Go Google something. Okay, now, go and check Facebook. Great, okay, now, pop onto Twitter. And, just to seal the deal, take a peek at your LinkedIn.
You know what you just saw a lot of? The color blue.
Blue is the most popular color on the internet by far. But why?
Blue has long been the go-to color for links. But no one can seem to agree on exactly why, and who made that decision.
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 the color 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 default color 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.
Since then, some shade of blue has been a staple of search results pages, and a color most of us probably see on a daily basis.
The only color he could see all of was blue.
When Mark Zuckerberg was building Facebook, in the days when he was still working out of a college dorm, the choice to make blue its main color was a no-brainer. Mainly, because it wasn’t really a choice.
Zuckerberg is colorblind, unable to see red or green, and so blue is the only color he can fully interpret, which made his decision to make Facebook blue a pretty easy one.
The social network is one of the most popular sites in the world, and surely something most of us look at multiple times a day, has continued the trend of blue being the color we see most often online.
In 2016, designer Paul Hebert did an analysis of the ten most popular sites on the internet, according to Alexa.com, and scraped data about the colors they were using. What he found wasn’t super surprising. The most popular color by far is blue.
Perhaps it is because the sky and sea are blue. Perhaps it’s because one influential person just decided he or she liked the color blue. Whatever the truth is of its origin, blue is the internet, and indeed, the entire world of design’s default color.