Blue Crush: The Colour of Surfing the Net

Blue Crush: The Colour of Surfing the Net

humanity and bright blue

In an advertorial on their blog, creative asset and design marketplace Envato brings up an excellent point about something I frankly didn’t notice about the Internet: it’s really blue. And they’re not talking colloquially about the documented relationship between ’net-based social media use and depression. They mean literally: a lot of brand presences on the Internet use blue as their default colour. And it’s true — think of Facebook, LinkedIn, and, once upon a time, Google. (In addition to the many other smaller companies and concepts out there.)
So it’s well documented that the Internet is pretty overwhelmingly blue. But why? Envato blog editor Dom Hennequin hypothesizes it’s for a variety of reasons. We might like it unconsciously because it is the natural colour of the sky, or it’s because Mark Zuckerberg is colour-blind and blue was the only hue he could reliably process when creating Facebook. Or, it has its roots in deep Internet prehistory.
“Internet folklore traces the popularity of links back to the father of the internet, Sir Tim Berners Lee. Some of the earliest pictures of him that feature links on his computer screen show links colored in blue.

But, Berners Lee, himself, has no memory of deciding on thecolor as the preferred choice for them. Mostly because when he popularized the practice of hyperlinks, he did it in the era of grayscale screens.

The path, therefore, leads us to Mosaic, an early internet browser, whose creators apparently decided to make blue the defaultcolor of links, because it was the color closest to black in its contrast to white, thus making it the next most legible color choice for web pages”.

I prefer my own theory: that viewing the colour blue on the web has a calming effect, much like its real-world use in environments like prisons and hospitals. From business challenges to world news, a lot of what the web delivers to us can be maddening. Perhaps receiving it through a blue filter helps keep our blood pressure down — at least long enough for us to continue surfing.