The history of blue

The idea came to me right out of the blue

The History of Blue

Blue is one of the primary colours of the rainbow and the Basic Colour Wheel (which refers to the fact that it’s a pure colour and can’t be made by mixing other colours). It is traditionally associated with boys. But the meaning of blue goes a bit deeper than its gender associations. The cool hue is often associated with things like spirituality, serenity and calmness because of its relaxing undertones and non-threatening vibrancy. Unlike other colours, such as yellow or orange that are warmer, blue can still be bright without being “in your face bright.”

Blue is also known for sadness and loneliness for many, which is why the saying, “I’ve got the blues” came about. Because of its coolness, it’s often associated with depression, especially dark blues that can remind someone of a gloomy day. Despite its associations, blue is one of the world’s top colours, with many admitting that it’s a favourite colour, especially among men. Darker shades of blue like navy and midnight are thought of as masculine and are also associated with things like authority, success and business. That’s why many professionals like to wear navy attire when going on job interviews. However, many women prefer blue over the traditional feminine colour pink, with the colour-coding of the sexes coming about during the postwar baby boom.


The history of blueNext to Violet, it’s the darkest colour and is actually the easiest hue to distinguish in the dark. Among all the other colours, blue was latecomer and wasn’t used in early cave artwork like other colours like reds, blacks and browns. It wasn’t used for dyeing fabric until other colours like red, pink and purple were established (probably because of the lack of good blue pigments to create the dye). The first stable blue hue used in the ancient world was sourced from lapis lazuli, which is a semiprecious stone that was mined in Afghanistan almost 6,000 years ago and was highly prized by the Egyptians.

There’s also evidence that until modern times, we didn’t see the colour blue at all, with Egyptians the first to have a word for the hue that we’ve come to know. From there, awareness of the colour spread to the modern world.

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