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Is blue or purple better?

Is blue or purple better?

Blue and purple are both popular colors that evoke different meanings and emotions. Which one is “better” comes down to individual preference and context. Here we’ll examine the history, symbolism, psychology, and uses of these two shades to help you decide which you like more.

Quick Facts


  • Primary color
  • Longest wavelength color visible to human eye
  • Associated with tranquility, trust, intelligence, conservatism
  • Most popular favorite color in world


  • Secondary color made by mixing red and blue
  • Associated with royalty, luxury, ambition, creativity
  • Symbol of wisdom, dignity, independence, and magic
  • Less common favorite color than blue

History and Symbolism

Throughout history, blue and purple dyes were rare and expensive to produce. As a result, they became associated with wealth and nobility in many ancient cultures.


Blue has symbolized tranquility, wisdom, loyalty, and truth since antiquity. In ancient Egypt, blue was associated with the sky gods and represented creation and rebirth. The dye ultramarine made from lapis lazuli stone was particularly prized.

In the Byzantine Empire, blue was used to represent Christ and heaven. During the Middle Ages in Europe, blue dye was expensive so it was worn by nobility and the wealthy.

Blue was also adopted as the color of many world flags starting in the 18th century, including the United States flag. It represents freedom, liberty, and justice.


The rarity and expense of purple dyes gave it elite status in many ancient cultures. In Rome, purple dye was worth more than gold and was worn by emperors, senators, and nobles as a status symbol.

In pre-Columbian Mexico, purple shells were traded as valuable currency. The people of the Byzantine Empire made purple dye from marine snails which was reserved for the imperial court.

During the Middle Ages, purple was strictly used by royalty and the church. Bishops wore purple robes, and British royals were referred to as the “purple” after the purple robes they wore.

Psychology and Meaning

Research has uncovered how these two colors affect us mentally and emotionally. The different meanings associated with blue versus purple influence their appeal.


Blue has calming, peaceful effects. Studies show just glancing at the color blue can lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s associated with tranquility, relaxation, trust, and loyalty.

Blue also represents confidence, intelligence, and integrity. Conservative politics appropriated blue, while innovative corporations like Facebook embrace blue for trustworthiness.

The downside is blue can sometimes seem aloof, cold or depressing if taken to an extreme. Dark blue is linked to sadness and despair.


Purple mixes the reliability of blue with the passion of red. So it stimulates creativity and imagination while still seeming dependable. It inspires ambition and independence.

Purple is associated with royalty, luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It’s also mystical and magical. Too much purple can seem artificial, pompous or arrogant.

Light purple shades are romantic and feminine. Dark or muted purple is more intellectual and dignified.

Uses and Preferences

When deciding between blue and purple, consider how they are utilized in design and marketing as well as people’s color preferences.

Uses in Design

Blue Purple
  • Most widely used color in corporate logos and branding
  • Recommended for advertising tranquility, relaxation, wisdom
  • Common accent color in interior design
  • Default color for links on websites
  • Used in beauty, anti-aging, and spirituality product marketing
  • Luxury brands like Cadbury and Hallmark use purple
  • Recommended for ads targeting creative/artistic personalities
  • Used sparingly as an accent color

Color Preferences

In a survey on favorite colors:

  • 33% of people said blue was their favorite color
  • Only 5% chose purple as their favorite

However, more women tend to prefer purple compared to men.

Blue is the most universally well-liked color while purple is more polarizing – people either love it or hate it.


So should you choose blue or purple? Here’s a quick recap:

Blue is universally appealing and safest choice. It has positive associations with tranquility, trust, intelligence, and stability.

Purple is a more daring and unconventional choice. It stimulates creativity and ambition but some find it artificial or pompous.

Choose blue for broad appeal across age and gender. Pick purple for edginess and sophistication. Combine the two for a balanced and modern look.

Whether blue or purple appeals more comes down to your personality and the impression you want to give. Use this guide to choose the better shade for your purposes.