Blog >> The Psychology of Colour
Colours are all around us every day - our eyes are constantly stimulated by light from the visible light spectrum, not to mention the shades and hues that further diversify each of the primary colours. It is pitiful that we often neglect the effects they have on our psychological and emotional states. The role of colours take on an essential role in our daily lives, one of the most apparent examples being that of female toilets being demarcated with lighter, more feminine tones and the male ones with masculine, boyish hues. Within the commercial and business sector, the psychology of colour is used widely in marketing and branding tactics in companies worldwide with the intention to influence emotions and perceptions of consumers towards products or brand names. This blog post will serve to elaborate on how the psychology of colour affects our daily lives and how we can utilize them to our advantage.
We begin with the strongest colour in the visible spectrum - the bold red. Red is associated with physical strength, courage and energy. Being attention grabbing, it stimulates and increases the pulse rate, allowing for effective use in traffic lights. It may at times also seem demanding, aggressive and headstrong; one finds it hard to turn away from an individual dressed in a strong shade of this colour. Red paint can be used in the painting of the dining room or workout room due to its stimulating properties.
Next on the list is the neutral and calming blue. Often associated with intelligence, trust and serenity, blue is soothing and calming. Hinting of clear communication and efficiency, blue objects tend to revitalize the spirit and aid in concentration. In home decoration, blue is a desirable choice for use in bathrooms to give a sense of cleanliness and freshness.
Yellow, though not as popular as red or blue, exudes within the individual a multitude of emotions related to optimism, confidence and extraversion. Being a friendly and creative colour, yellow is regarded as the most psychologically stimulating colour in the visible spectrum - even more so than red. However, it would be wise to use it in moderation; an excess of colour or wrong choice of tone may evoke feelings of fear and anxiety. Yellow, when mixed with an appropriate shade of green, finds use on the walls of the workout room, where it brings about "happiness" and "exuberance".
We move on to the most harmonious and refreshing colour - green. With regards to the effects of colour, green signifies balance, peace and equilibrium. Being in the centre of the spectrum, it's importance is often ignored. Being surrounded by this colour gives a feeling of safety, reassurance and restful, allowing one to enter a state of harmony. Green is most suitable for use in the study room or office of the modern home as it encourages one to concentrate for long hours on end.
Purple or violet, having the shortest wavelength in the spectrum, brings one's awareness to an elevated level that some might even describe as being spiritual. It stimulates introspection, contemplation and meditation and has strong associations with royalty and fine quality. It is no surprise that this colour, being the combination of the strong red and calming blue, represents the harmony of the universe in Chinese paintings. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sahasrara or crown chakra is often coloured in violet as a form of veneration and reverence for the seventh primary chakra. The effects of colour therefore play an important role in spirituality and religion as well.
We often experience the effects of colour in countless forms while going about our activities. Unknown to many, colours do exert a subtle yet compelling force on our moods, emotions and eventual actions. It would be wise to incorporate careful consideration and psychology of colour in planning and design, whether for commercial or private reasons. In essence, colour is a tool that can and should be used to optimize the ways in which we function and operate.
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