Somewhere Over the Rainbow

4 10 2008

What I got out of the slew of information about colour the other day is that every colour evokes certain feelings and thoughts in an individual.  I was doing a bit of research on colour and I find the psychological responses to colour most interesting.  Below are those responses from http://www.ewebdesigns.ca/web-design/psych_colour.ihtml.

White
White – is cheering and reflects sunlight, particularly when used with red, yellow, or orange.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Purity, cleanliness, precision, innocence, sterility, death
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Signifies virginity, marriage in the U.S. but death in India and other Eastern cultures.
Black
Black suggests color and like gray it is depressing unless combined with a livelier color.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Power, sexuality, sophistication, death, mystery, fear, unhappiness, elegance
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Signifies death and mourning in many Western cultures. In packaging, conveys elegance, wealth, and sophistication.
Blue
Blue – reduces mental excitability and therefore helps one to concentrate. It is both cooling and sedative, but cannot be used indiscriminately, as too much of it produces melancholia.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Trust, conservative, security, technology, cleanliness, order
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Used in the U.S. by many banks to symbolize trust.
Green
Green is a cooling color and acts as an opiate.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Nature, healthy, good luck, jealousy (“green with envy”), renewal
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Doesn’t do well in a global market. There are problems associated with green packaging in China and France. Green has been successful in attracting investors in the Middle East.
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Yellow
Yellow is cheering and stimulating and draws attention.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Optimism, hope, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice (a coward can be described as “yellow”), betrayal
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Yellow is a sacred color to Hindus.
Red
Red is exciting and stimulates the brain.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Power, energy, warmth, passions, love, aggression, danger
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Red changes meaning in the presence of other colors. With green, it becomes a symbol of Christmas. When combined with white, it means joy in many Eastern cultures.
Purple
Purple is a sedative and soothing.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Spirituality, mystery, royalty, transformation, cruelty, arrogance
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Purple appears very rarely in nature.
Brown
Brown is restful and warming but should be combined with orange, yellow, or gold, because it can be depressing if used alone.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Earth, reliability, comfort, endurance
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Food packaging in the U.S. is often colored brown, to great success. In Colombia, brown discourages sales.
Grey
Grey suggests color and like brown it is depressing unless combined with a livelier color.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
    Intellect, futurism, modesty, sadness, decay
  • NOTES OF INTEREST
    Gray is the easiest color for the eye to see.

It was interesting to see that the responses to each colour listed on the site matched up pretty well with my inner response to colours assignment.  I realized that there are implications that come along with colour and that someone`s response can change with varying shades, quantity, placement, shape, and combinations of colour.

RANDOM FACT 1: Apparently if you eat on a blue plate or dye your food blue, you are more likely to eat a lot less.  This is a tool used by some colourful dieters because blue food is not commonly found in nature.  Therefore there is a psychological response to blue grub that tells us not to eat it!  The colour of food can also affect it`s taste.  This is because our sensory receptors paths can cross on their way to the brain.  So certain colours are associated with different tastes.

So basically colour matters more than you may think.  All colours remind us of something wether it be an experience, a holiday, a person, a season, and the list goes on.  Personally, I avoid wearing red and green at the same time because I don`t want to look like one of Santa`s helpers.  This is a shame because they are complimentary colours and could look great in an outfit if they weren`t associated with Christmas.  Similarly, I won`t wear orange and black unless I wanted to feel like it was Halloween.  We all have colours that make us feel a certain way and we can thank human psychology for that.

-Vikki Drapeau

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