The Meaning of Colors
Here is a quick overview of the various colors and their meanings:
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure.
- It has very high visibility that’s why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red.
- In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is the color found in many national flags.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
- To the human eyes, orange is seen as a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat.
- Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people.
- As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite.
- Orange is the color of fall and harvest.
- In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.
- Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design.
- Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
- Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
- Red-orange corresponds to desire, passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.
- When overused, yellow may have a disturbing influence; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms.
- In heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.
- Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
- Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.
Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility.
- Sometimes green denotes lack of experience; for example, a ‘greenhorn’ is a novice.
- In heraldry, green indicates growth and hope.
- Dark green is associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
- Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
- Olive green is the traditional color of peace.
Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
- Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
- In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
- You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water).
- Blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.
- Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males.
- Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.
- Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.
- When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.
- Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
- Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition.
- It conveys wealth and extravagance.
- Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
- Almost 75 percent children prefer purple to all the other colors.
- Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial.
- Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
- Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, and purity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation.
- White can represent a successful beginning.
- In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.
- In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow.
- You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products.
- White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations
- Angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes.
- White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products.
- White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.
Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes).
- It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’).
- Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes).
- In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.
- Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but the black background diminishes readability.
- A black suit or dress can make you look thinner.
- When designing for a gallery of painting or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make other colors stand out.
- Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.
- Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
- Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
- Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.
- Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.
Submitted by Raetta Parker
Marketing and Color
The Psychology of Yellow
Some of the key characteristics that are often associated with the color yellow include:
Yellow is a bright color that is often described as warm.
- Difficult to read:
Yellow is also the most fatiguing to the eye due to the high amount of light that is reflected. Using yellow as a background on paper or computer monitors can lead to eyestrain or vision loss in extreme cases.
Yellow can also create feelings of frustration and anger. While it is considered a cheerful color, people are more likely to lose their tempers in yellow rooms and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.
As seen in the following quote, yellow is often perceived as being a high-energy color. It is often used in situations and products intended to create a sense of excitement or energy. It is bright and immediately grabs the eye. It can seem fresh, intense, overwhelming, or even brash and forceful in its energy. Yellow can also increase metabolism.
“Fully saturated yellow is only good for brief exposure, because its stimulating effect is so powerful that it can build up emotional energy quite quickly. I know that I would probably go nuts in a house with LEGO yellow walls. Though it should be noted that a less saturated yellow, such as that found in whipped vegetable spread (faux butter) is mildly pleasing and cheery.”
“Yellow makes me feel cheerful and energized. I love the bright sunny color and the way it makes me feel. I feel warm like summer. Perhaps sometimes startling, but then that is what energizes me.”
- Yellow Can Be Aggressive
While it can be an energetic color, this intensity can also have a downside. Sometimes yellow can come off as very aggressive and even confrontational. In great quantities, people may be left feeling irritated or even angry when surrounded by yellow.
“I agree that there is a level of aggression and frustration associated with yellow. The walls of my school are all yellow and since the new building opened, more fights have occurred in the hallways where there is the most amount of yellow. Also, some of the classrooms that have yellow in them seen to be associated with more frustrated students.”
“I find yellow to be a highly irritating color. When I’m in a yellow room, my agitation level increases whether I was in a good mood before I walked in it or not. One reason I believe I find it so annoying is that I’m an introvert and yellow is a very exposing and in your face type of color which are traits most introverts would naturally have an aversion to. Yellow is definitely an extrovert’s color.”
Since yellow is the most visible color, it is also the most attention-getting color. Yellow can be used in small amount to draw notice, such as on traffic sign or advertisements.
- Yellow Is Cheerful
For many people, yellow is seen as a bright and cheerful color. Advertisers may use it to not only draw attention, but also to evoke a sense of happiness.
“I had a math class room that was painted bright yellow half way through the year. It completely changed the atmosphere and everyone’s grades seemed to go up. Our math teacher joked it must be the new paint job, but I entirely believed it was. It gave a cheery atmosphere and the lessons were far more light and enjoyable!”
“The color yellow exudes brightness, light, vitality, energy, optimism, willingness to grow and outshine. Sun stars sunflower are the objects that mostly are associated with the color yellow.”
