Orange was founded in 1968 by musician and electronics designer Clifford Cooper of London and opened premises at 3 New Compton Street in London’s West End. Initially, Cooper used only the basement as a professional recording studio, the studio featured an IBC mixing console originally owned by Joe Meek producer of The Millionaires. The studio was failing to meet its overheads so on 2 September 1968 the ground floor premises were opened as a music shop, where in order to cover wage costs, Cooper sold his own band equipment.

Difficulties in obtaining stock meant that the new Orange shop at first dealt only in second hand equipment. Fortunately, many musicians around that time preferred older, used or beat up guitars as they were considered to be better of quality and have more character than the new ones available. The Orange shop was the first to cater for this market.