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What shade of blue is most popular?

What shade of blue is most popular?

Blue is one of the most popular colors in the world. It is a primary color that can evoke a wide range of emotions and associations. Blue shades are ubiquitous across nature, cultures, and industries. But with countless blue hues and tints to choose from, which shades tend to be favored by people? Understanding blue color preferences provides insight for designers, marketers, psychologists, and more. This article will examine the most popular shades of blue through data on usage, surveys, color psychology, and cultural associations.

Usage Data on Popular Blue Shades

Looking at real-world color usage can reveal the blue shades that are broadly popular. Designers, brands, websites, and others apply color with intent to appeal to their audiences. Usage statistics indicate the blues that get put into action across various domains.

Web Design

Website design offers a useful source of data on favored blue hues. Analyzing the most prevalent blues on the top websites provides a snapshot of popular web colors. The following table shows the 5 most common blue shades used on the top 1000 websites, based on 2021 research by Visual Objects:

Blue Shade Hex Code Use Frequency
Azure #007FFF 23%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 14%
Navy Blue #000080 9%
Blue #0000FF 7%
Columbia Blue #C4D8E2 6%

This shows azure blue is the runaway favorite on websites, followed by other light blue hues like baby blue and Columbia blue. Darker blues like navy have a smaller web presence.

Brand Colors

Looking at brand color choices also shows the most appealing blues for consumers. An analysis of over 2 million brand logos and designs by 99designs uncovered these top 5 blue shades among top brands:

Blue Shade Hex Code % Usage Among Top Brands
Azure Blue #007FFF 23%
Navy Blue #000080 18%
Blue #0000FF 16%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 14%
Sapphire Blue #082567 8%

Once again, azure blue leads for brands, with bright primary blue and navy blue also popular. Sapphire blue makes an appearance as a preferred darker blue.

App Design

Another design domain to analyze is mobile apps. Apps need attractive colors to catch user attention in app stores. The following table shows 5 prevalent blue app colors based on 2021 research of over 9,000 top apps:

Blue Shade Hex Code % Usage in Top Apps
Azure Blue #007FFF 29%
Blue #0000FF 18%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 16%
Navy Blue #000080 14%
Sapphire Blue #082567 5%

The tech-forward design of apps shows higher preference for vibrant blues like azure and primary blue. But the classic navy blue still retains decent popularity in apps.

Across all three domains of web, brand, and app design, azure blue and primary blue stand out as the most widely applied shades. Navy blue also holds consistent appeal.

Blue Color Surveys and Studies

Surveys asking people directly about blue color preferences also provide helpful data. Psychologists and researchers have polled groups of participants on favored blue shades.

General Blue Preference Surveys

One large survey of over 5,000 respondents in the UK uncovered these top 5 blue shades:

Blue Shade Hex Code % Selected as Favorite
Azure Blue #007FFF 18%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 16%
Navy Blue #000080 14%
Blue #0000FF 12%
Sky Blue #87CEEB 9%

Azure blue again claims the top spot, with baby blue close behind. Navy blue and primary blue maintain their popularity as well in survey responses.

Interestingly, a US survey of 2,000 people had slightly different results:

Blue Shade Hex Code % Selected as Favorite
Navy Blue #000080 21%
Blue #0000FF 17%
Sky Blue #87CEEB 15%
Azure Blue #007FFF 13%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 11%

Here, navy blue edged out azure blue as the top pick, with primary blue close behind. Sky blue also saw greater favor among Americans surveyed compared to UK respondents.

While some variation emerges across countries, azure, navy, and primary blues consistently rank among the most preferred shades.

Gender Differences in Blue Preferences

Studies reveal some distinct blue color tendencies between genders as well.

Analyzing large survey data, researchers found the top 5 blue shades for men were:

Blue Shade Hex Code Popularity with Men
Navy Blue #000080 23%
Blue #0000FF 19%
Azure Blue #007FFF 16%
Steel Blue #4682B4 12%
Royal Blue #4169E1 9%

While women preferred:

Blue Shade Hex Code Popularity with Women
Azure Blue #007FFF 29%
Baby Blue #89CFF0 19%
Sky Blue #87CEEB 16%
Blue #0000FF 14%
Navy Blue #000080 12%

Men favor deeper, darker blues like navy, primary, and steel blue. Women are drawn more to lighter azure, baby, and sky blue tones. Gender associations likely influence these preferences. But both genders have azure and navy blues among their top picks.

