What does the color blue mean?

The color blue has multiple interpretations. Here we show you its importance and significance from different perspectives.

Last update: December 12, 2021

Blue is a color that we frequently find in nature. The sky, the sea and some animals (butterflies, fish and amphibians) are blue. Today we usually associate it with sadness or depression, although this is actually a new relationship. In the next few lines we will show you the meaning of the color blue and we will show you some curiosities about it.

It is a primary color that corresponds to the wavelength that ranges between 460 and 482 nanometers.. In the Newtonian spectrum (and in the rainbow, therefore) we find it in the number six position. Its conception varies according to cultures and has changed over the years. Therefore, the meaning of the color blue is multiple, something that you will discover below.

Characteristics of the color blue

Although there is some debate about it, it is believed that in Spanish the word blue derives from persian lapis lazuli, a gem appreciated since ancient times and which was abundant in this region. It is a primary color; that is, a color that cannot be obtained through mixing. Within color theory, it is also considered a cold color.

Depending on the frequency of the wavelength, we will perceive different shades of blue. Indeed, while it is lower it will approach cyan, and while it is higher it will be perceived as violet. Pure blue or standard blue has been cataloged at approximately the wavelength frequency of 470 nanometers.

Curiosities about the color blue

Due to the different sensations that blue can cause, it is common for it to be incorporated into various aspects of daily life.
  • The atmospheric perspective effect causes distant objects to appear bluish (mountains, for example).
  • The sky and the sea turn blue due to an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering.
  • It is a color widely used in vexillology. Flags such as Belize, El Salvador, Estonia, Iceland, Kosovo or Israel, just to name a few, include it as a protagonist.
  • Many countries divide political parties into blue and red. The best known example is the Republican Party (red) and the Democratic Party (blue).
  • One of the many names of the Earth is blue Planet. The term was popularized by Carl Sagan.
  • Blue is a color widely used in uniforms (policemen, nurses and others).
  • Catholics often represent the Virgin Mary with a blue cloak.
  • The aristocrats thought their blood was blue in color, which differentiated them from the vulgar (this popularized the term blue blood).
  • The color blue is used in the West to dress boys, and pink to dress girls. According to what we know, it was actually the other way around until the beginning of the 20th century (blue was associated with the Virgin Mary, so girls used it).
  • Blue is the official color of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the European Union.
  • In Turkey and in several Central Asian countries blue is the color of mourning.
  • Pablo Picasso has a period in his artistic production known as blue stage.
  • Only 8% of the world’s population has blue eyes. Experts believe that they all share a single common ancestor in Europe.
  • There was no specific word in Greek and Roman culture for the color blue. The terms they used were ambiguous or were used for other colors as well.
  • People who cannot perceive the color blue are known as tritanomali.

This is just a selection of curiosities about the color blue. Dozens more can be mentioned from cultural, geographical, artistic or political spheres. In any case, the important thing is to keep in mind that it is a leading color in all cultures of humanity.

Meaning of the color blue in psychology

Although it is not a discipline accepted by all, many support the postulates that are offered from the psychology of color. This term refers to the possible effects of color on people’s behavior or moods. Some experts endorse this discipline of psychology, one that has its greatest practical use in the marketing.

In general, the color blue is usually associated with calm or serene states. Its association with the sea and the fullness of the sky takes on an important value at this point. However, being a cold color it is also associated with sadness, isolation, loneliness or indifference. Let’s see some examples:

  • The character of Sadness in the Disney movie Inside out it is represented in blue.
  • In pictures like The starry Night by Van Gogh or The blue room Picasso’s blue tone helps to convey a melancholic feeling.
  • According to some studies, workers experience greater signs of depression in blue-colored offices.
  • Some dietitians recommend that people who want to lose weight use a plate with a blue background. The evidence seems to support this hypothesis, as it has the ability to reduce appetite.
  • Blue is associated with security, confidence, and decisiveness. This is why it is widely used in advertising campaigns. marketing.

We can give a meaning of the color blue according to the alterations in behavior or mood that it can provoke. In Anglo-Saxon culture it is common to use the word blue (blue) to refer to someone being sad: he was feeling blue.

Meaning of the color blue in different cultures

Depending on the culture, climate and society, the color blue can become more or less relevant.

To dismiss these reflections about the meaning of the color blue, we leave you with the importance it has had throughout history. We tend to think of colors in relation to our own culture, not to that of others. Let’s see some examples:

  • The color blue was not used as a pictorial element until very late (red, black, or ocher were preferred).
  • The Egyptians used an amulet in blue as protection (a belief that still exists in regions bordering the Mediterranean).
  • The Byzantines used blue as a central element to decorate churches.
  • King Louis IX of France used to regularly wear blue (he was the first monarch in Europe to do so).
  • Blue is a capital color in the artistic productions of the Renaissance.
  • This has been used for centuries in Chinese culture to decorate porcelain.
  • Many gods of Hinduism have blue skin. Vishnu is the most representative example.

We tend to overlook the importance, significance, and even the majesty of colors. We hope that with everything you have learned today you will never see any shade of this color in the same way again.

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