Meaning of colors and color Psychology
In fact, colors affect our thinking and rational, they have symbolic meanings which differ in cultures and countries. Undoubtedly, we make color choices constantly. Indeed, color may spoil your day and it may make your day. Accordingly, right choice of color may protect you and provide success.
Have you ever heard of the farmer who painted his cows green so that his cows might give him more milk? Well, it is difficult to say whether he got more milk from his cows, but the fact is – color affects people in several ways.
For example, a living-room decorated with red walls can be disturbing to sit and rest in. And more suitable will be Green. But red is better for a hall where visitors come. Besides, red has the effect of warmth, while blue has the effect of coldness. Ice-cream advertisements are mostly blue to suggest coldness and a blue room will seem cold at first sight. Yellow, as well as red – associated with warmth. Yellow is a color that will make a dull room bright, but it can be too bright for restfulness. A kitchen that has walls painted yellow can be pleasant to work in. And finally, mixed together, these for colors lightened or darkened, can present a wide variety and many possibilities.
Red is the color of fire and blood. So, people associate it with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. A very emotionally intense color, it enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. Due to its high visibility, stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually red. Meanwhile, in heraldry, red indicates courage, and it is in many national flags.
Also, Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions. it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites. And in advertising, red can evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, ‘Lady in Red’, etc). Widely used to indicate danger, we see red in high voltage signs and traffic lights. Commonly associated with energy, people use red color in promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.
Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Dark red means vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities, and reddish-brown – associated with harvest and fall.
Orange Color combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics, orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, and happiness. Also, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. 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. Noteworthy, orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity.
Besides, orange is highly popular among young people. As a citrus color, orange associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. In addition, orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance. Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Accordingly, this color is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.
Yellow is the color of sunshine, associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. This color produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. 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, for example, babies cry more in yellow rooms.
When placed against black, people see yellow before other colors. Besides, this combination often means warning. Meanwhile, in heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. However, later the meaning of yellow became connected with cowardice.
Light yellow – associated with intellect, freshness, and joy. Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Very effective for attracting attention, use yellow to highlight the most important elements of your design.
Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘childish’ color. So, it is not a good idea to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes. Noteworthy, Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it. Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.
Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Traditionally, Green Color is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Meanwhile, people commonly associate dark green with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.
Also, Green has a great healing power. The most restful color for the human eye, it can improve vision. Besides, Green suggests stability and endurance.
Traditionally, 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.
Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products. Traditionally, green relates to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products.
Dark green – associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Aqua relates to emotional healing and protection.
Olive green is the traditional color of peace.
Blue is the color of the sky and sea, often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Considered beneficial to the mind and body, it slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue symbolizes piety and sincerity.
You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness. In particular, water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka, air and sky. For example, airlines, airports, air conditioners, water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colors like red, orange, and yellow, blue relates to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products.
According to studies, blue is a masculine color, highly accepted among males. Dark blue is depth, expertise, and stability. It is a preferred color for corporate America.
Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite. When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs. For example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.
Light blue means health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Traditionally, purple was the color of royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition, conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple relates to wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial. Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children’s products. Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings. Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.
White Color – associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. 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. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.
In advertising, white is coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations, and angels – usually imagined wearing white clothes. White means hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. Besides, often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.
Black Color – associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Black denotes strength and authority; considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.
Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.