Let's start at the beginning. The notion that blue is the most popular favorite color for so many people is based on research by YouGovAmerica. They worked on a survey across ten countries on multiple continents and found that blue is the favorite color of 23% to 33% of people. That's a lot! But why? As it turns out, color theory has something to do with it.
Why is blue the favorite color of so many people?
Color theory has a massive influence on what we like and dislike. For example, one of the main reasons why blue is the favorite color of so many people is that it doesn't have a lot of negative associations attached to it. Another reason is that we see a lot of blue in nature and that it is more of a background color compared to other popular colors.
If you remove the colors negatively impacted by this, only a few colors remain, and blue seems to be the most popular one. Let's review the reasons why.
We associate colors with different things for a number of reasons. First, we can think of an object or feeling with certain colors. For example, when we think of yellow, we think of the sun and summer.
Then, some associations are specific to a particular country, culture, or region. In the Netherlands, orange is the royal color, for example. And finally, some colors are very gender specific. Pink is associated with girls and princesses, which makes it a popular color among women but less among men.
Other colors, like red, have both a negative and a positive association. People associate red with passion and love but also with danger.
Needless to say, this greatly influences what our favorite color is. On the other hand, blue doesn't have a negative association like the color red. That's why so many large corporations have a blue logo. It makes blue a safe bet to be someone's favorite color.
Wavelength and brightness
From a color theory perspective, blue is a color with a short wavelength. Because of this, it is a color that reaches our eyes later than colors with a long wavelength, like yellow and red. In addition, most shades of blue also have relatively low brightness, making them more of a background color.
Colors with a low brightness are less predominant than high-brightness colors. Look at it like this; there's a higher chance that the bright glaring sun (yellow) will annoy you than the ocean (blue). That's another reason why blue is more likely to be someone's favorite color.
According to international research by YouGov, blue is the world's most popular favorite color. Looking at why that is with color theory in mind, several reasons come up.
Blue doesn't have negative or very specific color associations, unlike other colors.
The color blue has a short wavelength, making it a slow color compared to red and yellow.
Most shades of blue have a low brightness which is less annoying to see.