Blue – An Investigation

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29th November 2019

More people, both male and female, choose blue as their favourite colour than any other colour. Blue is associated with blue sky – therefore good weather, similarly blue sea – and with heaven. However, apart from the sea and the sky, blue is a colour rarely found in nature or in food.

Blue is said to have beneficial effect on the human body, calming and relaxing the mind and slowing the human metabolism. It is the colour of consciousness and intellect (in contrast to the reds/yellows which are emotionally warm) It is associated with open spaces, freedom, expansiveness, inspiration, cleanliness, as well as cooling, tranquillity and calmness. But too much of the latter can tip over into melancholy, negativity and sadness ‘feeling blue’, ‘getting the blues’, blues music.

Light blue is often associated with healing, softness, understanding, whereas dark blue denotes seriousness, integrity, truth, justice, even knowledge and power, hence the expression ‘true blue’. Police uniforms are often dark blue. Dark blue can also be seen as elegant, sophisticated and intelligent. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolise piety and sincerity, in high-tech products it is used to suggest precision. 53% of the flags in the world contain the colour blue.

Blue has more complex and contradictory meanings than any other colour. In many cultures it is significant in religious belief, viewed as bringing peace and keeping the bad spirits away.  In Iran and Korea it is the colour of mourning, in Christianity the colour of Mary’s robe. Greeks believe that blue wards off the evil eye. The god Krishna has blue skin.

Blue also has more expressions associated with it than almost any other colour: blue language, out of the blue, blue sky thinking, scream blue murder, blueblood, blue chip companies, bolt from the blue, blue-collar worker, wide blue yonder, blueprint, blue in the face, men in blue, true blue, once in a blue moon, baby blues, blue ribbon,.

Next time you see or hear the colour blue, see if you can work out which particular characteristic associated with the colour blue is being sought after.