The psychology behind colors, part two

July 7, 2009

Here is part two of my list of basic colors and their influence on people’s feelings, how it makes people perceive others and associations that have been made with these colors in the past and present.

Green Green is normally associated with nature and the environment. Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye, making it the most sensitive to most shades of that color. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. How it makes people feel:

  • Calm
  • Refreshed
  • Relaxed
  • Soothed
  • Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety
  • Offers a sense of renewal, self control and harmony

How green is viewed by others: (Dark green)

  • Wealthy
  • Traditional
  • Trustworthy
  • Well balanced

(Light Green)

  • Trendy
  • Whimsical
  • Lively

Associations with the color green:

  • Nature
  • Fertility
  • Peace
  • Ecology
  • Government
  • Slime
  • Spring
  • Youth
  • Good luck
  • Vigor
  • Generosity
  • Jealousy
  • Sincerity
  • Growth
  • Health
  • Balance
  • Creative intelligence

Yellow Yellow is always a fun color. It’s normally uplifting and positive and is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts. In fact, 75 percent of the pencils sold in the United States are painted yellow. Studies have shown that different shades of yellow can have different effects. Babies cry more often in yellow rooms, for example; and it can provoke loss of temper and anger. How it makes people feel:

  • Loose temper
  • Overpowered
  • Enhances concentration (legal pads)
  • Speeds metabolism
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Activates memory
  • Encourages communication

How yellow is viewed by others:

  • Optimistic
  • Attention getter
  • Sunny disposition
  • Joyful
  • Young at heart
  • Intelligent
  • Warm
  • Loves comfort and will pay for it

Associations with the color yellow:

  • Sunlight
  • Joy
  • Happiness
  • Optimism
  • Idealism
  • Wealth (gold)
  • Summer
  • Hope
  • Cowardice
  • Hazards
  • Weakness
  • Decay or aging
  • Femininity
  • Gladness
  • Sociability
  • Friendship
  • Enlightenment

Purple Purple is well known to be the color of royalty. It is a favorite color of adolescent girls and has been a favorite color of some very creative people (think Prince …) It was the color of the first dye made by man. It was called "Mauveine" and was made out of coal tar. How it makes people feel:

  • Luxurious
  • Uplifting
  • Calming to mind and nerves
  • Offers a sense of spirituality
  • Encourages creativity

How purple is viewed by others:

  • Royal
  • Wealthy
  • Sophisticated
  • Feminine
  • Creative
  • Individualistic
  • Original

Associations with the color purple:

  • Romantic
  • Mystic
  • Justice
  • Nobility
  • Envy
  • Sensuality
  • Spirituality
  • Creativity
  • Wisdom
  • Enlightenment
  • Arrogance
  • Flamboyance
  • Gaudiness
  • Mourning
  • Exaggeration
  • Bisexuality
  • Riches

Brown Brown is a very earthy color. Many companies use brown paper to denote a natural product. Although it has mental connections to health and being organic, it can also be connected to dirt and grime. Even so, brown has been proven to stimulate the appetite. How it makes people feel:

  • Wholesomeness
  • Connected with the earth
  • Orderly

How brown is viewed by others:

  • Reliable
  • Genuine
  • Masculine
  • Stable
  • Approachable
  • Down to earth
  • No nonsense
  • Simple tastes

Associations with the color brown:

  • Earth
  • Organic
  • Timeless
  • Basic
  • Environmental
  • Skin tones
  • Calm
  • Depth
  • Richness
  • Rustic
  • Tradition
  • Dirt
  • Feces
  • Dullness
  • Filth
  • Heaviness
  • Poverty
  • Roughness
  • Steadfastness
  • Friendliness

Orange Orange is a widely loved color. A combination of the passionate red and fun-loving yellow, it often appeals to a wide range of people as being pleasant and stimulating. How it makes people feel:

  • Stimulates activity
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Encourages socialization

How people view others:

  • Fun
  • Flamboyant
  • Fun loving
  • Talkative
  • Fickle
  • Trendy

Associations with the color orange:

  • Warmth
  • Energy
  • Broad appeal
  • Happiness
  • Balance
  • Heat
  • Fire
  • Enthusiasm
  • Playfulness
  • Aggression
  • Arrogance
  • Over-emotion
  • Warning
  • Danger
  • Autumn
  • Desire
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