24 April 2024

Continuing our journey through the rainbow colors, next on the list is blue. Blue like the sky or water, but little else in nature. Blue Jays, if you look closely, are actually more shades of gray. Blueberries are really purple. Many of the blue flowers we find today were hybridized to that shade. The concept of blue for boys and pink for girls came after the second world war when manufacturers were scaling up marketing campaigns for the baby boom. You may have heard of the color Prussian blue, which is often used in artwork. Architects are also known to use this to prepare their building designs and that is where we get the term blueprint.

Usually these articles start by explaining the origin of the name and a bit of history. However, there is no indication of blue in cave paintings. Ancient Greece, where many of the names come from, has no name for this color. The closest is Lapis Lazuli, a semiprecious stone that was used to create a blue dye. As you can imagine, the stones would need to be ground into a powder and then diluted to create a dye and became very expensive. With the technology of the mid 19th century, the ability to create indigo dye and moderate its color make it accessible to everyone.

Because of its rarity, blue was a color associated with royalty. In 431, the Catholic church started showing the Virgin Mary in a blue robe which made the color gain popularity. When used in decorating spaces, it is one of the cool colors and should be paired with warmer tones like browns and yellows. On the color wheel, blue is opposite orange.

blue, color are great contradictions in the color blue. It is thought to evoke a feeling of calm but can also mean sadness as in “feeling blue”. Blue food is rather unappetizing and can signal spoiled product. However, blue drinks seem acceptable, even chic. Since we associate blue with oceans and sky, it causes relaxation and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

The depth of color connotes different ideas. Light blue is said to increase concentration while darker blues improve the process of thinking. Navy blue is one of the “power” colors and makes us think of an authority figure like the police, military, etc. and has thus become connected to trust and dependability. Hint, wear a navy suit to your next job interview and see what happens.

Folks who claim blue is their favorite color are generally found to be calm, self motivating, and able to help others achieve these traits. While introverted, they are reliable and responsible in their dealings and actions. They have a strong value system. The other side of the coin is that with their determination, they can be viewed as stubborn and staid in their mindset. This is also reflected in avoiding multiple changes, especially in rapid succession.

Since blue seems to be a favorite color across the genders, it is often used in business settings. Think of all the office carpets you have seen in shades of blue. Their decorators’ hopes were that it will instill a feeling of calm and trustworthiness, especially with financial institutions. It is also though to motivate employees by creating a pleasant environment.

Blue is a good choice in marketing because of its association with trust. People who study such things report that shoppers are 15% more likely to go into a store painted blue.

Lastly, there is blue light, which is generally emitted from devices. It is great for stimulating action when you are working, but its light will keep you awake when you want to snooze.

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