Colour Meanings and Psychology

22 Mar

Color is light and light is energy. Red, yellow and orange are in general considered high-arousal colors and blue, green and most violets are low-arousal hues, the brilliance, darkness and lightness of a color can alter the psychological message. The psychological association of a color is often more meaningful than the visual experience. Colors act upon the body as well as the mind. Red has been shown to stimulate the senses and raise the blood pressure, while blue has the opposite effect and calms the mind (http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/Pantone.aspx?pg=19356&ca=29).

Blue is seen as a calm, soothing and cool colour. Blue is the overwhelming “favorite color.” Blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. The color of sky and the ocean, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives.

Blue is the least “gender specific” color, having equal appeal to both men and women. How the color blue affects us physically and mentally:

– Calming and sedate

– Cooling

– Aids intuition

Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and is second only to blue as a favorite color. Green is the pervasive color in the natural world that is an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere.

The natural greens, from forest to lime, are seen as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology. However, there is an “institutional” side to green, associated with illness or Government-issued that conjure up negative emotions as do the “slimy” or bilious greens. How the color green affects us physically and mentally:

– Soothing

– Relaxing mentally as well as physically

– Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety

– Offers a sense of renewal, self-control and harmony

Red has more personal associations than any other color. Red can grab attention. Recognized as a stimulant red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element. How the color red affects us mentally and physically:

– Increases enthusiasm

– Stimulates energy

– Encourages action and confidence

– A sense of protection from fears and anxiety

Purple embodies the balance of red simulation and blue calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. A sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of adolescent girls. How the color purple affects us mentally and physically:

– Uplifting

– Calming to mind and nerves

– Offers a sense of spirituality

– Encourages creativity

White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, brides traditionally were white gowns and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home. How the color white affects us mentally and physically:

– aids mental clarity

– encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles

– evokes purification of thoughts or actions

– enables fresh beginnings

Pinks are youthful, fun, and exciting, while vibrant pinks have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive. Toning down the passion of red with the purity of white results in the softer pinks that are associated with romance and the blush of a young woman’s cheeks. It’s not surprising that when giving or receiving flowers, pink blossoms are a favorite. Pink is the color of happiness and is sometimes seen as lighthearted. For women who are often overworked and overburdened, an attraction to pink may speak of a desire for the more carefree days of childhood. How the color white affects us mentally and physically:

– Bright pinks, like the color red, stimulate energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate.  They also encourage action and confidence.

– Pink has been used in prison holding cells to effectively reduce erratic behavior.

(http://www.squidoo.com/colorexpert)

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