Blue has become the standard colour for links. But in some circumstances it's not, for example if the background is blue. If we restrict our attention to article ledes in which the body text is black, and for which the headline is a link to the full article, in what circumstances is blue not the best colour for the link? And then what colours might we reasonably use?

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    I believe any color different enough from the text color (and from the background) can do. Accent colors
    – Alvaro
    Feb 5, 2017 at 23:14
  • Thank you for this comment and link, but that's not quite what I asked.
    – user96407
    Feb 6, 2017 at 9:03
  • "Blue has become the standard colour for links" is simply not true. Blue is typically the default color for unstyled links (and has been since literally the NCSA Mosaic days) but if anything the trend lately has been to remove color as a link cue altogether, especially for "headlines": I just checked a bunch of newspaper sites; almost all have black text for headline links, sometimes with a colored hover indicator (usually red, not blue). Feb 6, 2017 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


You should be working to a style guide that give you a palette of colours to work with - If you don't already have one, you should be building it as you go.

Within this palette you could identify a single colour that is readable, has enough contrast, and stands out enough to be used as your primary interaction colour.

Use this colour for text links, buttons and other interactive elements.

There is no real standard for link colours - the blue you talk about was simply the default in early browsers. By that same token you could also argue that the standard for background colours is grey.

Most corporate sites make user of a single bold colour that forms a part of their corporate colourscheme: hsbc.com uses black, white, and red (I think that's too many), Barclays user their own particular shade of blue, Coca-cola.com uses red and black, ee.co.uk uses green and yellow...

Lots of sites do use blue but only because it's usually a part of their corporate colourscheme.

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