Colour has a profound effect on how we feel both mentally and physically. Even as far back as Ancient Egypt colour was used as a tool for healing. Below are some emotional associations that we tend to have with certain colors. These are important to keep in mind in order to create the mood you are seeking. Blue is one of the most popular colours. It also happens to be the major colour of Earth – the sky and the ocean. Blue causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms; however Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. In a working environment, People tend to be more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms. Blue represents peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, and depression. Blue can slow the pulse rate, lower body temperature, and reduce appetite. Blue is considered a business colour because it reflects reliability and is often considered to be the safest global colour.
- In China, blue is associated with immortality.
- In Colombia, blue is associated with soap.
- For Hindus blue is the colour of Krishna.
- For the Jews, blue symbolizes holiness.
- In the Middle East blue is a protective colour.
Black is the absence of light and therefore, of colour…but we’ll call it a colour anyway for now. Black is the colour of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Catholic priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men, but it is mostly popular due to it’s slimming affects. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black. Black represents power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, good technical color, mourning and death. Red is the most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It also happens to be the color that we pay the most attention to. It is the warmest and most energic color in the spectrum. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture needs to be the most perfect element in the room because it will attract the most attention. Red also happens to be what bull fighters use…this decision was made before they found out bulls were colour blind, but you see the implication We associate red with love, valentines, danger, desire, speed, strength, violence, anger, emergency exit signs, stop signs and blood. Red can evoke a fight-or-flight response, raise blood pressure and make the heart beat faster. Red would not be the color of choice for psychiatric wards, prisons or a hospital!
- In China red symbolizes celebration and luck, used in many cultural ceremonies that range from funerals to weddings.
- In India red is the color of purity (used in wedding outfits).
Green is one of most-often cited favorite colors. It is currently the most popular decorating color. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in “green rooms” to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients – It is often worn in operating rooms by surgeons. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck. Green represents nature, environment, health, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.
- In China, green hats mean a man’s wife is cheating on him; it is not a good color for packaging.
- In France studies have indicated green is not a good color choice for packaging either.
- In India green is the color of Islam.
- In Ireland green has religious significance (Catholic).
- In some tropical countries green is associated with danger.
Yellow – cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism. Note that the McDonald’s theme is a combination of red and yellow. Yellow represents joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard, spirtuality and inspiration.
- The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship, less passionate or threatening than red ones.
- In Asia yellow is sacred, and imperial.
Orange is a combination of yellow and red. Orange is considered a warm color like red, but to a lesser extent; orange expresses energy. It has luminous qualities and has been used for attention-getting purposes, such as on caution signs. Orange brings up memories of fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween. It symbolizes balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrance, flamboyancy, and is demanding of attention.
- In Ireland orange has religious significance (Protestant).
Purple is the color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial. Purple represents royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning. Purple is considered an exotic color. Purple dye was made from the mucous gland of a snail. It required thousands of snails to yield 1 gram of dye causing it to be a color only nobles could afford. Today purple is a trendy color targeting creative types. White is what we see when all colors come together in perfect balance. It represents reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, and marriage. We use white in figures of speech like “pure as the driven snow” or “a white lie.” We associate white with the good guy in old western movies.
- In Japan, white carnations signify death.
- In eastern cultures white symbolizes coldness and sterility.
Brown is solid and reliable – just like bran muffins. Brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors. Brown on white can also represent dirty -like mud splashes on a car or the “other” splashes in the toilet.