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What is the hue color of blue?

What is the hue color of blue?

The hue of a color refers to its position on the color wheel. The hue is one of the main properties of color, along with saturation and brightness. When discussing hue, we are talking about the pure form of a color, without tints or shades. For example, blue is a hue, while navy blue and baby blue are variations of that hue.

So what is the hue of blue? Let’s take a closer look at how color hue is defined and where blue sits on the color wheel. This will give us a clear understanding of the essential characteristics of the blue hue.

Defining Color Hue

Hue refers to a color’s position on the visible spectrum. Sir Isaac Newton was the first to identify the seven colors of the rainbow as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These make up the visible spectrum of light that the human eye can see.

The hue of a color is determined by its dominant wavelength. Wavelengths of light correspond to different colors. Shorter wavelengths are bluish colors while longer wavelengths are reddish. Blue light has a wavelength of around 475 nanometers.

When mapped on a color wheel, the colors of the visible spectrum connect to form a continuous circle. The color wheel shows the relationship between primary, secondary, and tertiary hues. Primary hues are the main bands of color – red, yellow, and blue. Secondary hues are created by mixing two primary colors, giving us orange, green, and violet. Further combinations create tertiary hues like red-violet and blue-green.

Understanding this layout helps us identify the characteristics of any hue based on its placement on the wheel. So where does blue fall?

The Blue Hue

Blue is one of the three primary colors on the color wheel, along with red and yellow. As a primary hue, blue is situated between the secondary hues of violet and green. Looking at its complementary colors across the wheel, we see that the complement of blue is orange.

Some key facts about the blue hue:

– Wavelength: ~475 nm
– Position on color wheel: Between violet and green
– Primary or Secondary: Primary
– Complementary hue: Orange

When imagining pure blue, think of a cloudless midday sky or a robin’s egg. This vivid, pure shade defines the blue hue. Technically, there are multiple shades of blue, like azure, cobalt, and ultramarine. But the root wavelength remains the same, around 475 nanometers, giving all these shades the same underlying hue.

So in summary, the hue color of blue is defined by its dominant wavelength of 475 nm corresponding to a vivid, pure blue. All other blues take this primary hue and modify it by adding white, black, or other colors like green or purple.

Hue vs. Tint, Tone, and Shade

It’s important to distinguish hue from other color properties like tint, tone, and shade:

– Hue – The pure color, defined by wavelength of light. Blue is the hue we are discussing.

– Tint – The hue plus white added, making it lighter. Baby blue is a tint of blue.

– Tone – Produced by adding gray to a hue. Creates muted, subtle colors.

– Shade – Adding black to darken the hue. Navy blue is a shade of blue.

So while there are endless variations of blue, from the palest sky blue to the deepest navy, these all stem from the same essential blue hue. The hue represents the pure color before modifications like lightening, darkening, or muting.

Hue in Color Systems

The hue of a color remains constant across different color models and systems. While the way hue is quantified may differ, the essential color remains the same. Here’s how blue hue appears in some common color systems:

– RGB (red, green, blue) – In RGB, blue is one of the primary colors. Pure blue is made by having the blue value at full strength with no red or green.

– CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) – CMYK is a subtractive color model used in printing. Pure blue is 100% cyan ink, with no other colors mixed in.

– HSL (hue, saturation, lightness) – In HSL, hue is represented as an angle from 0 to 360°. Blue has a hue value around 240°.

– Hex triplets – This web coding system identifies blue as #0000FF, with the two zeros indicating no red or green.

So while the numbers and acronyms vary, the hue itself remains a vivid primary blue in any color system. Whether mixing pigments or adjusting sliders, the essential blue hue remains the same.

Properties of Blue Hue

Now that we understand blue’s place on the color wheel, let’s look at some of its defining properties as a hue:

Cool Color

Blue is considered a cool color, meaning its hue falls on the cooler end of the color spectrum. Cool colors are often associated with restfulness, calmness, and serenity. Think of a relaxing blue sky or sea. In contrast, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow evoke feelings of energy and excitement.

Receding Color

Cool colors tend to visually recede into the background while warm ones come forward. Imagine looking at a mountain range – the more distant peaks will take on a bluish cast. This receding effect makes blue ideal for creating depth and perspective.

Natural Color

While many vibrant hues like fuchsia are synthetic pigments, blue is one of the primary natural colors. From blue gems like sapphires to bluebirds, blue appears frequently across nature. This helps explain its enduring popularity in art, fashion, and design.

Property Description
Cool/Warm Cool
Advancing/Receding Receding
Natural/Synthetic Natural

Psychology of Blue

Beyond its visual characteristics, the blue hue also evokes psychological responses. Understanding these effects allows designers to strategically apply blue for specific impacts.

Calming Effect

Blue light has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure due to its cool, peaceful associations. Soft blue tones are often used in bedrooms and spas for this relaxing effect. Light blue can also increase productivity and focus while reducing emotional stress.


Darker blues like navy evoke a sense of authority and professionalism. Government, corporate, and legal industries often utilize blue for this reason. However, too stark a blue may come across as cold or rigid.


Blue also conveys a sense of stability and trust in finance, technology, and other industries where credibility is key. Blue is linked to attributes like wisdom, confidence, and honesty. However, overuse of blue can seem unfriendly or conservative.


Being a cooler, darker color, blue is considered one of the more masculine hues. It is frequently incorporated into products and brands marketed primarily to men. However, shades like robin’s egg blue have softer, more feminine connotations.

So while reactions are subjective, strategically applying tones and tints of blue hue can evoke positive professional, tranquil, and trustworthy associations.

Use of Blue in Design

The versatile blue hue features prominently across many areas of design. Here are some of its most common and effective applications:

Web Design

Light blues help create an open, breezy feel for websites related to topics like travel, beaches, and relaxing activities. This cool tone also nicely complements the warm hues of human skin in photographs.

Corporate Branding

Darker blues like navy blue or azure communicate professionalism and reliability in corporate branding. Blue conveys trust while maintaining a polished, non-offensive aesthetic.

Healthcare Facilities

Soft sky blue tones are perfect for doctors’ offices, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. The tranquil blue is soothing and sanitary-looking for patients.

Food Packaging

While food itself trends more toward warm, appetizing colors, blue food packaging can convey a sense of healthiness and purity. It is most appropriate for foods perceived as refreshing or cooling.


Blue is a staple color for clothing, popular in styles for both men and women. Lighter blues work for relaxed warm-weather looks, while navy and royal blue skew more formal and professional.

So whether for branding, websites, products, or spaces, the flexible blue hue has broad applications for visual design across many industries.


In summary, the hue color of blue is defined by its position as a primary hue on the color wheel with a light wavelength of around 475 nanometers. This vivid primary blue represents the pure color before tinting, shading, or mixing. Key characteristics of blue hue include being a cool, recessive natural color associated with calmness, serenity, trust, and professionalism. This versatile primary hue features prominently across design disciplines thanks to its attractive and flexible visual qualities. So next time you come across a striking blue, you can better appreciate the essential characteristics of its beautiful hue.