COLOURS OF LIFE

“Colour- The place where our brain and the universe meets.”

-Paul Klee

Despite the fact that our world is awash in colours, valid pragmatic research on how colour affects the human mind and behavior has, until recently, been severely limited. Perhaps it is because colour seems dismissive.

Humans make all sorts of colour choices, every day. From birth, we colour-code our children’s genders —blue caps for boys and pink caps for girls in the hospital nursery—and paint our bedrooms sea green and lemon yellow for serenity. We are very well familiar with Coca-Cola’s red script, McDonald’s golden arches, and Starbucks’ green mermaid. Using colours on food labels has been shown to lead people to make healthier choices. This just goes to show how deeply colours can become lodged in our day to day life.

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According to studies, it is stated that for both genders, blue and red “maintain a high preference throughout life”. They found that yellow is popular with children but as they move into adulthood it shows less popularity. It is stated that with maturity comes a greater liking for hues of shorter wave length (blue, green, purple) than for hues of longer wave length (red, orange, and yellow)”.

Psychology of colours:

Colour is an important constant and tends to catch sights of people. So it’s a powerful psychological tool. By using colour psychology, we can remit a positive or negative message, encourage sales or even probably calm a crowd. People have started to utilize the latest colour psychology in all facets of marketing and particularly in logo design, web site design, cover of a book, or package of a product to attract customers.

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Below are a few perceptions on colours:

Black is the colour of power and authority, strength and stability. In the western hemisphere black is connected with grieving. It is a serious colour that stirs up strong emotions; it is easy to overpower people with too much black.

White is a colour that symbolizes purity (wedding dresses), cleanliness (doctors in white coats) and to project the absence of colour, or neutrality. In eastern parts of the world, white is connected with mourning.

Red is a colour of energy that draws attention. It is where the eye looks first. It’s connected with movement and excitement. People delimited by red find their heart beating a little faster and often report feeling a bit out of breath.

Blue colour causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming. Blue symbolizes truth, wisdom, loyalty. Much of the world is blue (seas, skies). Some darker shades of blue can send a cold and uncaring message.

Green is a colour of growth, nature and money. A calming colour also that’s very pleasing to the senses. Dark forest green is related with terms like masculine conservative and wealth. It is the traditional colour of peace, comfortable nurturing, support and well paced energy.

Yellow is the colour of the sun, associated with happiness, laughter and good times. A person bounded by yellow feels sanguine because the brain actually releases more of seratonin (the feel good chemical in the brain) when around this colour.

Orange is the most flamboyant colour. It’s the colour associated with fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth and organic products. It is also connected with ambition.

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Colour perception is subjective, and certain colours have a very universal significance. This is coded into our reptilian brain, giving us that intuitive feeling of fire is dangerous and the beach is relaxing. Colour psychology is a well-known, yet less explored branch of the study of how our brain perceives what it envisions. However, the influence that colours have on our brains is used to manipulate our decision making by multiple facets of society. Picking the right colour is not enough – we must also consider hue.

 

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