Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Psychology of Colour

Today I want to emphasise the importance of colours in our lives, how colours can bring excitement or how harmonious colours bring calm and balance.

When you enter a room, see someone walking toward you on a street, or look up at a billboard while stuck in a traffic jam, the first thing you notice is colour. The yellow walls in a child's room make you smile, the red of a woman's coat catches your eye, the orange background of an advertisement grabs your attention. Would you jump into a swimming pool if the pool is in orange or red? This very clearly tells us how greatly colours affect us.

( summary extracted from the book " The Complete Color Harmony"


- True red is the most vibrant, compelling colour in the spectrum, expressing excitement, speed, power, joy, danger and passion.

- Red attracts immediate attention and brings objects or images to the foreground.

- Red makes people feel warm. Coffee will seem hotter in a red cup than in a blue one.

- Red is the first colour you lose sight of at twilight and is not well seen at a great distance.

- Barn, claret, and crimson reds are considered regal, exclusive, and strong and have great appeal for men.


You crave excitement and like to live in the moment. Easily bored, you also enjoy having the power to get things done quickly. Red lovers are passionate about life.


- Yellow is psychologically the happiest colour in the spectrum, associated with warmth, optimism, and joy.

- Yellow visually pops out at you, making it the most noticeable colour. It's therefore a favourite for signs and product packages.

- Yellow stimulates clear thinking. Black type on a yellow ground is the most legible colour combination and aids in memory retention.

- Yellow adds vitality to other colours, making hot hus appear even more brilliant and bringing cool colours to life.

- Overexposure to bright yellow can be unsettling. Paler hues are better for socializing, whereas gold tones signify wealth.


You are generally happy, playful, and optimistic. If something isn't working in your life, you quickly seek to change it. Spontaneous, you have boundless curiosity.


- Orange is stimulating, energizing colour that appears friendly, outgoing, cheerful and adventurous.
- Bright orange has a very high visibility, making it ideal for warning signals or grabbing attention, even when used in small amounts.

- Easier on the eye, autumnal and spicy oranges are warm, exotic, and appetizing, while peach tones are most flattering to the skin.

- People who wear orange are thought to be creative, enthusiastic, and fun to be with, but possibly also a bit irresponsible.

- Because of its playful, active qualities, orange is a favourite of children, teens, and athletes.


You are gregarious, dynamic and fun to be with. Flamboyant by nature, you don't mind sticking out in a crowd. You have a great appetite for life and food.


- Pale green is physically the most relaxing and calming colour in the spectrum. As the easiest colour on the eye, it can improve vision.

- Vibrant greens remind people of the spring, nature, life, and youthful energy.

- Darker greens are associated with stability and growth, suggesting high economis status and success.

- Green is the worldwide symbol for safety. Green also means go.

- People who wear green are thought to be kind, dependable, and generous.


You long to feel safe and make the world a better place for others. You are generous with your time and goodwill, but also can be stubborn about issues that are important to you.


- Blue is the best liked of all colours and is a particular favourite of men.

- Practically all our associations with blue are positive, making it an uplifting and peaceful colour.

- Navy blue commands respect, representing loyalty, trustworthiness, fidelity, and integrity.

- Blue can make a space appear larger, and time seems to pass more slowly in its presence.

- Deep blue is associated with opulence in many cultures, and when you are the best, you get a "blue ribbon".


You like a sense of calm and order in your life. Trustworthy, you also value loyalty in others. Sky blue attracts pleasure-seekers and daydreamers, while navy appeals to the serious and conservative.


- Royal purple exudes class, power, passion, sensuality, and luxury.

- Deep plum is spiritual and mysterious, with a serious dignified quality.

- Lavenders and violets have a sweet, romantic, and nostalgic appeal.

- People tend to get less work done in purple rooms because the colour encourages daydreaming.

- Women often cite purple as their favourite colour.


You are known as a negotiator and have a strong desire to please. Though well-liked, you don't confide easily in others and enjoy a slight sense of mystery.


- Pink is the most passive of all colours, promoting affability while discouraging aggression against oneself as well as others.

- Considered the most feminine colour, pink is associated with nurturing and compassion.

- Pink calms and soothes, and is thought to aid in digestion.

- Shocking pink has a much higher concentration of red, making it appear energetic, fun and trendy.
- Men prefer peachy pinks to mauvey ones.


You are sensitive and kind, with a sweet disposition. You wouldn't mind a return to more innocent times and crave romance in your life.


- Brown is a warm, comforting colour associated with the earth, trees, hearth, and home.

- People tend to buy big-ticket products in neutral colours, especially in an uncertain economy. Browns both put consumers at ease and are considered timeless.

- Brown has a common feel in clothing, making one look approachable, reliable and sincere.

- Brown has a masculine, rugged quality that particularly appeals to men.

- Paper-bag brown is used in packaging to denote a natural product.


You are a down-to-earth and a dependable, loyal friend. Your home and family are very important to you and comfort is the key issue in life.


- Gray represents non-involvement, giving it a formal, dignified, and conservative authority.

- Unlike neutral brown, gray lacks warmth, which can make it appear remote, solemn, and a bit gloomy when used alone.

- Gray is associated with wisdom and maturity, adding to its moneyed appeal.

- Metallic grays offer the promise of scientific and technological advances, as well as a sense of speed and competence.

- Grays are cool and restful in home decor, but also discourage lively conversation and offer an unattractive backdrop for food.


You are a watcher rather than a participator and are reserved in social situations. Generally noncommittal, you don't like to firm up plans until the very last moment.

- White symbolizes purity, innocence, goodness and truth.

- Even though white is neutral, it is considered a cool colour because of its association with snow and ice.

- White is often thought to suggest simplicity, sterility, and safety.

- White is popular on the packaging of dairy products, low-fat items, and refined ingredients such as sugar and flour.


- Black, the most authoritative, intimidating colour, can appear agggressive when overused.

- Black is considered conservative, serious, and dignified and is used to show respect at solemn and formal occasions.

- Black gives a feeling of weight and depth. People think black boxes weigh more than white ones.

- Text is difficult to read against a black background.


Thaniswaran said...

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Lola Lim said...


Thank you for your kind comments in regards to this blog. I will contact you personally regarding your house renovation.