Have you ever noticed how certain music can alter your mood? Or certain images? Or even certain colors? Color psychology studies how different hues influence human behavior. Colors impacting our emotions are not as obvious as say, the way tastes of foods make us feel, but colors are present in certain brands and décor that innately influence our feelings. Let’s take a look at some colors we see every day and how they may affect the way we feel.
Red is a color of power, attention, and energy. Red naturally increases blood circulation, breathing rates, and metabolism. Anything red normally attracts our attention, whether we notice it or not. Many fast-food chains incorporate red into their logos or interior décor to grab our attention and influence us to eat, as red does increase our metabolism. Red street signs or warning labels references to alerts that we must be aware of. Wearing any type of red also helps with showing confidence or power.
Orange is a color of creativity, adventure, and fun. Similar to red, orange is energizing, but not as intense or severe. It also incorporates the happiness of yellow. Orange is versatile, as it can be used to catch attention or used to symbolize adventure and optimism. Orange is extremely common in the autumn months: when leaves change colors, pumpkin patches open, and Thanksgiving is celebrated. This can influence people to associate orange with autumn and family time.
Yellow is a color of sunshine, happiness, and optimism. A warm sunny day is always cheerful, especially after days of gloomy weather. Yellow is also used as an attention-getter, but not as harsh as red. It’s used in many caution signs on the road since yellow is the most visible color to the human eye. Yellow can remind people of summer, warmth, and happiness. Piña coladas, lemonade, and sunflowers are all the exciting things people look forward to in the summer months.
Green is a color of balance, quality, and growth. Green is the most restful color to the human eye. All shades of green are heavily found in nature, which creates a calming effect to those who are stressed. It’s always a breath of fresh air when walking outside submerged in nature. Green is such a natural color: wearing green can give off a vibe of calmness, care, and compassion. Green can also be associated with one’s health, the environment, and money or one’s wealth.
Blue is a color of serenity, stability, and reliability. Opposite of red, blue can help lower the pulse rate and body temperature. Blue is also known as the least appetizing color, so eat on a blue plate to decrease consumption! It’s a calming color often used to reduce tension. Blue rooms are known to increase productivity of individuals at work, but also help individuals sleep peacefully at home. Wearing blue can help portray a sense of stability and relaxation. It can also create feelings of sadness and loneliness, as depicted in Picasso’s “blue period.”
Violet is a color of mystery, luxury, and power. Violet combines the stability of blue with the energy of red. Violet is not often found naturally in nature; therefore, it is sometimes viewed as exotic and artificial. Since violet is uncommon to nature, many people connect it to power and luxury, as it is commonly connected with royalty. Many adolescents refer to violet as their favorite color, possibly because it’s a great combination between powerful red and calm blue. Violet is the best of both worlds.
White is a color of purity, innocence, and cleanliness. White is simple and safe. In some cultures, white can represent purity, but in other cultures, white can represent isolation. For example, white is positive when thinking about a clean slate for a fresh start. But, white can be negative when thinking of a bland room without color. White is a great background color, and compliments all the other accent colors in the world.
Black is a color of power, elegance, and mystery. Black holes in space are mysterious and contain a lot of information we are unaware of. But, it’s also a prestigious color. Black represents formality and elegance, like a Black Tie event. With the right amount of black, it can be deemed as a complimenting color. But, with an overwhelming amount of black, it can be deemed as intimidating and fearful.
Color surrounds us everywhere we look. It influences our emotions and behaviors, whether we notice it or not. Understanding the different meanings behind colors can help with how we want to style our brands, our attire, and our homes. To feel calm, choose a hue of blue. To represent happiness, choose yellow. If you want to appear strong and powerful, choose red. Try implementing different colors in your life to create atmospheres of certain feelings. Be inspired to mix and match to describe a mixture of feelings!