The Psychology and Meaning Behind Colour

The Psychology and Meaning Behind Colour

Just about every colour has some influence over our mood or perceptions and has some associated meaning. In this article we explore a little more of the psychology and meaning behind colour.


RED

Red is the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. It is also the color of anger and sexual passion.

It is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage.

ORANGE

Orange is the color of social communication and optimism. From a negative color meaning it is also a sign of pessimism and superficiality.

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

YELLOW

Yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice.

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. It produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this color. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow is seen before other colors

GREEN

Green is the color of balance and growth. It can mean both self-reliance as a positive and possessiveness as a negative, among many other meanings.

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye; it can improve vision. Green suggests stability and endurance. Sometimes green denotes lack of experience; for example, a ‘greenhorn’ is a novice. In heraldry, green indicates growth and hope. Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the color of free passage in road traffic.

BLUE

Blue is the color of trust and peace. It can suggest loyalty and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity.

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

PURPLE

Purple is the color of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical.

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

WHITE

White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.

White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning.

BLACK

Black is the color of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world.

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. It is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes).