What role does color play in your daily life? Does it have any affect at all and why does it matter? You bet it does…… you might just not realize it. Color stimulates our brains mostly at a subconscious level. Color psychology is being applied by experts to many different spheres of life, i.e. fashion, food, interior decorating, marketing, leadership styles etc.
According to Wikipedia, “color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.
All colors have meaning…
Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food”. If presented with a colorful plate of food you may assume it would be delicious because of its attractive colors. Color then, to a large extent, also stimulates appetite.
Sometimes color gives away subtleties in your personality that you may not even be aware off until someone brings it to your attention. Many years back I had a manager who sometimes wore a red tie to work. Boy oh boy! We all knew to stay out of his way on those days! Subconsciously he would chose to wear THAT red tie on days when he was in a bad mood without even realizing it until one day someone pointed it out to him. He only started laughing and shook his head in disbelief. The red tie, subconsciously send a message to those around him, without speaking one word – stay out of my way if you know what’s good for you… Color can therefore be seen as a language, similar to body language that we use to communicate with it – consciously or subconsciously. Applied consciously it becomes a form of science.
What does the color red signifies? On the negative side as in this case in question – defiance, aggression and danger. It also awakens the sense of fight or flight.
On the positive side it speaks of courage, strength, warmth, energy, stimulation, excitement and passion. When dressing in red, i.e. when going on a date, wearing the color red might give you that extra bit of needed courage and self-confidence, portraying energy and excitement. However, be cautious of wearing red on your first date as the gentleman in question might perceive it as “too aggressive” – depending on his personality of cause 😉 Much rather tone it down by limiting the color red to your accessories, i.e. shoes, handbag or scarf.
Everyone can wear red. There are many different hues of the color red. It is however essential to find the one that compliments your complexion most. Wearing the “wrong” color red for your complexion will make it seems as if your clothes are wearing you instead of you wearing your clothes. The color will overpower you and may even leave you looking and feeling washed-out. ..
Black is in essence the absence of light. The color Black speaks of sophistication, style and class. No wonder they say every woman should own a LBD (Little Black Dress). Black is forgiving in as far as body imperfections are concerned (provided the cut is also flattering for your body type). From a psychological perspective it provides a feeling of security, place of safety and creates an air of mystery.
White on the other hand is total reflection. It speaks of purity and innocence. Perfection! Think about a bride in her pure white bridal gown.
Yellow is optimistic and cheerful and associated with joy, playful- and happiness. It is also a color that is being associated with extroverts.
Blue is the color of the mind and all things intellectual. It furthermore portrays calmness. Blue also suggests loyalty and trustworthiness. I.e. Are you going for an interview for an analyst position – wear blue. Subconsciously you will create the perception of being intellectual and trustworthy.
Green is the color of nature. It symbolized growth and harmony. Also talks to sustainability. It creates a relaxing atmosphere. Green is the color most closely associated with care. Wear green should you want to show someone that you care about him or her.
Pienk is the color of romance, femininity and innocence. It is also worn to spark compassion in others.
Brown is a down to earth type of color. A person wearing brown would come over as down to earth, what you see is what you get. No hidden agendas.
The above is just an introduction to the Psychology of Color. Use these guidelines to influence your interactions with others. Be careful though as this is just but a guide. There are various factors which might influence the meaning of color, i.e. culture etc.
Still not clear on how to use color to significantly influence your interactions with others? Determine what your desired outcome would be and then choose a color that would aid you in achieving the desired goal. Want to look feminine and innocent? – wear soft pink! Want to be seen as grounded, steady and well rooted – you guess it…. brown! This off cause is over simplifying the issue at hand as all your actions, body language etc needs to be aligned should you wish to achieve the set goal. Have you ever spoken to someone who was perhaps telling you something but somehow, with no apparent reason, you don’t belief him without having any “reason” not to? It was most probably because his body language was giving him away. Same with color psychology, when applied consciously – your actions need to be congruent to the message you are trying to convey, but it will definitely assists with creating the desired first impression – it is then up to you to continue painting the masterpiece which is YOU.
Further to the above – we all have our favorite color in which we feel most comfortable – this is you communicating on a subconscious level to the world as to who you are, i. e. if you love to wear blue you might be conservative, reliable and trustworthy and that might be how you would like others to see you.
In closure – color is what makes the world a beautiful place to live in. Embrace it to add significance to your life and remember…..
Recommended reading on Color Psychology: