Numerous studies have noted that blue is the Western world’s favorite color, at least within the visual arts. This phenomenon has actually been heightened over the past five decades. The virtual world has now been colored, little by little, by the same predilection. It might be said that a “blue fever” has colored our collective imagination. But why?

Experts postulate that green may be blue’s closest competitor. There are multiple explanations for this, many based on the seemingly infinite symbolisms and mythologies of either color, or likewise, on what’s been established of blue’s effects on mental health. The fact is that, over time, such preferences have changed from warmer colors (orange was a favorite for centuries) to blue and green. This can be seen in a graph created by Martin Bellander. It might also be explained by the fact that they’re the colors of our planet and its natural life, both now seriously threatened by human hands.

Some weeks ago, the United Nations issued an urgent and frightening message. It was a report indicating that one million species are in danger of extinction. Some of the world’s most recognized scientists participated in the study which established that the Earth and everything inhabiting it (including people) are at serious risk. From coral reefs to rainforests, everything is under threat and the numbers are overwhelming. Nature has declined much faster than was ever the case over the last ten million years. Wild mammal populations have fallen by 82%. And that’s not even to mention the worrisome reductions of pollinating insects and amphibians across the planet. All of this is the result of human activities.

One possible explanation of our predilection for blue and green may be precisely this: our unconscious is calling upon us to do the right thing, to safeguard what little we have, our planet, and our home. Perhaps our collective psyche feels a nostalgia for these colors, at risk, and our preference is simply color’s power urging us to fundamentally change our relationship with the Earth, with that pale blue dot that’s still our home.

Image: Public domain

Numerous studies have noted that blue is the Western world’s favorite color, at least within the visual arts. This phenomenon has actually been heightened over the past five decades. The virtual world has now been colored, little by little, by the same predilection. It might be said that a “blue fever” has colored our collective imagination. But why?

Experts postulate that green may be blue’s closest competitor. There are multiple explanations for this, many based on the seemingly infinite symbolisms and mythologies of either color, or likewise, on what’s been established of blue’s effects on mental health. The fact is that, over time, such preferences have changed from warmer colors (orange was a favorite for centuries) to blue and green. This can be seen in a graph created by Martin Bellander. It might also be explained by the fact that they’re the colors of our planet and its natural life, both now seriously threatened by human hands.

Some weeks ago, the United Nations issued an urgent and frightening message. It was a report indicating that one million species are in danger of extinction. Some of the world’s most recognized scientists participated in the study which established that the Earth and everything inhabiting it (including people) are at serious risk. From coral reefs to rainforests, everything is under threat and the numbers are overwhelming. Nature has declined much faster than was ever the case over the last ten million years. Wild mammal populations have fallen by 82%. And that’s not even to mention the worrisome reductions of pollinating insects and amphibians across the planet. All of this is the result of human activities.

One possible explanation of our predilection for blue and green may be precisely this: our unconscious is calling upon us to do the right thing, to safeguard what little we have, our planet, and our home. Perhaps our collective psyche feels a nostalgia for these colors, at risk, and our preference is simply color’s power urging us to fundamentally change our relationship with the Earth, with that pale blue dot that’s still our home.

Image: Public domain