Blue is a color we often observe in nature and all around us, from blue skies to large bodies of water. The many shades of blue are some of the most popular colors used in fashion, interior designs, and graphic designs. So, why is blue so well-liked? In this article, we are going to go over the meaning of the color blue and how it can affect us psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
Table of Contents
- 1 Meaning of the Color Blue
- 2 Psychological Meaning of the Color Blue
- 3 Personality Traits Associated With the Color Blue
- 4 Physical Effects of Blue on the Body
- 5 The Color Blue in Different Cultures
- 6 Meaning of Shades of Blue
- 7 Is Blue a Chakra Color?
- 8 Interesting Phrases, Idioms, and Famous Quotes About the Color Blue
- 9 Some Fun Facts About the Color Blue
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Meaning of the Color Blue
Blue is a color that provides a sense of coolness and peace and is calming just like the ocean waves that lap the seashore. Blue is often used for its soothing and relaxing qualities. However, blue symbolism can encompass many things, which can depend on various influences like context and personal experiences.
Blue symbolism can be a bit ambiguous and often depends on personal associations and preferences. In art, blue is a primary color, which is a hue that cannot be blended by combining any other colors.
|Associations with Blue
|Tranquility, Wisdom, Depth, Stability
|Calming, Focusing, Soothing, Refreshing
|Serenity, Intelligence, Reflection, Trustworthiness
|Loyal, Reliable, Responsible, Consistent, Peaceful, Trusting
|Melancholic, Passive, Detached, Cold, Conservative, Rigid
The color blue is the fifth color of the rainbow and is a cool color, which is why its effects are calming, creating a sense of peace and tranquility. Blue can also provide a sense of authority and trust.
Blue is not as attention-grabbing as warmer colors like red, but it still provides a powerful presence. There are many other positive associations as seen below, but there are also some negative meanings. Again, this depends on the various influences in your life. Also, when you overuse a color, including blue, it can become overwhelming and can represent some negative traits, which you can also find below.
|CMYK Color Code (%)
|RGB Color Code
|100, 100, 0, 0
|0, 0, 255
Positive Traits of the Color Blue
Negative Traits of the Color Blue
Psychological Meaning of the Color Blue
When it comes to the psychology of blue, it tends to be a color that is generally seen positively. Maybe, it is because of the open blue skies or blue oceans, the blue color is known to have soothing effects. You tend to feel comfortable in the presence of blue, and it helps you to relax and encourages inner peace.
Blue is often seen as a color that represents dedication, authority, protection, and bravery. Many law enforcement agencies wear blue uniforms for this purpose. In this case, blue is also meant to evoke feelings of security.
Blue is frequently associated with open spaces, and therefore, freedom. Blue is also a color that can signify intuition, wisdom, and faith.
The blue color is also linked to healing, offering peace and mental clarity.
Calmness of Blue
The color blue is perfect to help those with anxiety, as it is calming. This is why blue is regularly used in the workplace, as it helps to reduce stress. Simply looking at the color blue might even help to calm your mind.
Blue is often a calming color that is used in certain environments, such as classrooms, where it can help certain behavioral problems. This is what makes blue the most popular color choice for bedrooms.
Navy blue has even been found to be the most relaxing color you can get.
Stability of Blue
Blue is said to represent stability, as it is reliable and trustworthy. Blue can help promote creativity, loyalty, and honesty, and is often related to wisdom and intellect. The color blue is often seen as a color that can help to bring order and control, and because it is so popular among many, it is effective in evoking feelings of stability.
Productivity and Blue
Since blue is so effective in encouraging creativity, and creating a calming atmosphere, it is an ideal color to have in the workplace. Blue can help to enhance productivity, by helping to improve focus and concentration. This links back to how blue can help to reduce stress because if there is less stress, you can work more effectively.
Blue can also help with mental clarity or wakefulness and can help to improve communication.
The Sadness of Blue
Let us not forget that blue can also be depressing and can promote a sense of sadness. Blue can be a symbol of what is going on in the mind. For example, consider Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973), during his “blue period”. The different shades of blue represent sadness, loneliness, mourning, and loss.
However, the sadness of blue can be a personal experience, as others do not view blue in the same way.
Other associations might be because it is considered a cool color. In the proper circumstances, this is fine, however, if you move out of balance or exaggerate things for some reason, blue can shift towards cold, distant, and sad. So, it is not the color that changes, but rather how the person perceives the color that changes.
Personality Traits Associated With the Color Blue
Most colors are attached to certain personality traits, which include being loyal, patient, sincere, and organized. Blue personalities often seek balance and security and will not take any risks if they do not have to.
They have a more conservative and balanced approach to life, taking time and consideration when having to make decisions. Below are a few more blue personality traits.
- Those who like blue tend to be detail-oriented and have analytical minds, making them great at solving problems.
- They are empathetic and are good listeners, having the patience to listen and being kind.
- Blue personalities are determined, focused, and goal orientated, and enjoy challenging tasks. They are also well organized and have plans in place to follow through with ideas effectively.
- Negatively, they can overthink things and may be indecisive, struggling to make decisions.
