The pioneer of abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky, once said, “Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” Colors influence our emotions and are known to dramatically affect human moods and feelings. The use of colors in commercial spaces can be used to signal action and productivity in the workplace. Colors can represent all sorts of different things. For example, the color red usually means angry or bad, whereas yellow means joyful and content. Colors can even go deeper too with their meanings. There are colors for depression, relieving stress, and even reducing high blood pressure. The color choices, whether in architecture or garden landscape, can be used as a huge asset to influence the behavior and mood of people.
Everyone sees color differently. The beauty about color and its perception is that it is all so subjective. Color perception, just like art, is what you get from it rather than what is actually out there. It occurs in our head and is prone to personal experience. For example, while some colors may alarm some people based on their experience, it may be a calming experience for others.
Color culture is dominated by language and geography. For instance, Dani – a language spoken in Papua New Guinea and Basa – only has two terms for colors: dark and light. They refer to dark colors as cool and light colors as warm. Cool colors include black, blue, and green whereas warm colors include orange, yellow, white, and more. If you think this is fascinating, the Warlpiri people of Australia’s Northern Territory do not even have a word for color.
Impact of Color
The impact of color is different for every person as well. Since red ink or red pen is used for marking errors in school assignments, it is often associated with mistakes in the world of education. Similarly, traditional Korean culture uses red to write the names of dead, and writing the name of the living person in red is considered unlucky.
Colors and Emotions
Certain sets of colors are known to evoke certain feelings. Warm colors including yellow and orange often evoke feelings of happiness, optimism, and energy while cool colors including green, blue and purple often evoke feelings of calm and relaxation. Peach, yellow, light pink, and lilac are a few examples of colors that have an uplifting effect on the mood because brighter colors tend to give off optimism. Grey, brown, and beige are some colors that are associated with sadness. Dark and muted colors like these are known to spread feelings of morose and dullness.
Colors and Consumer Behavior
Colors can be used to drive brand identity and even influence consumer behavior. Green is often associated with feelings of optimism, life, and growth and is commonly used in the financial industry. Blue is a color that dominates the technology sector. The biggest technology and social media companies use blue in their branding as it is a widely loved color and is associated with power and success. Teal is associated with feelings of peace and calm and is reminiscent of beach vacations. Most travel companies use teal in their logos and brand products to convey a calm and soothing feel. Yellow is associated with happiness and some of the biggest food companies in the world use it in their branding to encourage feelings of happiness.