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Color Psychology: Blue

Updated on October 31, 2012
A wonderfully blue sky, signifying expansiveness
A wonderfully blue sky, signifying expansiveness | Source

Which blues do you prefer most?

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Blue is Trustworthy

Did you know that intellectuals tend to prefer blue? The color for truth, devotion, calmness, and sincerity, blue occupies a very special place in the color spectrum. It is considered the color of spirituality, thought, and the higher mental faculties... but it is also considered the color of intuition.

Although warm colors such as orange and red do not differ much objectively, a cool color like blue may be antithetical -- a blue which in one aspect may be extremely peaceful may be terrifying in another. Blue is also one of the most popular colors for both men and women, as evidenced by four "color of the year" choices by Pantone: Cerulean in 2000, Aqua Sky in 2003, Blue Turquoise in 2005, and Turquoise in 2010. In 2008, the choice went to Blue Iris, a purple color heavily influenced by blue. Pantone only began their "Color of the Year" award in 2000, so blue has received quite the honor!

“In many cultures, Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”


Medium blue water, looking pretty chilly!
Medium blue water, looking pretty chilly! | Source
Color
General Appearance
Mental Associations
Direct Associations
Objective Impressions
Subjective Impressions
Blue
Transparent, wet
Cold, sky, water, ice
Service, flag
Subduing, melancholy, comtemplative, sober
Gloom, fearfulness, furtiveness
Table data from "Color Psychology and Color Therapy" by Faber Birren, authority on the use of color.
Blue amulets guarding against the evil eye
Blue amulets guarding against the evil eye | Source

The Color of Security

Traditionally, blue tones repel the evil eye. Historically, turquoise stones were used in hamsas as a sign of protection. So it makes sense that the psychology of blue would involve blue as the color of sanctuary or redemption.

In marketing, deeper blues such as midnight blue or navy are better suited for corporate colors, whereas if friendliness is the goal (like with social websites), stick with lighter tones.


Treating Disease with Blue

According to practitioners of chromatherapy (a method of Ayurvedic medicine using color for healing), the effects of blue are many:

  • Blue acts specifically on the blood, having a tonic (bracing) effect
  • It has antiseptic properties and is bacteriocidal
  • It is cold, has electrical properties, and contracting abilities
  • Blue is anticarcinogenic.

Psychologically, the effects of blue include:

  • Being good for over-excitement
  • Being the color for meditation and spiritual expansion
  • It can be even more soothing than green in emotional conditions
  • Relaxing the mind and controlling the throat chakra (the creative power center)


Decorating with Blue

The first type of decor I picture when faced with blue is "beach house chic". When you can look outside and see not only sky, but a vast expanse of ocean or even a large lake, you will want to keep the inside of your house feeling light and airy as well.

Do break up an overabundance of blue, however -- being surrounded by too much will produce a tired or depressed feeling. Pick a bright color like white to offset it - maybe a coral if you are sticking with the beach theme, or a mossy green to keep things looking organic.


Facts About Blue

  • In insect repellents, the bluer the light, the more insects it will attract.
  • Mosquitoes prefer dark blue as a landing spot over any other color
  • Blue is the least appetizing color... it has been suggested to weight management subjects to eat from a blue plate
  • Blue suggests the form of a circle or sphere
  • Blue objects seen at a distance will never create a sharp image to the eye
  • In ancient heraldry, blue represents piety and sincerity.


Resources

Amber, Reuben, Color Therapy. Aurora Press, New York, 1983.

Birren, Faber,Color Psychology and Color Therapy. Citadel Publishing, New York, 1950

https://www.pantone.com/pages/myp_mypantone/mypinfo.aspx?ca=75&pg=20706

http://printmediacentr.com/2011/02/infographic-the-psychology-of-color-for-web-design/

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    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, Jools! I agree -- so many shades to choose from! :^)

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Amazing hub, who would have known what effect colour would have on our psychology. Blue is my favourite colour as well but it seems to be most people's favourite, maybe because there are so many shades to it?

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Ish! Thanks so much! I love turquoise jewelry and your comment was very thoughtful. Blue and green are definitely soothing and I'm glad you agree. Thanks for sharing and stopping by. :^)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An engaging hub! Blue is my most favorite color followed by green. I pursued jewelry-designing course and I often incorporated turquoise in my designs. Most of my clothes are blue. Also, blue is my lucky color. I enjoyed your well-written hub on this soothing color!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I have to admit, I was super surprised at that, too! But according to Faber Birren, that's what scientists found and who am I to argue with science? ;^)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Blue is beautiful. Love all the blues here on the post and the information. I will not be wearing dark blue at night anymore... no wonder those mosquitos bite through my jeans!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      It sounds lovely!

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      It is a medium blue like the color of the sky.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Brainy Bunny, thanks! :^D

      Suzette, I love that you enjoy a cool and and a warm shade. Fabulous! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. :^)

      Flash, thanks! Is it a medium color or light? The more I read about blue, the more tempted I am to include some in my place too. :^)

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      Blue is a pretty color! One room in my house is painted blue and I love it.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Love this hub! Blue has been my favorite color since childhood. I do have blue in my home. I love sky blue or light blue the best. Pink is my next favorite color. So I like a cool and a warm shade. That is me though - full of contrasts. Fascinating article. Thanks for your research and expertise!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Ooohh, pretty!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Audrey! Thanks so much for the comment. I'm an orange lover, but turquoise has always spoken to me and now I've figured out why! :^)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wow, the fastest comment EVER! Thanks, JThomp! :^)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Blue has always been my favorite color!!! Great hub!

    • profile image

      JThomp42 4 years ago

      Blue doesn't have to make you blue. :) Voted up.

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