- They can also be over-sensitive and take criticism too seriously.
- There is also the problem of being stubborn and unwilling to change, which can result in missed opportunities and a chance for growth.
Physical Effects of Blue on the Body
As a calming color, blue can help to lower the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure and may even lower your body temperature. Somewhere around the year 2000, blue streetlights were set up in Glasgow and Toyo. It said that after some time, lower suicide attempts and crime rates were reported. However, many consider these simple anecdotal observations, and more evidence is needed.
Blue is also said to help improve cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, which is enhanced when paired with the color red.
Since blue foods are not often found, the color is believed to suppress the appetite. Some weight loss coaches even recommend that you try eating off of a blue plate to help curb your appetite. Other physical effects include some of the following.
- The color blue may be able to help enhance memory.
- Blue could influence the pituitary gland, which can then affect sleeping patterns. Blue light may be able to suppress melatonin production, which can improve alertness, but interfere with sleep.
- In some cases, blue light may even be able to kill certain bacteria.
The Color Blue in Different Cultures
In most Western cultures, blue has similar meanings, for example, it is a calming color that is often associated with boys and men. This is due to various cultural influences that have crept into society and are now considered a normal attribute. However, in other cultures, blue has very different meanings. Below, you will find a few examples.
- China: Blue is connected to the wood element and spring in Chinese culture. Blue is also linked with things like trust, immortality, progress, and healing.
- Latin America: Here, blue can be a symbol of hope, trust, and good health. However, others perceive it as a symbol of mourning.
- Greece: The blue color is closely related to the ocean and sky, and it is also a color that protects from evil.
- India: Blue often depicts religious deities, such as Krishna, who has blue skin. Blue also means immortality, bravery, and purpose.
- Mexico: The color blue has ceremonial significance in certain religious ceremonies and is considered a color of sacrifice.
- Nigeria: In Nigerian cultures, blue is often the color of love.
Meaning of Shades of Blue
Most shades of blue all share similar traits, being calming and trustworthy. There are many different shades of blue, however, in general, lighter shades of blue, such as baby blue are seen as being more friendly and relaxed. Light blue can also represent softness, health, thoughtfulness, and peacefulness. Dark blues, such as navy, are more serious, sophisticated, and reliable.
Dark blue also appears more professional and evokes a sense of power and strength. Bright shades of blue, such as turquoise blue, are refreshing and offer more energy.
|CMYK Color Code (%)
|RGB Color Code
|100, 100, 0, 0
|0, 0, 255
|43, 14, 0, 6
|137, 207, 240
|100, 100, 0, 50
|0, 0, 128
|100, 0, 6, 0
|0, 255, 239
|92, 56, 0, 27
|15, 82, 186
|100, 41, 0, 67
|0, 49, 83
Baby Blue Color Meaning
Baby blue, along with other soft or pastel shades of blue, is more calming and peaceful than darker shades of blue. These blue tones are more delicate in appearance, which is why they offer more of a tranquil look and feel. Lighter color blues are also more youthful, and innocent, and may bring back memories of childhood.
The darker navy blue, and other dark shades of blue offer a sense of stability, integrity, responsibility, and trust. These blue tones seem more confident and have more authority. Navy blue is also seen as a more conservative color because of its association with reliability and tradition.
The dark color may also be seen as a more masculine shade of blue.
Turquoise Color Meaning
There are quite a few shades of turquoise, some darker and others more vibrant. This color can be described as blue-green, which is soothing. However, turquoise can also be uplifting and revitalizing, helping to improve mental clarity. Turquoise is also a confident and bold color that helps encourage creativity.
The turquoise color may also have healing qualities that can affect both the mind and body.
Sapphire Blue Color Meaning
This shade of blue is one of the jewel tones that represent the sapphire gemstones. This is a beautiful saturated shade of blue that is bold and symbolizes faith, confidence, sincerity, loyalty, nobility, and devotion.
Prussian Blue Color Meaning
When painting, there are many different shades of blue you can purchase. One of them is Prussian blue, which is a very cool dark shade of blue. The synthetic blue pigments are made through oxidizing ferrous ferrocyanide salts. Other similar cool blue paints include phthalo blue and cerulean blue. The color can be associated with wisdom, serenity, and security.
Prussian blue might also be associated with the Prussian army’s uniforms, which is where the name originated.
Is Blue a Chakra Color?
Chakras are a part of the body’s energy system and form part of Buddhism and Hinduism. Each chakra is positioned on the body from the bottom of the spine up to the head. Each chakra location is represented by a specific color, and if these energy centers are out of balance or are blocked, it can cause physical and mental problems.
There are many ways to unblock the chakras, from meditation, good nutrition, exercise, yoga, affirmations, using gemstones, or even incorporating the chakra colors into our daily lives.
Blue is the color linked to the throat chakra. This chakra is often responsible for good communication and expressing yourself clearly.
Problems that can arise with a blocked throat chakra include sore throats, neck pain, ear infections, and thyroid problems. It can also mean that you have a difficult time expressing yourself, among other issues. Some gemstones that you can use to help unblock this chakra include lapis lazuli, quartz, aquamarine, turquoise, and labradorite, among others.