- Yellow Is Complex
Of course, the effects of yellow can be highly varied and complex. Not everyone responds to this color in the same way. While some people might find it bright and cheery, others may find it grating and obnoxious. Some may associate it with a warm summer day, while to others it might be reminiscent of bad memories or associations.
“I like yellow. To me it’s a happy color associated with flowers and sunshine. But our kitchen is painted yellow and I find that my fiance who has a short temper almost always loses it in the kitchen. He also becomes much more impatient and argumentative. I have always suspected that it is the color of the walls. Guests also tend to eat their food faster at the kitchen table than when we entertain in the dining room (white) or outside.”
- How does yellow make you feel?
- Do you associate yellow with certain qualities or situations?
While the color yellow can evoke a lot of different psychological reactions, it is important to remember that these responses are often unique to the individuals. Some responses, such as the tendency to find yellow difficult to read, are more universal. Other associations are often cultural and even specific to each person thanks to differing backgrounds and experiences.
From: Very Well Mind
Red vs Blue – Color Matters
In high-stakes politics and business, there are only two colors of ties: red and blue. Oh, sure, you might spot purple or yellow now and then, but those are clear statements of aloofness, be they calculated or careless.
Few world leaders or CEOs want to be seen as aloof.
But does it matter whether one wears red or blue? Yes, suggest several studies, including one published in the journal Science on Feb. 6, 2009. More on that in a moment.
First, some color:
During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump wore a blue and white striped tie. Seated behind Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, both wore blue ties.
For his inauguration on Jan. 20, President Donald Trump wore a red tie with his dark suit, while outgoing President Barack Obama donned a blue tie. Their wives wore the reverse, with Michelle Obama in a red dress and Melania Trump wearing a powder blue ensemble.
In the first presidential debate of 2016, then-nominee Donald Trump donned a blue tie, while the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, wore a red suit. The Democrats may have decided on “red” during the election, as Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine donned a red tie during the first vice presidential debates on Oct. 4, while Trump’s running mate, then-Indiana governor Mike Pence sported a blue necktie
In President Obama’s first 11 days on the job, he wore only red and blue ties, observed Daily News reporter Joe Dziemianowicz. “Obama represents something different in politics, but he dresses the same as everyone else,” said Esquire senior fashion editor Wendell Brown. “Washington, D.C., is a strange place when it comes to style. All the emphasis is on fitting in.”
At the inauguration in January 2009, Obama and Joe Biden seemed to coordinate efforts: “For the inaugural festivities, both executives chose predictable dark gray suits, white dress shirts, enlivened by either baby blue or red necktie,” wrote Lisa Irazarry of The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. “As Obama wore a blue necktie on Monday and Biden wore his blue Tuesday, maybe they prearranged not to duplicate each other alternating necktie colors.”
Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush both had on plum overcoats and purple scarves at the inauguration. They can be aloof now. Plus, purple is associated with royalty and we do tend to treat our former presidents as such.
Where’s all this come from?
The ties to red and blue go way back. Neckties are said to be descended from the cravat and used throughout most of history, at least the portion during which humans have been fully clothed. Blue was once associated with the blue blood of British nobility, while red represented the red blood of the Guards.
Red has long been associated with love. And there’s some science to that, too. A study last year found red clothes on women makes men feel more amorous towards them. In sports, athletes wearing red are known to outperform their opponents, in part because referees cut the red-clad competitors some slack, researchers discovered.
Politicians, of course, love to gain advantages. Neckties are one way they try to do that.
As Washington Post columnist Tom Shales wrote of a televised Bush-Kerry presidential debate in 2004: “Bush wore his traditional blue necktie, though a darker shade than the usual robin’s-egg hue, and Kerry wore the classic TV-red necktie; red ties supposedly lend color to the face of whoever wears them, and if there’s anything the Massachusetts senator needs, it’s color.”
But wait, there’s more.
Red and blue are also thought by psychologists to improve brain performance and receptivity to advertising. The 2009 study in Science supports this idea. It also suggests nuances that world leaders and presidential candidates might want to know about, assuming one buys into the notion that presidential messages and speeches are essentially a form of advertising.
The study found that red is the most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while blue is best at boosting our ability to think creatively.
“Previous research linked blue and red to enhanced cognitive performance, but disagreed on which provides the greatest boost,” said study leader Juliet Zhu of the University of British Columbia. “It really depends on the nature of the task.”
