Colors and feelings are strongly connected. Warm colors may cause different feelings, while bright colors can make different emotions than neutral colors. This all depends heavily on the use of color’s psychological effects. Every color causes different feelings and emotions.
Colors often make us feel sad or happy or even make us tired or relaxed. Such responses are based on social, biological and cultural effects. That is why it is necessary to be aware of the psychological impact colors can have on an average individual, as well as the basics of color theory and the interpretations of colors.
What Is Color Psychology?
Color psychology is the research of how colors influence human behavior, mood, and interpretation. Despite the overall absence of research in this field, the color psychology idea is becoming a popular topic in advertising, design, art and other fields. Much of the knowledge in this new field is, at best, empirical, but scientists and specialists have made some important findings and discoveries about color psychology and its impact on emotions, moods, and behaviors.
How Different Colors Can Affect Your Mood
How various colors influence feelings depends in large part on the illumination, shadow, tone or tint of color and whether it is warm or cold. Let’s look at some of the facts on how colors can affect your mood and emotions.
1. Cool Colors
Cool colors are blue, green and purple. Cool colors are generally relaxing and calming but may also demonstrate sadness. Purple is also used to help stimulate creativity as it is a combination of a blue (quiet) and red (extreme). If a corporation wants to show safety, beauty or wellbeing it will combine these colors.
Red yellow and orange are all warm colors. Warm colors always bring out feelings of optimism, happiness, and motivation. Nevertheless, red, orange and yellow will also catch your attention and indicate danger or prompt you to take some action such as red lights, danger warnings, and boundary tape. Red may also boost appetite for an individual.
3. Happy Colors
Happy colors are warm and vivid colors such as orange, yellow, red and pink. Colors like light pink, lilac, or peach can also make your mood more inspirational. The clearer and brighter the color, the happier and more positive you will feel. Another way that colors can develop positive emotions is to combine different colors for a happy, cheerful effect.
4. Sad Colors
Sad colors include muffled and dark colors. Grey and black are the saddest colors, but gloomy and muffled cool colors such as green, blue or neutrals like beige or brown can have similar effects on emotions and feelings based on how they are used. Black is known as the color of grief in Western cultures, whereas in some eastern Asian countries it is white to highlight innocence and resurrection.
5. Mild/Calming Colors
Cool colors such as blue and green will also help you to feel calm. Pastel and especially cool-toned colors such as mint, baby blue and lilac will have a relaxing and calming effect. Neutral colors such as beige, white and grey will also make you feel calm. The fewer colors you mix while the simpler and more pared-back style is, the calmer the feelings will be.
6. Energizing Colors
Powerful, bright and fluorescent colors can have a significant influence on human emotions. Colors such as bright yellow, bright red, and fluorescent green can make you feel more intense and vigilant, but can also irritate your eyes. Such colors will catch your attention and stood out from their environment. Highly pigmented, solid colors such as turquoise, royal blue, emerald green, and magenta can also make you feel renewed and stimulated.
How Colors Express Different Things
Let’s immerse ourselves in the feelings and emotions that different colors may evoke.
Red will make you feel energized and passionate. Red is the warmest and perhaps most intense color and can cause opposite feelings. It’s often linked to love and passion as well as potential threats and anger. It can accelerate the heart rate of a person, as well as make them energized. If you wish to point out a design element, you should use red. But it should be used in the balance as an accent color since it can be excessive.
Pink will make you feel romantic and playful. Pink reflects romance, tenderness, sensitivity as well as femininity. It is fundamentally sweet, lovely and charming. Pink relieves and renews our mental energies, calming aggressive and angry emotions. It’s an optimistic color that inspires comforting and warm emotions and feeling that everything is going to be fine.
Orange will make you feel full of energy and optimism. Orange will boost you with a sense of happiness and vitality. It attracts attention and demonstrates movement like red, but is not as overwhelming as red. It is aggressive but with balance, and can still be encouraging and friendly. Orange is an excellent color for sending a positive message to buy products or subscribe to services.
Brown is a realistic, easy-going color that stands for stability, composition, and support. It is the color of material comfort and the gradual increase in material wealth. Brown is a realistic color that implies good judgment. It is friendly and warm, practical and reliable, and can also represent well-established life.
Black usually evokes strength, elegance, luxury, professionalism, and practicality. It is powerful, bold and a bit of a mysterious color Black indicates discipline and self-control, self-determination and a solid will. It can also have some negative meanings. Black is the color of sorrow, fear, and anxiety and it can also make you feel scary and unapproachable.
White invokes innocence and purity and promotes a minimalist aesthetic. White is a color of security and moral support, providing a sense of solitude and calm, hope and comfort, helping to mitigate emotional disturbances. It creates a feeling of order and productivity, a huge relief if your life needs to be cleaned up. It is a modern, clean and simple color and is most neutral of all other colors.
Gray will make you feel professional and serious. It is a mature and responsible color. Its positive meanings include formality and reliability, while its negative aspect can imply being excessively conservative, traditional and not emotional.
Grey is a secure, reserved and serious color. It can suppress energy but it is also the consistent foundation from which new and optimistic things can come.
Yellow will bring you happiness and creativity. Yellow may be the most intense of all warm colors. Laughing, optimism, and happiness are connected with it. Yellow variations add to your design energy and make the audience feel optimistic and happy. However, yellow usually reflects more illumination and may irritate the eyes of a person. Unnecessary yellowish color can be distracting and must be used carefully. It is often used in design to energetically and comfortably capture the attention.
Blue will make you feel relaxed and safe. It evokes feelings of peace and spirituality and also of trust and comfort. Seeing the blue color will cause the body to produce calming chemicals. It’s no wonder that it is the most popular of all the colors. Dark blues are perfect for organizational design because it gives a professional impression, but if used too much it will cause a cold or disconnected vibe. Light blues offer a friendlier and more calming feeling.
Purple will make you feel innovative and is connected to mystery, imagination, wealth and royalty. Lighter purple tones have been used to help calm or relax an audience, so they should be used in personal care products. Integrate purple to create a design that will appear wealthy and glamorous, or softer purple to demonstrate mystery and romance.