You may have heard that if you average together all colors on the web, you get orange. That may be true. But when you pull away the photographs of sunsets and the peachy skinned? You’re left with the visual framework of CSS, the text and menus and other graphic design elements of the web.
And that? That’s not orange. That’s blue.
It's a sentiment we've heard before; in 2014 John Herrman cataloged the subtle differences in blues among widely trafficked websites. The latest evidence comes courtesy of new visualizations by Paul Herbert, spotted by BoingBoing. He scraped the color codes from the world’s 10 top websites—which include noted blue aficionados Google, Facebook, and Twitter—and plotted them here.
And it’s not just the default #0000EE (hyperlink) blue, which I believe you can spot as that big orb in the upper left of the circle, tipping the scales. There’s a waterfall of blue that starts somewhere around sky blue and saturates all the way into black. It would seem that web designers are starting with blue to pick their next color—saturating or desaturating it to create black, grey, or white—since all these colors are related in a solid stream on the graph.
Aside from this blue-valanche, there’s a fair amount of red, and predictably to anyone who has tried to draw a sun in yellow crayon on white paper, just about no yellow. But it begs the question, where are all the other colors? No teal, purple, or pink? It’s like the 1980s never even happened in here. And, dear internet, all your throwback album covers and pixel art video games tell me that’s not true.
So we’re left wondering: Does the rest of the web look different, and more colorful? Or does it just follow the blue standards developed by the top 10? If only Herbert could expand the scope of his fantastic project to the top 50 or top 100 sites, we could find out.