Interesting Phrases, Idioms, and Famous Quotes About the Color Blue
Since blue is such a popular color, there should be quite a few idioms and quotes. Some phrases may be old favorites, while others might be new to you. Let us have a look to see what interesting sayings there are that include the color blue.
Phrases and Idioms About the Color Blue
Many of the blue sayings have both positive and negative meanings. The common saying of, “feeling blue”, is a good example of a negative association as it means you are feeling sad. Let us have a look at some examples you might recognize.
- Winter blues: On those cold and wet wintery days, you might be feeling a little depressed.
- Monday blues: Many people feel depressed about getting up on Monday mornings, as it is the start of a new work week.
- Once in a blue moon: Something that does not happen very often.
- Blue blood: When you say somebody has blue blood, it is often referring to royalty or those from a wealthy background.
- Out of the blue: This is when something happens unexpectedly.
- Until somebody is blue in the face: This is often used to describe when someone is talking about something and getting frustrated as they are getting nowhere.
- Shout or scream blue murder: When somebody shouts in fear or anger about something they are not happy with.
- Into the blue: When something goes “into the blue”, it disappears without a trace.
- True blue: This often refers to somebody trustworthy and loyal.
- Blue-eyed boy: When somebody is considered to be your favorite person.
A Few Famous Blue Quotes
The color blue has also been featured in many famous quotes by various artists, actors, and writers. Let us start with some famous artists who have left behind some interesting quotes about the color blue. Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), a French painter, made this comment about blue, “Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones”.
Another famous artist, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) said, “If I don’t have red, I use blue,” meaning that he improvised when he was painting. Below are a few more interesting quotes.
- “Midnight blue is the only color that can ever compete with black” by the famous designer Christian Dior.
- “The sun is up, the sky is blue; It’s beautiful, and so are you” by the singer John Lennon.
- “But the sky was never quite the same shade of blue again” by the American author Anne Rice.
- “There is no blue without yellow and without orange” by the artist Vincent van Gogh.
- “The sea! The sea! The open sea! The blue, the fresh, the ever free!” by the English poet Bryan Procter.
Some Fun Facts About the Color Blue
Here are some amazing facts about the color blue. The music genre that is known as “the blues”, often refers to sad songs that relate to various painful experiences, such as a loss or breakup.
The color blue has a meaning when it comes to love and represents loyalty and fidelity. In most Western cultures, when a bride is getting married, they must get “something blue” to carry with her on the wedding day. Here are a few more intriguing facts about the color blue.
- Only about eight percent of everyone in the world has blue eyes.
- One of the most well-liked blue foods is blueberries.
- The aquamarine gemstone, which is a beautiful shade of blue, is the birthstone for March.
- Even though we are surrounded by blue skies and oceans, blue is the rarest color in nature.
- Chefchaouen, a city located in Morocco is famous for having a part of it completely painted in various shades of blue. Also, known as the “Blue Pearl”.
Blue is a primary color, forms part of the rainbow, and is the most popular color of them all. As with many colors, blue has many different meanings, but overall, it is seen as a positive color that is cool, calming, and trustworthy. However, the response to blue might be different for some, as it can be seen as a sad and depressing color. Whatever your feelings toward blue, it remains a popular color in all forms of art and design!
Take a look at our blue color meaning webstory here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Blue a Sad Color?
How you feel about blue depends largely on your experiences with the color. In general, blue is a popular color, but to some, it can represent sadness and depression. Darker blues are mostly associated with depression, so the vibrancy of the color plays a role in its influence and meaning.
What Personality Type Would Purchase a Blue Car?
Those who purchase lighter blue cars can be seen as being more dependable and are people you can trust. Those with cars that have darker shades of blue are people who appear to be more authoritative and confident.
Can the Blue Color Be Stimulating?
Even though blue is calming, it can also help to stimulate and refresh the mind, bringing mental clarity and helping to improve concentration.
In 2005, Charlene completed her Wellness Diplomas in Therapeutic Aromatherapy and Reflexology from the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. She worked for a company offering corporate wellness programs for a couple of years, before opening up her own therapy practice. It was in 2015 that a friend, who was a digital marketer, asked her to join her company as a content creator, and this is where she found her excitement for writing.
Since joining the content writing world, she has gained a lot of experience over the years writing on a diverse selection of topics, from beauty, health, wellness, travel, and more. Due to various circumstances, she had to close her therapy practice and is now a full-time freelance writer. Being a creative person, she could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Art in Context team, where is was in her element, writing about a variety of art and craft topics. Contributing articles for over three years now, her knowledge in this area has grown, and she has gotten to explore her creativity and improve her research and writing skills.
Charlene Lewis has been working for artincontext.org since the relaunch in 2020. She is an experienced writer and mainly focuses on the topics of color theory, painting and drawing.
Cite this Article
Charlene, Lewis, “Meaning of the Color Blue – Everything You Need to Know.” Art in Context. December 21, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/meaning-of-the-color-blue/
Lewis, C. (2023, 21 December). Meaning of the Color Blue – Everything You Need to Know. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/meaning-of-the-color-blue/