Colors can make you hungry, anxious, happy, or even sad. The mental and emotional effect that colors have is known as the psychology of colors. But it is not that every person exhibits the same reaction to a particular color. Colour theory associates several psychological connotations between colors and emotions.
However, they can be subjective. The meaning of different colors differs according to various cultures, upbringing, genders, location, and many others. It is also subject to interpretations, meaning, and perceptions of various individual and ethnic groups. Many times, colors mean to respective activities. They have universally accepted colors because of the enhancement of productivity in a particular activity.
For example, the color which you like is subject to your experience with it. If in early childhood you liked the color and were mocked for it or you had some misadventure. There is a fair possibility that you grow up not liking that color. Therefore, this article will look upon the psychological effect on an average person, with the meaning of colors. How not only the colors affect you, but what does your choice of color tell about you. Also, you will get a glimpse of what is color therapy.
MEANING OF COLORS
Colors are broadly categorized as warm and cool. They have different effects. Warm colors such as red, yellow, or orange can evoke optimism, enthusiasm, energy, and happiness. However, the cool colors – green, purple, or blue spread calmness and sometimes sadness. Every color evokes a negative as well as a positive emotion. So, even if blue soothes one when taken in extreme amounts, it can also force one to feel depressing sentiments. Let us see the meaning of a few hues.
Black: Have you observed that all the luxury cars and limos in the movies are in black? It is because, black often induces one to think of power, mystery, and luxury. This color comes under the most picked colors of luxury vehicles.
Red: All the danger signs in the electrical appliances are in red. Why? Because red is a bold and attention-getting color. It evokes a sense of power, high self-esteem, and confidence in an individual. Often it is associated with strong emotions of passion, anger, danger, and affection. This also implies that it evokes opposing emotions. Universally it also signifies courage, strength, and power.
Blue: Blue is a calming and soothing color. It instills a sense of faith and trust in an individual. It has a completely contrasting effect than red. While red color can increase the heart rate or make one excited, blue helps to calm one’s nerves and create a sensation of peace, space, and harmony.
Yellow: Ever wondered why the smiley face or the emoticons are in yellow? Well, it is because the color makes n happy, cheerful, and hopeful. It is the color of intellect as it affects the left that is the logical side of the brain. Moreover, it can reiterate the qualities of creativity, playfulness, and optimism.
Green- The color green is the color of nature. It symbolizes stability, growth, healing, and guardedness. Besides, it also associates with sentiments of greed, envy, and jealousy. The lighter shades signify new beginnings and motivation, whereas the darker ones are for wealth and prestige.
Impact on behavior
Research and experiments have shown some astonishing results on how color can impact our behavior. These effects are due to the effects the wavelength of the colors can have on our psyche. For example, a study showed that warm colors placebo pills show better results than cool-colored placebo pills. Or the blue-colored street lights reduced the crime rate. When students see red before appearing for an exam, it reduces the performance by 20% by those who did not see it. Red color can also manifest greater energy and motivate people to work with rapid speed. People look at teams with red uniforms with skepticism. Moreover, students who have a black uniform tend to get more penalties than others.
Advertising and Color Psychology
Business companies invest a massive amount of money in branding, advertising, and marketing. You, as an individual, can connect and associate yourself with different colors. It can be because of your age, gender, profession, and preferences. Like youth might prefer bright and cheerful colors, but the oldies prefer light and calming ones.
So, color psychology helps to establish a strong connection with their consumer. It can be through the colors used on the packaging, promotional posters, icons, and products. There is a high possibility that one might prefer one brand over another because of the color on the package or click on an app because of its colors.
Let us take a few examples of the meaning of various colors in the corporate world.
ORANGE– Orange symbolizes affordability in business. It’s shade and the combination with which it is used influences the effectiveness. The color is good when you want to be in an informal meet. Also, it adds a tinge of cheerfulness or sentiment of fun to marketing material. Nickelodeon, the cartoon show has the logo of orange color which manifests the qualities of creativity, humor, and enthusiasm in the channel.
GREEN– Green universally symbolizes health, nature, safety, and eco-friendly things. Also, it is often associated with finance and money related to areas. Hence, it can promote those areas. You may prefer to choose green while at work, in a sales presentation, or while taking a loan.
BLUE– Whenever some say blue, at least once you will picture people in blue business uniforms. It is not because blue comes from a code of conduct of most organizations. But, also, because blue evokes sentiments of trust, honesty, and dependability. This helps to instill a feeling of loyalty and professionalism in consumers. It can also symbolize maturity, rigidity, and strictness. Twitter, Facebook, Walmart, and several others use blue in their logo. It summarises that brand products are safe, reliable, easy, and trustworthy.
Yahoo and Hallmark use purple in their logos. Purple symbolizes class, luxury, wisdom, and the elite. People decipher products of purple color as high-quality and superior products. Some people perceive excessive use of purple as frustrating and rude. Therefore, only icons and a few headers use purple, otherwise, the rest are different.
‘ORDER NOW’ or ‘SALE’. These words are most of the time in red. The fact is that red is a bright color and often attracts attention. Brands like Youtube and Coca-Cola use red in their icons. The use of such color to attract and create excitement. The play button of youtube is in red to draw one to click and play the videos.
Earlier Egyptians used to make a room of glass with different colors. This was to treat the ailments of people. Now, several chakras in our body are associated with different colors and are used to treat ailments. Colors have the potential to affect our sentiments, emotions, and behavior. We can drive our moods, change our minds, buy a particular product, or do anything depending upon the way colors hit us.