"Blue comes in many shades that express a wide range of meanings." ~ Kate Smith
Color Psychology: Blue
Understanding how color affects our world.
- by Kate Smith
For most of us, blue is our favorite color. The least gender-specific color; it is equally appealing to both men and women. It suggests dependability, commitment and trust. Blue is a constant in our lives. The color of the ocean and sky, it is the collective color of the human spirit.
Blue comes in many shades that express a wide range of meanings. Electric or brilliant blues are dynamic, expressing exhilaration. Deeper blues, such as indigo, symbolize wisdom, self-mastery, profound insight and spiritual realization.
The color blue affects us physically by:
- Calming and sedating
- Aiding intuition
Blue in the Garden
Blue is a cool color, providing a soothing element to landscape design. In the garden, blue flowers and plants appear to recede, making small spaces appear larger. Blue’s complementary color in the garden is orange.
Unique Facts About Blue
- Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue.
- Mosquitoes are twice as attracted to the color blue as any other color.
- The color blue is used by U.S. intelligence agencies to denote a low or guarded threat level when dealing with terrorist activities.
- President Martin Van Buren is credited with introducing blue into the decorating scheme of the White House, creating the Blue Room.
- Studies show that people are often more productive in rooms painted blue.
Blue is the signature color of a number of products, companies and organizations:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Ford Motor Company
- The Gap
- Tiffany and Company
Popular phrases that include blue are:
- Out of the blue: unexpected
- True blue: to be loyal or faithful
- Once in a blue moon: an event that occurs infrequently
- Blue ribbon: first place; to describe something as being of the highest quality
- Blue blood: an aristocrat
- Blue law: laws about morality issues
- Blue comedy: jokes about socially taboo subjects
- Blueprint: a detailed design of an object or idea
- Blue plate special: a specially priced meal at a restaurant
- Bluestocking: a woman with strong scholarly interests
- Feeling blue: to feel sad or unhappy
Songs with blue in the title:
- “Blue” by Joni Mitchell
- “Blonde Over Blue” by Billy Joel
- “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
- “Blue Eyes” by Elton John
- “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes
- “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson
- “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins, performed by Elvis Presley
- “Blue Sunday” by The Doors
- “Devil With a Blue Dress On / Good Golly, Miss Molly” by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels
- “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” by Crystal Gayle
- “My Baby Blue” by John Hiatt
- “Blue Jean” by David Bowie
- “Blue Jay Way” by The Beatles
Blue Around the World
Throughout history, cultures around the world have associated the color blue with a wide variety of meanings.
- In Chinese culture, colors correspond with the four points of the compass and the four seasons. Blue represents the east and spring.
- Blue is considered a sacred color in Iran where it signifies paradise.
- In Mexico, blue is the color of mourning.
- In Aztec culture, blue is a symbol of sacrifice.
- The Greeks believe the color blue wards off “the evil eye.” Those who believe in this superstition often wear a blue charm necklace or bracelet for protection.