Zhu and colleagues tracked the performance of more than 600 people on cognitive tasks that required either creativity or attention to detail. Most experiments were conducted on computers with a screen that was red, blue or white.
Red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading up to 31 percent more than blue. For brainstorming and other creative tasks, blue cues prompted participants to produce twice as many creative outputs compared with red cues.
Why? Look around.
“Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teachers’ red pens, we associate red with danger, mistakes and caution,” Zhu said. “The avoidance motivation, or heightened state, that red activates makes us vigilant and thus helps us perform tasks where careful attention is required to produce a right or wrong answer.”
And the value of blue?
“Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility,” says Zhu, who conducted the research with UBC doctoral candidate Ravi Mehta. “The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly it is people’s favorite color.”
Perhaps presidential candidate’s choice of red vs. blue neckties should be made more thoughtfully than they realize.
Source: Live Science
Why Doctors Wear Green or Blue Scrubs
Scrubs used to be white — the color of cleanliness. Then in the early 20th century, one influential doctor switched to green because he thought it would be easier on a surgeon’s eyes, according to an article in a 1998 issue of Today’s Surgical Nurse. Although it is hard to confirm whether green scrubs became popular for this reason, green may be especially well-suited to help doctors see better in the operating room because it is the opposite of red on the color wheel.
Green could help physicians see better for two reasons. First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. The brain interprets colors relative to each other. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink, he becomes desensitized to it. The red signal in the brain actually fades, which could make it harder to see the nuances of the human body. Looking at something green from time to time can keep someone’s eyes more sensitive to variations in red, according to John Werner, a psychologist who studies vision at the University of California, Davis.
Second, such deep focus on red, red, red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces. These funky green ghosts could appear if a doctor shifts his gaze from reddish body tissue to something white, like a surgical drape or an anesthesiologist’s alabaster outfit. A green illusion of the patient’s red insides may appear on the white background. (You can try out this “after effect” illusion yourself.) The distracting image would follow the surgeon’s gaze wherever he looks, similar to the floating spots we see after a camera flash.
The phenomenon occurs because white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, including both red and green. But the red pathway is still tired out, so the red versus green pathway in the brain signals “green.”
However, if a doctor looks at green or blue scrubs instead of white ones, these disturbing ghosts will blend right in and not become a distraction, according to Paola Bressan, who researches visual illusions at the University of Padova in Italy.
So, although doctors trot down the street these days in a rainbow of patterned and colored scrubs, green may be a doctor’s best bet.
Source: Live Science
Turquoise and Architecture
Turquoise is a stone and color that is strongly associated with the domes and interiors of large mosques in Iran, Central Asia and Russia. Turquoise is a blend of green and blue. It is so named because the Turks were fond of the color and decorated many of their buildings with turquoise ceramic glazed tiles.
Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism “by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven”. This theme has not only given unity and continuity to the architecture of Persia, but has been a primary source of its emotional character as well.
Iran (previously known in the West as Persia) has remained an important source of turquoise for at least 2,000 years. It was initially named by Iranians “pirouzeh” meaning “victory”, and later the Arabs called it “firouzeh”. In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of palaces because its intense blue color was also a symbol of heaven on earth.
Here are some beautiful examples:
Designing With Turquoise
A mix of blue and green, turquoise has a sweet feminine feel while the darker teal shades add lively sophistication.
~ Jacci Howard Bear
Turquoise is, generally thought to consist of 70% blue and 30% green. A blend of blue and green, shades of turquoise, have the same calming effects of those colors and shares the symbolism and characteristics of both colors. Aqua, aquamarine, beryl, blue-green, cerulean, teal and ultramarine are all names for turquoise colors.
Turquoise is much more than another color from the gemstone lineup. Its many shades, hues and tones combine to paint a world of joyousness and glee. Just like the gemstone, the color is deeply ingrained in human history as one that brings peace, harmony and lasting happiness. Native Indians believed that this fallen sky stone had an ability to ward off evil and offer health. Similarly the color has been embraced by cultures across the world as one that energizes interiors while providing pleasure and serenity.
This in-between color represents water, thus the names aqua and aquamarine. Like still water, it projects peace and tranquility. It is an open and friendly color that offers balance and stability. Turquoise is linked to emotional balance and serenity.
