The History Thread is Feeling (Maya) Blue.

I’m not the biggest fan of the color blue (black is my favorite, as edge-lordy as it sounds), but I do have a soft spot for a certain shade that is commonly called “Maya Blue.”

True to it’s name, the color originated among the Maya of Central America, where it was used on buildings, statues, codices, any number of artworks (and, it is theorized, human sacrifice). It’s a remarkably durable pigment, with examples still being vibrant hundreds of years later.


This guy was made roughly 600-900 A.D.


It is known that Maya blue was a composite created by organic indigo dye and a type of clay called palygorskite. However, how those two elements were paired to make the end product is less clear, with the most recent hypothesis having something to with oxidization and chemistry stuff I don’t understand.

Fortunately, you can easily make virtual Maya blue with a simple hex triplet in HTML:


This Week’s Topic: Your favorite little bits of design/art history