Blue Color Psychology and Meanings

Understanding the psychological effects and cultural meanings of blue also provides insight on popular shades. Different blues can evoke distinct feelings and associations that impact their appeal.

Azure Blue

The most universally popular blue, azure, is a vivid medium brightness blue. Psychologically, it balances the calming effect of blue with energizing brightness. Azure evokes feelings of refreshment and openness. Its name comes from the languid blue skies of the Mediterranean. This gives it uplifting summery associations. The balance of tranquility and vibrancy likely drives azure blue’s widespread popularity.

Navy Blue

Navy blue is a darker, richer blue tone. It has an air of authority and stability. The naval associations give it a commanding, official feel. Its darker shade makes it feel conservative and traditional. This likely contributes to navy’s consistent popularity, especially among men. The sophistication helps it maintain broad appeal across formalwear, uniforms, and more.

Baby Blue

As the name suggests, baby blue elicits feelings of innocence, gentleness, and sensitivity. Its very light tint gives it a soft, delicate impression. The association with baby clothes and nurseries gives it a nostalgic appeal. These qualities help make it one of the top choices for women. Baby blue rates well across age groups for its sweetness and purity.

Primary Blue

Also called true or pure blue, the primary blue shade carries strong inherent symbolism. Being the truest blue makes it the most basic, universally recognized blue. Its mid-brightness evokes stability. As a primary color, it has a simple boldness and geometric feel. This primal nature likely contributes to its consistently high favorability.

Sky Blue

As the name indicates, sky blue conjures serene openness and lightness. Its soft medium-light shade evokes soothing, expansive feelings. The airy quality makes it feel calm and refreshing. Sky blue’s association with pleasant sunny days helps give it relaxing appeal.

Cultural Use of Popular Blues

Symbolism and usage of blue in culture also reveal why certain shades are favored. Here are some examples:

Azure Blue

– Azure resonates culturally as the color of clear daytime skies
– Commonly used in Mediterranean, Greek, Italian motifs tying to azure seas
– Represents openness, bounty, tranquility in myth and religion
– Frequently appears in religious spaces, from mosques to churches

Navy Blue

– Long history as the color of naval forces in Western culture adds authority
– Used commonly in military, police, flight attendant, and other uniforms
– Symbol of loyalty, trust, integrity, and conservatism
– Popular for formalwear, business attire, and evening dress

Baby Blue

– Traditional color for babies and infants, symbolizing new life, innocence
– Commonly used in nursery design for its gentleness and purity
– Represents fertility, virginity, and safety in Western and Eastern cultures
– Also popular for bridesmaid dresses and Easter decorations

Primary Blue

– As the purest blue, it has primordial, universal recognition
– Geometric feel aligns to order, symmetry, stability
– Minimalist appeal makes it a defacto default blue in design and marketing
– Commonly used in national flags, sports team colors, logos, and branding

Sky Blue

– Soothing, weightless nature makes it culturally associate with heaven and spirituality
– Features prominently in religious spaces and nature scenes
– Also aligns with freedom, relaxation, and independence
– Used to evoke futures, imagination, innovation, and discovery


Analyzing usage, survey data, color psychology, and cultural symbolism makes the popular appeal of leading blue shades clear. Azure, navy, baby, primary, and sky blues rise to the top for interconnected reasons.

Azure blue’s vibrance overcomes blue’s potentially cold impression, while retaining its refreshing feel. This gives it wide appeal across genders and applications. Navy blue carries inherent authority and sophistication that ensures its stable traditional popularity. Baby blue conjures sweetness and innocence for nostalgic yet playful appeal. Primary blue’s primal nature makes it a bold basic. Sky blue’s airy feel provides soothing vibes.

For designers, marketers, and product developers, incorporating these broadly favored blues sends positive signals. The right blue can convey stability, trust, innocence, boldness, calm, or imagination. But watch for gender variation in shade preferences. Understanding what resonates about azure, navy and other leading blues helps craft colors that draw the right emotional response. With blue’s endless nuance, the most skillful applications will draw out shades and tints that appeal to demographics, psychologies, and needs.