7 min read
Sometimes called “the Nirvana color,” blue symbolizes the comfort, sky, water, sleep, the mind, trustworthiness and safety (think Police Officer uniforms). From surfing the waves to surfing the Internet, blue is everywhere.
What makes the color blue such a popular marketing tool? If you've wondered this before, you're not alone.
Why is Blue So Popular on Websites?
Blue is a calming, relaxing color that accompanies red and yellow as primaries. The words most associated with the color blue include:
Blue Represents Communication and Promotes Interaction
This makes sense in regards to websites designed for communication and engagement. The color blue is the color most associated to communication – its fluid and calm and evokes a safe feeling that every person should love having.
Most other colors tend to distract the consumer, whereas the color blue disappears as a transparent background. Each website that is designed with a blue color scheme does so in different spectrum, using different shades to suit their needs.
Both Men and Women are Attracted to Blue
Contrary to popular belief, both men and women prefer blue over other colors. Companies can benefit from using blue in their brand logo and website because basically everyone likes it and it carries very positive emotions. (Fun fact: blue is the world's most popular color.)
Whether the reason is due to the sense of welcoming, the evolving sense of transparency as the consumer reads through the website, or a symbolic color, each website chooses their design for a reason.
The list below shows of popular social websites and why they chose blue for their web design.
Social Sites That Use Blue
Hex: #1da1f2 RGB: 29, 161, 242
Twitter’s mascot is a bird, so it only makes sense that their blue represents the sky on a perfect day. A bright, inviting blue is Twitter's main color, but they also utilize shades of blue throughout their site, including a faint blue background.
Blue feels dependable – just like you can depend on Twitter to feed you information on trending topics and current events in realtime.
Hex: #3B5998 RGB: 59, 89, 152
Facebook is blue simply because the founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is red-green colorblind; this means that blue is the clearest color for him to see.
Besides the obvious reason, blue can be used to promote communication and interaction – two things Facebook is best at. It's no wonder why Facebook has over 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Hex: #00AFF0 RGB: 0, 175, 240
Skype uses blue on its website to convey a sense of innovation. As you know, Skype lets you easily connect to anybody with the app through video or text. It makes the company look sleek and modern. A lot of other tech companies, like Telecom, HP, Dell and AT&T, also take advantage of using the color blue in their marketing to attract visitors.
It gives these companies a sense of stability that is appealing, unlike red or orange, which command your attention and symbolize energy and passion. Rather, use these colors to create strong complementary colors for blue – just take a look at how Skype kills the complementary color game.
Hex: #21759b RGB: 33, 117, 155
WordPress also utilizes blue on their homepage to give visitors a feeling of trustworthiness and stability. The company wants visitors to have confidence in them as a blogging platform.
Other shades of blue are used as accent colors to bring attention to their navigation and call to actions. This is a great practice because this is where you want to guide visitors.
Hex: #00A0EE RGB: 0, 160, 238
Pandora uses blue to demonstrate creativity to users. Their homepage features a slight blue gradience, which is a nice way to add interest to a page that is predominantly one color.
Even though when we were younger, we were told blue is for boys and pink is for girls, blue is actually gender neutral; blue is meant for both men and women, just like Pandora. Blue holds the attention of the user and is easy to look at for prolonged periods of time.
Other Popular Social Sites That Use Blue
Hex: #35465d RGB: 54, 70, 93 Hex: #40a4c4 RGB: 64, 164, 196
Hex: #35465d RGB: 0, 119, 181 Hex: #007bb5 RGB: 26, 183, 234
How to Use Shades of Blue to Alter the Mood
Every shade of blue evokes a different emotion. Therefore, you should contemplate what the "perfect" blue is for your brand.
- Lighter blues are refreshing, inviting and friendly.
- Brighter blues are captivating and can invoke creativity and productivity.
- Darker blues can indicate strength and reliability.
- Muted blues can seem antique, insinuating respect and trustworthiness.
Which shade of blue would best represent your business and who you are trying to reach?
Incorporating multiple shades of blue can create a cohesive look on your website and can represent fluidity and structure.
How to Use Blue as a Marketing Tool
As a marketing tool, blue follows a pattern designed to attract customers. This pattern can be traced in three steps:
1. Attract with a welcoming color.
A blue website wants its viewers to feel welcome. They are stepping into a friendly environment that is not intimidating nor boring.
2. Portray safety and reliability.
With the primary color of a website being blue, the website is thus designed to whisper to the customer, “Look how reliable I am. I am safe as well as both light-hearted and professional. I am comfortable. Look at me.”
3. Disappear into the background.
Now that the color has done what it was designed to do, it can now take a few steps back to allow the reader to become completely enveloped in the information they are receiving. How often do you pay attention to the blue borders of your Facebook window or the sidebars of Microsoft Office? Exactly.
How to Use Blue For Your Website
What do you want to your website to portray? Natural, comfortable, and reliable elements are all portrayed in the color blue.
Like mentioned above in using blue as a marketing tool, you want the blue on your website to disappear into the background. A dominant blue homepage can look awesome, but you don't want to use it on every page.
A white background looks super clean and simple on a page with a lot of content, so include your blue in dominant fonts and accent designs to be cohesive but not over-blue.
Any color will work for a website when used in an efficient way, but if you are looking to portray the specifics of communication, then blue is the way to go!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2015. It was updated in August 2018 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Published on August 8, 2018