant to be bounced.”

Want to know more awesome facts about the history of the LaCie Rugged? Look for another 30th anniversary blog soon, and learn more about how the Rugged became the most popular super-tough portable drive for creative professionals!

Note: the LaCie Rugged Blog Scavenger Hunt Giveaway previously described in this article has ended. You can still read its terms and conditions here.