With all the beautiful shades and different strokes, life is colourful indeed. Colour really does add spice to life. Right from birth, humans were dressed one colour or another so our association with colour started quite early! Without a doubt, our lives involve colour to a large extent. In our wardrobe, shops, workplace, homes and in the magnificence of nature that surrounds us.
In fact, when you don’t mention the colour of an object, the description is simply not complete. Just by seeing a colour palette, artists may feel their creative juices start to flow. Psychologists and scientists that have delved deep into how colours influence mood or affect personalities. Alternative medicine has even gone as far as recommended colour therapy.
Colour is Energy
Light is where colour comes from. Sir Isaac Newton, an English scientist from 1666 put light through a prism and revealed how it splits into seven colours visible. These are the colours of the rainbow and each colour has a unique energy and vibration.
Reportedly, each colour has an exclusive frequency and spectrum. Thus, colours get attributed with specific properties. Red has a lower frequency, a higher wavelength and is found at the lower end of the spectrum. At the spectrum’s top end is violet with a higher frequency and a lower wavelength.
Colours associated with red like yellow and orange are called warmer colours. In the colour spectrum, the blue side includes green, purple and blue and these are referred to as cooler colours.
Is Mood Really Affected by Colour?
Scientists that study energy have a belief that colours have unique signals that impact the psychological state since these influence the neurological system. Since colours are certain wavelengths of light energy, the energy translates into colour by the retina’s cone photoreceptors. Since colour and energy enter our bodies this has a direct influence on our behaviour, mood and thoughts. It stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands to secrete specific hormones. Reportedly, blue and white stimulate the nervous parasympathetic system and red stimulates the nervous sympathetic system.
Some believe that perception of colour is influenced all the time by a person’s environment and cultural background.
Design and Colour
In the hands of interior designers, colours are important tools. These impact the shape, size and appearance of a room overall. Colours of a room can have either a neutral, passive and active effect. In a room, light colours make these appear airy and large. Rooms seem more sophisticated with darker colours. When you walk into a bright-coloured room, do you notice how your mood gets better suddenly? This is the affect of colour.
Technically, chromology is the study of colour and the way this influences the relationship between the mind and the body. The science of chromology is the basis for the vibrations and energy of colour. Also known as the psychology of colour, this field of study shows how hues determine the behaviour of human beings. Perceptions that are less obvious such as food taste are influenced by colour. Also, a placebo’s effectiveness if enhanced by colour. For instance, generally, orange and red pills are used for a stimulant. Indeed, colour influences people. On the other hand, it is a good idea to remember that between people, these effects vary. Factors like culture, age and gender are able to influence the way colour is perceived by a person. Outfits that are red, for example, make women seem more attractive in the eyes of men.
This is the reason that in branding and marketing, the psychology of colour is widely used as well. Many marketing experts see colour as an important aspect of selling since colour can be utilized to influence the perceptions and emotions of services and goods. Also, companies use colour when deciding on the logos of brands. Logos such as these seem to attract more buyers when the brand logo colour matches the personality of services and goods.
This includes the colour pink being used heavily on the brands of women’s products. On the other hand, colour is not just important for products and logs but also for store display windows. Warm colours tend to attract impulse purchases. Colour has been used for a long time to create feelings of spaciousness and cosiness. Ambient temperature also affects colour people. For example, people who feel cold often prefer warmer colours like yellow and red while those who feel warm frequently prefer colours like green and blue.
Restaurants use warm colours to stimulate appetite and hasten customer turnover. Knowing which colours stimulate which mood will help you decide which colours to apply to your own life. Use warm colours to stimulate and cool colours to calm down. Dye your linens sea green for a calming effect. Match your towels to your linens and feel the same calm mood permeate through the entire space. Restaurant owners might want to do the opposite and dye their linens red instead, for a quick table turnover.
More specifically, tones of red lead to arousal feelings while blue tones lead to relaxation feelings. These are both pleasant emotions so in advertisements, you will see both colours used. Red is associated with love, excitement, power and lust. Yellow is associated with happiness, competence and jealousy. Green is associated with good taste. Blue is associated with competence and masculinity. Pink is associated with femininity, sincerity and sophistication. Purple is related to power, sophistication and authority. Brown is related to ruggedness and while is related to sincerity and purity.
Since colour is a form of energy, this affects how human beings feel. For instance, people tend to eat faster when surrounded by the colours red and orange. People tend to relax in a dark green environment. Of course, there are variations from one person to another but as a general rule; most people are affected in a similar way by the same colors.