Cobalt Communications The Art + Science of Understanding

Understanding: Blue

Blue has always challenged human senses. It is at once astonishingly beautiful, like a cloudless enamel sky, and painfully desolate, like an ocean abyss. The Greeks didn’t even have a word for blue. Perhaps they understood, like the French artist Yves Klein, that “blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions” — an inexplicable property that cannot be psychologically tangible. And yet blue is ubiquitous in our world today. It colors well-known logos, radiates from the screens of our devices and decorates our fashion runways. Read below to enhance your understanding of this enigmatic color.

Stacks Image 79
The History of Blue. Did you know that the ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for the color blue? If you read ancient Greek literature, you won’t find any instances of the word blue: the ocean was the color of wine, and the sky was grey or white. So how did the color go from obscurity to the world’s favorite color? Watch this video to learn more.
Stacks Image 83
What’s Your Blue IQ?
The color blue isn’t just popular with logo designers and branding experts — it’s also common in books, movies, television shows, and songs. Do you think you know more than the average bear when it comes to the color blue in modern day media? Test your knowledge about blue in pop culture by taking this short quiz!
Stacks Image 87
Anatomy of Blue.
For thousands of years, humans have puzzled over color. It is so subjective, so complex, that we still don’t fully understand the effects of color on our brains. Still, scientists are making progress. We made an infographic to explain some of the complex processes that take place when we “see” blue. View the infographic here.

Stacks Image 99
Blue in Marketing.
Blue is all around us. It colors our oceans, our skies, and our walls at home. The color can evoke a plethora of ambivalent feelings — from calm and trustworthy to distant and cold. With such diversity of meanings, feelings, and even shades or tones, how can your team tame blue to benefit your business and brand?
Stacks Image 103
Blue By Number. Creative thinking is an art and a science. Now you can use our tool — the Cobalt cyanometer — to look at the world a little differently and to quantify the blue world overhead. A handheld color gauge first developed in the 18th century, a cyanometer is used to measure the blueness of the sky. Is it azure, or is it indigo?

Stacks Image 112
Cobalt’s Understanding(x) Series examines complex topics with the goal of increasing understanding among laypeople. At the end of each year, we hope to have a portfolio of materials about the chosen topics that will become part of the public record — a resource for teachers, students and citizens to draw upon in their quest for clarity and connection. If you have any suggestions for topics to be considered, drop us a line.