High-efficiency blue phosphorescence emission is essential for organic optoelectronic applications. However, synthesizing heavy-atom-free organic systems having high triplet energy levels and suppressed non-radiative transitions—key requirements for efficient blue phosphorescence—has proved difficult. Here we demonstrate a simple chemical strategy for achieving high-performance blue phosphors, based on confining isolated chromophores in ionic crystals. Formation of high-density ionic bonds between the cations of ionic crystals and the carboxylic acid groups of the chromophores leads to a segregated molecular arrangement with negligible inter-chromophore interactions. We show that tunable phosphorescence from blue to deep blue with a maximum phosphorescence efficiency of 96.5% can be achieved by varying the charged chromophores and their counterions. Moreover, these phosphorescent materials enable rapid, high-throughput data encryption, fingerprint identification and afterglow display. This work will facilitate the design of high-efficiency blue organic phosphors and extend the domain of organic phosphorescence to new applications.