“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~Wassily Kandinsky
Certain shades or tones may result in very different meanings. Also, the context around the color, and even surrounding colors, can have an effect.
Let’s dive into the emotions and feelings that different colors can evoke.
The color black has different symbolic meanings. Black evokes power, luxury, elegance, but can also mean professionalism, neutrality and simplicity. It’s bold, powerful and is often used to evoke mystery. In certain contexts and cultures the color black can also refer to mourning or sadness. But individual reactions to the color black can vary widely. According to German scientist Hermann von Helmholz, “Black is real sensation, even if it is produced by entire absence of light. The sensation of black is distinctly different from the lack of all sensation.”
Black is often used as a symbol of menace or evil, but it’s also popular as an indicator of power. It’s used to represent treacherous characters such as Dracula and is often associated with witchcraft.
Different Uses for the Color Black
In feng shui, a way of harmonizing your home, office, and other environments, each color represents a feng shui element. Black is associated with the water element and envokes power, mystery, and calm.1 When it’s used sparingly, black has a grounding effect on your environment.
In marketing and branding psychology, black is associated with boldness, formality, mystery, strength, luxuriousness, and seriousness.2 Famous brands that utilize black in their logos and marketing are Blackberry, Tiffany & Co., Apple, Disney, Nike, Gillette, Adidas, Sony, Ralph Lauren, and MTV. Besides being sleek, black is versatile and can be combined with any other color.
Color Psychology: The Color Black
· thinning / slimming
· death or mourning
White means minimalism and simplicity. Using a lot of white color in design creates a minimalist aesthetic and can result a simple, fresh and clean look.
In many cultures, white is used to refer to virginity, purity and innocence (like bridal gowns and baby clothes). It’s also the most neutral color of all. In Western cultures, the color white is often associated with weddings, hospitals, and angels and is often used to convey a sense of purity, cleanliness, and peacefulness. In many Eastern cultures, however, white is symbolically linked to death and sadness. It’s often a color used in funerals and other mourning rituals.
Color Psychology: The Color White
· sense of space
· mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Red makes you feel passionate and energized. Red is the warmest and most dynamic of the colors — it triggers opposing emotions. It is often associated with passion and love as well as anger and danger. It can increase a person’s heart rate and make them excited. If you want to draw attention to a design element, use red. But use it as an accent color in moderation as it can be overwhelming. In color psychology, red provokes the strongest emotions of any color. While cool colors like green and blue are generally considered peaceful and calming, red is considered the warmest and most contradictory of the colors. In fact, this fiery hue has more opposing emotional associations than any other color: Red is linked to passion and love as well as power and anger.
Studies show that being exposed to or wearing red can cause some of the following physical effects
- Elevated blood pressure
- Enhanced metabolism
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiration rate
All of these physiological changes naturally cause your energy levels to spike. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, competitors in four sports — boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, and taekwondo — were randomly assigned red or blue clothing. In all four competitions, red-clad contestants won more fights.
Many people think these results are due to the link between red and perceived dominance. For instance, donning a red uniform may cause an athlete to feel dominant and perform more aggressively. Alternatively, athletes in red may be seen as more aggressive, more dominant, and more likely to win a physical competition not only by their opponents but also by the referees.
Blue is a color also seen in nature, such as the pale blue of the daytime sky or the deep pool of water’s rich dark blue. It is probably for this cause that people always characterize the color blue as peaceful and serene. But blue can often appear shiny, far, or even cold as a cool color. Blue helps you feel secure and comfortable. Blue evokes feelings of peacefulness and spirituality, comfort and trust. The body produces hormones that relax it by seeing the colour blue. No wonder it is the favorite colour. It is not surprising. Dark blues are perfect for corporate architecture and they can give you a professional aura, but too many can make you feel cold and disengaged. Light blues gives a more relaxed and soothing atmosphere. Great examples are social websites that use light blues like Facebook and Twitter.
Blue may also generate feelings of peace and relaxation. Take into account how a highly black painting, like Picasso created during his ‘blue age,’ could seem so lonely, sad, or overlooked. Blue is often used to decorate buildings, and evidence has shown that people in blue rooms are more efficient. Blue is one of the most common colors, but one of the least appetizing. Some weight management strategies also say you eat from a blue dish. In addition to blueberries and some plums, blue rarely occurs naturally in fruit. The heart rate and body temperature can also be decreased by the Blue.
Associations with the color blue include:
Health, new beginnings and prosperity symbolized by green. Green is the simplest between the eyes and can be used in a template to calm and stabilize. If a company wants to represent growth, safety or incentive possibility, it is a great color. Green can feel comfortable and relaxed as well. How does the color green make you feel? For many people, it has strong associations with nature and immediately brings to mind the lush green of grass, trees, and forests. Perhaps because green is so heavily associated with nature, it is often described as a refreshing and tranquil color.
“Green, which is Nature’s colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving.” — Paul Brunton
Furthermore, researchers find that green would boost reading skills. Any students might find it increasing reading speed and understanding to lay a clear sheet of green paper over the reading content. For its soothing influence, green is also used to decorate. In a “green space,” for example, visitors waiting for TV shows also wait to relax in green room.
The Effects of Green
· Green Is Calming
· Green Is Exciting
· Green Evokes Compassion
· Green Is Natural
· Green Is Optimistic
Green symbolizes ideas such as: