Color Psychology

March 23, 2018 Psychology

Color is defined as “the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue” (Webster’s Dictionary). Color is an extremely powerful psychological tool used across the globe. Our world would be bland and boring without the use of color in our everyday lives. Using color psychology can encourage sales, calm a crowd, and even help a person send a positive (or negative) message.

Many companies use color psychology in their marketing schemes. June Campbell, writer for Nightcates Multimedia Productions, states, “Colors not only enhance the appearance of the item — they also influence our behavior. ” Some people may wonder why fast food restaurants are painted in bright reds, oranges, and yellows. Campbell notes that, “reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave. ” However, this is not the only place color psychology is found in the marketing world. When a woman walks into a clothing store, she is going to buy what she feels makes her look the best.

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Women who are on the larger side, and even women who are not, tend to buy darker clothing because it makes them feel slimmer. Now, a woman who is looking to have a good time on a night out on the town will tend to wear more vibrant colors like red. Red is the color of energy and is associated with movement and excitement. However, red can also have a negative outlook on people’s appearance by making them look heavier than what they may be. Many pregnant women are also known to wear more green showing their fertility.

Thirdly, adult website companies are also using color psychology techniques when creating their websites. They are doing this by putting reds and blacks on their websites because they are best associated with sexual connotations. Lastly, when buying a car, people veer to colors that make them look more sophisticated and fun. Auto dealerships will use this to their advantage. When placing cars out in front of their lot, they will display cars in colors that will appeal most to their buyers. These colors include black, silver, red, yellow, and orange.

All of these colors have a different meaning in the auto world. Black and silver cars help make the person who drives it feel more sophisticated; however, yellow and orange cars show the world that the person who owns that car tends to be a happy and fun person. People use many of these techniques without even noticing. Color psychology takes place in many different environments helping people feel more comfortable and relaxed, or the complete opposite making them feel angry and upset. First, hospitals are clean and scary in appearance.

With this in mind, hospitals knew they needed to change something to feel more welcoming to their patients. Patients’ rooms are more commonly painted in greens and blues; both are very relaxing colors for people. The color blue actually triggers the body to produce chemicals that are calming to the body. However, this does not mean that blues and greens will be the only colors used. Both browns and greens may also be used. These two colors provide a sense of warmth for people allowing them to feel relaxed and comfortable.

Also, many doctors wear white lab jackets to show cleanliness: the number one priority of a hospital. Secondly, many office buildings will use red as an accent color in paintings and other artwork, or for a wall color. According to Science Daily, a scientific publication, “Red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading by as much as 31 per cent [sic] compared to blue. ” What companies wouldn’t want their employee paying better attention to their task at hand? Finally, even schools are getting in on a bit of color psychology.

Some schools are known to paint the locker room of the opposing team in pink. Yes, pink. Pink drains energy out of a person and causes fatigue – a very strategic move. Prisons are also known to use pink in their jail cells because it drains all the negative energy from the inmates. Culture has a large influence on the meanings of color as well. First, China looks at colors differently than we do here in America. Let us take a look at the color red once again. In China red is the color worn by brides. If a Chinese woman were to wear white for her wedding, her parents would not allow her to marry.

Secondly, in India red is also a symbol of purity and good luck, which is why it is the traditional wedding gown color. Also, yellow is said to be a sacred and imperial color for their culture. Now, in America, we have different meanings for certain colors than other countries, and our flag colors and symbols best represent us as a whole. The white represents purity and innocence, red signifies valor and hardiness, and blue stands for justice, perseverance, and vigilance. The stars show the heavens and all the good that people strive for, while the strips emulate the sun’s rays.

Breaking down each country’s flag by symbol and color only shows, in more detail, the background of each country and its culture. Color is everywhere: marketing, environments, and various cultures across the world. Most of the time, people have no idea what kind of an impact color has on their everyday decisions. On the other hand, there are many experts who know the ins and outs of color psychology and are making the world a better place by helping everyone understand such a simple concept. Color will always be around us, for it would be such a boring world if everything were in black and white.


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