The A List Apart Blog Presents:

Why are Links Blue?

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, is credited with making hyperlinks blue, a decision he appears to have reached at random. But although accessibility may not have been on Sir Tim’s mind at the time, the color choice was a happy one, according to Joe Clark:

Red and green are the colours most affected by colour-vision deficiency. Almost no one has a blue deficiency. Accordingly, nearly everyone can see blue, or, more accurately, almost everyone can distinguish blue as a colour different from others. It was pure good luck that the default colour of hyperlinks is blue with underlining.

Joe Clark, Building Accessible Websites

6 Reader Comments

  1. What a great and accidental thought from Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Little did he know how important that decision would be so many years later. Thank you Sir Tim Berners-Lee for your beautiful luck.

  2. The only time I ever emailed Tim Berners-Lee was to ask him why he called it “index.html” versus “home.html” “default.*” or any other alternate file name. He was kind enough to answer, saying in so many words that it just seemed to make sense, and that he didn’t put too much thought into it.

  3. “the maladies of a few”??? Considering about 10,000,000 men in the US (7% of the population) are colour blind, I find it shortsighted to dismiss that as “a few”. Geesh!

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