The colour blue means many things to many people and can change based on their experiences and thoughts, as well as their upbringing and perceptions. It is usually synonymous with calm and composing oneself coolly no matter what the circumstances and, even more interestingly, the colour blue can have many meanings from many different people from all walks of life, even more so than most any other colour in the rainbow. So what does blue really mean and signify for people at large?
What Does The Use of Blue Mean To People?
The human brain is designed to react to certain colours in a particular way, usually tinged by experiences or perceptions. This can include mood alterations or feeling changes, and in the case of blue the reactions can actually be very different across the spectrum of humanity. Most colours have a more defined response, such as yellow for cheeriness or pink for femininity. Blue, no matter what shade it is, can trigger a wide range of responses.
A good portion of people associate the meaning of blue with nature, such as the ocean, a river or other body of water, or the sky. It has come to mean security and even serenity in some cases to many people, while shades such as sky blue or baby blue for example mean gentleness and fragility, ideal as an outfit for a newborn or worn as a calming pair of skinny jeans, for example.
Another meaning of blue can be security and trust, and companies such as IBM bank on this meaning by calling themselves “Big Blue” in older marketing materials. Blue can come to mean authority, strength and expertise. Plans for buildings are often called “blueprints”, and a group of very loyal people are often called “blue bloods”.
For a rare amount of people, it can come to mean deep sadness and loss or despair, or even the cold touch of death. People who are very sad suddenly can be termed as having the “blues”, thus changing the meaning completely from something soothing to something menacing and threatening.
Blue And Its Varied Meanings And Effect on Brain Chemistry
There are a number of groups from colleges, universities and the like who study the effects of colour on the brain and their meaning to people. These studies show the colour blue can have an effect on brain chemistry directly and greatly affect mood and emotion and have deep and lasting meaning for some.
The association of blue to the concept of heaven is one of the deeper meanings of the colour, being used in various rites of passage dating back thousands of years, used in religious paintings by Da Vinci and others for example.
As you can see, blue (and colours in general) can evoke very powerful emotional responses, even at a very basic brain chemistry level that can affect psychology and behaviour in many individuals. The meaning of blue to people is a varied topic worthy of deep study and contemplation and the colour itself definitely has the potential to unleash positive and negative feelings with ease.
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Ellen Collins is passionate about the power of the colour blue in everyday life.