The positive connotations connected with turquoise color are sophistication, healing, protection and spirituality. The negative connotations are envy and—from a design standpoint with the light bright shades—femininity.
The color turquoise undoubtedly takes its name from the valuable and popular mineral of the same name often used in jewelry. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest. jewelry. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest.
From the mosaics of the ancient world, the aqua clay paint accents of Northwest Native American works to the rather kitchy “modern ” of the fifties, such as cone shaped plastic chairs , and lava lamps, these shades have been used in a startling range of ways.
Turquoise is equally popular with men and women. Although the dark shades of turquoise are perceived to be masculine, you can create feminine appeal in your design with the light shades of turquoise.
Some shades of turquoise have a ’50s or ’60s retro feel. Teal has a darker, somewhat more sophisticated look. Like the mineral, turquoise shades range from almost sky blue to deep greenish blues.
Keep the soft, feminine qualities going in a design by combining turquoise with lavender or pale pink. Bright turquoise and pink create a sparkly clean, retro look.
Make it art deco by pairing turquoise with white and black. Turquoise with gray or silver as well as terra cotta and light brown has an American Southwest flavor. Turquoise combined with orange or yellow creates a fresh, sporty look. The color is often used in tropical designs.
TURQUOISE COLOR SELECTIONS
If your graphic design project is headed for print, use the CMYK formulations for the turquoise color you choose or specify a spot color. If your project will be viewed onscreen, use the RGB values. Use Hex codes if you work with websites. Turquoise colors include:
- Pale Turquoise: Hex #aeeeee | RGB 174,238,238 | CMYK 27,0,0,7
- Turquoise: Hex #00c5cd | RGB 0,197,205 | CMYK 100,4,0,20
- Bright Turquoise: Hex #00e5ee | RGB 0,229,238 | CMYK 100,4,0,7
- Medium Turquoise: Hex # | RGB 72,209,204 | CMYK 66,0,2,18
- Aquamarine: Hex #7fffd4 | RGB 127,255,212 | CMYK 50,0,17,0
Note: This post was compiled by Shirley Twofeathers for Color Therapy, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Bright Blessings.
How Color Effects Us
“Colours win you over more and more. A certain blue enters your soul. A certain red has an effect on your blood pressure. A certain colour has a tonic effect. A new era is opening.” ~Henri Matisse
Physical color in the environment affects our moods, relationships, and well being. As a tool for healing, color can be gazed at, beamed as healing light, meditated on, bathed in, worn, used in art, and in ritual such as candle magic and mandala work and painting. The colors you wear and see in your surroundings have a huge but perhaps largely subconscious effect on your moods, actions, and mental emotional states of being and function. We can use color as a tool to create wellness and contentment, to incite passion or anger, to calm and soothe, to express frivolity or seriousness.
Marketing experts, psychologists, advertisers and designers have long used color, to affect you directly. The color in your surroundings has amazing power to affect your moods and decisions. The packaging on anything you buy has had the color scheme carefully worked out to encourage you to buy it.
Restaurant color themes are often designed around appetite promoting colors such as reds and oranges and colors designed to affect how long you will want to stay in the particular room depending on the kind of turnover they need. The colors of your food can increase or destroy your appetite.
Researchers exposed a group of volunteers to a range of colors and lights. They found that blue and green made male subjects feel happier, while blue, purple and orange did the same for women. Everything is made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies that correspond to sound, light and color.
We are drawn to the colors needed to create balance in our lives, the goal in all healing. Colors attract … certain clothing and accessories, colors in our homes, and even the foods we eat.
Green In Media And Design
Some of the ways the color green is used in the media and for design purposes:
- Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety.
- Dark green is also commonly associated with money.
- Green suggests stability and endurance.
- Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the color of free passage in road traffic.
- Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products.
- Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products.
- Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, financial world, banking, and Wall Street.
Submitted by Raetta Parker
Yellow In Media And Design
Some of the ways the color yellow is used in the media and for design purposes:
- Yellow is often associated with food.
- Bright, pure yellow is an attention grabber that’s why taxicabs are painted this color.
- Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning.
- Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings.
- Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design.
- Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘kiddish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes.
- Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety.
- Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it.
- Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.
Submitted by Raetta Parker