Psychology of colour

Colour may end up being a big part of my project if I follow the more minimal approach.

In the psychology of colour there are four main colours, red, blue, yellow and green. All other colours’ emotional evocation is a mixture of those four.

Red is referred to as the ‘physical’ colour. The positive impact red can have is influencing ‘courage, strength, warmth, energy and excitement'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). The negative impact this colour may cause are things such as ‘defiance, aggression, visual impact and strain'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

Red is often used when trying to grab the audience’s attention, being used to show strength, power and authority. This is a result of having a ‘property that makes it seem nearer than it is'(Angela Wright,2008-2017), therefore grabbing our attention first. ‘Red is the simplest colour'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). Red is also the most controversial colour being known as both the most ‘friendly’ and the most ‘aggressive’ colour. Because of the strong physical reaction many get from the colour red it had been often used in fast food advertising to increase the customers desire for food therefore spending more in their stores.

Blue is referred to as the ‘intellectual’ colour. Blue is known as the world’s favourite colour. It often portrays ‘intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, logic, coolness and calmness'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). On the other hand it can also portray ‘coldness, lack of emotion and unfriendliness'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

Blue is often a colour that provokes thought rather than like red which provokes a physical reaction, for this reason it is often used for the branding for science agencies in order to portray what the companies do without too much words.

Yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically, because it provokes the emotions the most out of all the colours. It is often used to portray ‘Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness and creativity'(Angela Wright,2008-2017) but can also provoke a negative impact such as ‘Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety and suicide'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

‘The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). Yellow can uplift spirits and help people emotionally in a positive way however if it is paired with the wrong colours it can twist the meaning and have the opposite effect on people causing them to go into despair or into fear.

Green is known for it’s great feeling of balance and for being one of the more natural colours. Some of the effects of the colour green are ‘Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium and peace'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

Green is the most relaxing of the colours because it requires no adjustment of the eyes. The colour also represents balance and is the most common colour in the world (in nature) it is also classed as the least threatening colour of them all.

Violet is seen as the spiritual colour. Often referred to as purple, positive associations are ‘Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth and quality'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). However there are also many negative connotations some of which I don’t think are neccessarily bad, these are ‘Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

Violet is known as the colour which encourages deeper knowledge and thinking, deeper than blue does, which leads to it being more spiritual thinking. It is also known to have associations with royalty, the colour has been used a lot for royal clothing and insignias, this has lead to colour being associated with luxury in modern society.

Orange is a mixture of yellow and red making orange have the properties of both physical and emotional psychological effects on people. Things associated with this colour are things such as ‘Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance and fun'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). Whilst negative affects, when paired with the wrong colours, include ‘Deprivation, frustration, frivolity and immaturity'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).

Orange is a colour typically associated with a more soothing effect of the mixture between physical and emotional, this leads to the colour being linked to comfort and food (which can be seen as a form of comfort).

Pink, which is a lighter tint of red, has a more soothing affect than the impactful physical effect of the red (red is the only colour with a separate name for it’s tint). It’s positive and negative associations are ‘Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species (positive), Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation and physical weakness (negative)'(Angela Wright,2008-2017). Too much pink is  physically draining rather than helpful.

Grey is the only colour with no psysological properties and is mostly negative with it’s affects. ‘Psychological neutrality'(Angela Wright,2008-2017) is it’s only possitive affect, which isn’t really possitive or negative and the negatives are ‘Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy'(Angela Wright,2008-2017).


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