BLUE color – history and values. Expert Article by Guillaumette Duplaix, Color Specialist, Executive Director, Global Editor-at Large at RUNWAY MAGAZINE.
For twenty years, PANTONE, the world reference for color charts, has been setting the trend. The reference color for 2020 is:
Classic Blue 19-402
Print & web reproduction:
HEX # 34558b
CMYK 88 – 67 – 20 – 0
RGB 51 – 85 – 139
Classic Blue Pantone COY 2020
The origin of BLUE dates back more than 3 billion years with the first forms of life. Especially blue algae.
BLUE is absent from prehistoric art and in rites, this color is less present than White, Yellow, Red or Black.
Ancient Greeks had no term to designate BLUE. There is no writing in the Old Testament either.
In fact, the BLUE remained discreet until the 12th century. BLUE considered a new color in the 14th century. Favorite color from the 18th century to the present day.
As a natural color, we have seen anurite and lapis lazuli appear. These pigments require to be thoroughly ground and washed.
In contrast, Egyptian BLUE and smalt are creations of man.
In western countries, BLUE has an excellent reputation. However, this color has long been despised, even feared.
In the ancient West, the Romans were very afraid of this color because it was used by barbarians who dyed their faces and bodies with blue pastel. This dark blue was taken from the guède, a plant (isatis tinctoria), whose body the Bretons and the Celts painted to appear formidable in combat, like “armies of specters” (Tacitus). This ford is the pastel that will prosper centuries later, the region of Toulouse (France).
The Middle East is very shared with BLUE, here are some examples:
For the Koran, the culprits excluded from paradise at the last judgment are qualified as “blue”. Some dynasties required Jews and Christians to dress in blue in order to differentiate them.
In Syria, a sneaky person has blue bones.
The Arab Festival, or Mourners in Cairo, Emile Bernard, 1894, a symphony in blue, indigo is the color of mourning in Egypt.
In Egypt, a bad day is blue. In the land of Islam, it is a magic color with the power to bring misfortune or happiness. And at the same time, the Muslim East protects children with a blue stone.
In Asia, BLUE does not have a good press at all. A color marked with negative connotations.
In Turkey and throughout Central Asia, BLUE has long been the color of mourning.
In China, BLUE represents torment, evokes specters.
In India, BLUE is abject, attracts unhappiness. In its darker shades, BLUE is linked to erotic passion. The god Krishna is always painted in BLUE. In addition, BLUE is associated with mourning. No Hindu attached to tradition and whatever his caste will wear a BLUE sari if her husband is alive.
In Native American culture, BLUE is connected to the west, the house of death. To be visited in a dream by a spirit with a BLUE feather is a very bad omen. We see that BLUE triumphs in the West.
As I said in the introduction, BLUE remains discreet until the Middle Ages.
In the 12th century, worn by the adoration of the virgin, the BLUE took an important place. BLUE is demanded by kings, aristocrats and then society. At the end of the Middle Ages the hierarchy of colors was reorganized and the BLUE dominated. From this moment, the BLUE evokes royalty, nobility, love, peace. The popularity of BLUE continues through the Renaissance to the present day.
BLUE is the preferred color in Europe, the United States and Latin America. Color that reassures, brings together … Jeans with the emblems of international organizations such as, for example, peacekeepers, the flag of the European Union.
In conclusion, BLUE is an “easy” color today but with a past that should not be overlooked.
If you want to present your work, your image … Be informed and ready to convey BLUE by having all these data because the world is moving, evolving … But the traditions remain.