The Color Blue, is it really that popular?
Contributed by Neleisha Weerasinghe.

We all like different colors and for some time now we have tried to understand why we prefer one or more over others. From the early 90’s scientists and various industry specialists have tried to find out the importance of color in people’s lives. They even conducted various research to identify which is their most favorite. However, earlier research was hampered as spectrums were not well defined and research methods were not very accurate. With the advancements in technology that supported better research and color identification, researchers were able to finally answer the age-old question: “What is your favorite color?”

Guess what! The answer is: BLUE. You may think this simplifies things, but blue is just not one single hue, it is many so let’s say the universal favorite color includes bluish tones.

resin artwork

Blue Wave by Chandni Patel

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Here comes the next question: “Why this preference for one color?” Why do people like one and dislike others. There are many reasons for this and the internet is teeming with articles on research on color preferences. For example; research suggests that your preferences are linked to your experiences and they are more than likely to change as you go along. Preferences are also impacted by association so if you don’t like pumpkins, then you may have an aversion to orange. You may dislike red if you work in a trauma center or the ER. The gist of it is that colors carry personal meanings for us and sometimes we may be wired in a certain way while in other instances it has been shaped by various experiences. These perceptions however usually occur unconsciously and we can therefore easily be moved by colors or react to them in ways we haven’t necessarily understood yet.

Blue Afro by Samar Kamel

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Good associations
When it comes to blue, the popularity seems to be deeply rooted in the fact that we associate a lot of positive things with it, such as the clear blue sky, the ocean and clean water. Blue is popular not only in one region of the world but it seems to be a global phenomenon, and science suggests that is because we associate blue with some of the basic natural necessities, almost everyone likes clear blue skies and clean water.

Popular on the web
Research shows that blue has become very popular on the web and if you look at the most popular websites at the moment this is quite visible. It seems that unlike reds and yellows, blue does not really have preconceived understanding behind it. It is not used to indicate errors or crucial areas but rather is associated with clear communication and clarity of thought. Science also supports the use as color blind people also can easily decode blue compared with other hues.

Global support
Blue seems to have garnered a lot of support globally. The modern interior design industry has grasped the popularity of this shade and has in fact influenced it in its own way. In interior design terms, it refers to peace and tranquility.  Corporate culture has its own notions of the shade as it uses it to denote dependability. Literature on corporate culture also stresses assertiveness and constructive behavior as associated with blue. The use of this hue is made popular by the notion that it signals a successful and constructive business, so you will find bluish tones used in a lot of corporate branding.

Kites by Yuvika Garg

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Societal norms
No matter where you look, either to the east or the west, societal norms also support this hue for various positive reasons. In the east blue implies good health and long life while in the west most often you will find it being used to denote trustworthiness and dependability. The blue suit was popularized in Europe during the 13th century by Louis IX of France by using it as a symbol of nobility and wealth. The suit is still very popular among women and men to this day.

Music
It seems we have nothing bad to say about blue, however something a little somber might be that in music, a blue note is one that is played at a lower pitch creating a slightly sad or subdued sound. This is the very notion that has given rise to ‘blues music’. And the term feeling blue, seems to denote loneliness and sadness.

One can easily see why blue tops the popularity charts. Science and research may support this claim and people will support it from sheer instinct and experience but however you see it, humans have embraced the color to denote something dependable and constant as the clear blue sky so whatever  the reason, it is safe to say that people SIMPLY LOVE BLUE.

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