The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have on sighted people in all facets of life. Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.
The Emotional Effects of Colours
What is Colour Psychology?
The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have on sighted people in all facets of life. There are some very subjective pieces to colour psychology as well as some more accepted and proven elements. Keep in mind, that there will also be variations in interpretation, meaning, and perception between different cultures.
Applying Colour Psychology to Everday Life
Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Do you ever notice that certain places especially irritate you? Or that certain places are especially relaxing and calming? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.
In art therapy, colour is often associated with a person’s emotions. Colour may also influence a person’s mental or physical state. For example, studies have shown that some people looking at the colour red resulted in an increased heart rate, which then led to additional adrenaline being pumped into the blood stream.
There are also commonly noted psychological effects of colour as it relates to two main categories: warm and cool. Warm colours – such as red, yellow and orange – can spark a variety of emotions ranging from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Cool colours – such as green, blue and purple – often spark feelings of calmness as well as sadness.
The concepts of colour psychology can also be applied in everyday life. For example, maybe you’re planning on re-painting your walls or redecorating a house or room with a new colour scheme. Well, you might want to consider some of these suggestions about colorus and how they might affect your emotions and mood:
Psychological Effects of Cool Colours
Need to be creative? Want help getting those brain synapses firing? Try utilizing the colour purple. Purple utilizes both red and blue to provide a nice balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity. Light purple is said to result in a peaceful surrounding, thus relieving tension. These could be great colours for a home or business office.
Are you looking for a peaceful and calming environment? You might consider using green and/or blue. These cool colours are typically considered restful. There is actually a bit of scientific logic applied to this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less strainful on your eye muscles.
The colour blue is suggested for high-traffic rooms or rooms that you or other people will spend significant amounts of time. Another cool colour, blue is typically a calming and serene colour, said to decrease respiration and lower blood pressure. The bedroom is a great place to use these colours as they should help you relax.
Psychological Effects of Warm Colours
Want to create an environment of stimulation or whet people’s appetite? You might consider utilizing the colours yellow or orange. These colours are often associated with food and can cause your tummy to growl a little. Have you ever wondered why so many restaurants use these colours? Now you know why even after people watched the movie SuperSize Me, they said they were hungry.
You do want to be careful about using bright colours like orange and especially yellow. They reflect more light and excessively stimulate a person’s eyes which can lead to irritation. You also probably don’t want to paint your dining room or kitchen these colours if you’re a calorie-counter.
Pyschology of Colour for Marketing & Advertising
Marketing and advertising are well-known for utilizing colour psychology. The fact that some companies have heavily invested in this type of research and many others have followed through in its use shows they have at enough belief in the concepts of colour psychology to implement them in their advertising.
Colour is consistently used in an attempt to make people hungry, associate a positive or negative tone, encourage trust, feelings of calmness or energy, and countless other ways.
Most marketing and advertising executives will likely agree that there are benefits to understanding and utilizing the psychological effects of colours. Now let’s take a look at some of the more common traits of colour psychology, by some common colours.
Common Psychological Effects of Colours
The following are some common psychological effects of colours in the Western Hemisphere. Keep in mind that certain shades or tones may result in very different meanings. Also, the context around the colour, and even surrounding colours, can have an effect. Think of this as more of a beginning guide to colour psychology.
Colour Psychology: The Colour White
sense of space
mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Colour Psychology: The Colour Black
thinning / slimming
death or mourning
Colour Psychology: The Colour Gray
Colour Psychology: The Colour Red
Colour Psychology: The Colour Orange
Colour Psychology: The Colour Yellow
Colour Psychology: The Colour Green
Colour Psychology: The Colour Blue
Colour Psychology: The Colour Purple
Colour Psychology: The Colour Brown
mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Colour Psychology: The Colour Pink
Source: Art Therapy