Why are hyperlinks blue? An in-depth analysis of web history

A new blog post from Mozilla asks the question, why are hyperlinks blue? It’s a fascinating dive into the history of the web. There is no definitive answer, but Elise Blanchard has a hunch.

Blue hyperlinks

I will share some highlights from the play.

Mosaic, an early browser released by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina on January 23, 1993, had blue hyperlinks. To truly understand the origin and evolution of hyperlinks, I’ve traveled through the history of technology and interfaces to explore how links were handled before color monitors, and how interfaces and hyperlinks quickly evolved once that color has become an option.


Windows 1.0 brought a color GUI. Links and buttons are still black, like Apple’s interface back then. What I find interesting, however, is that this is the first time our dark blue has been used in a layout. Dark blue is heavily used in headers and on borders around modals.

To finish:

1987 – HyperCard

Published by Apple for the Macintosh, this program used hyperlinks between pages and applications. Although aesthetically beautiful, this version did not use color in its hyperlinks.

It’s a long read but worth it if you’re interested in graphic design and web history.

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