By default, humans are creatures of emotion. Apart from our logical relation to the world, we react to our environment with an in-driven impulse, wave of emotions, and feelings. That explains why we are naturally attracted to the world of arts. This is the psychology of color.
There is a natural reaction you have towards music. If you listen to a high-pitched instrument like the violin, how does the atmosphere around you feel? What kind of emotion is triggered in you? Naturally, high-pitched sounds evoke liveliness and brightness. There are this inexplicable happiness and fast-paced excitement that transpires in you when listening to a mezzo-soprano singing in an orchestra. You are affected by the pitch of the music. That is the psychology of music.
Just like music, color is one such element of art that is physically and emotionally effective. To illustrate the affective power of color, let’s do some mental paintings. Picture yourself in a locked room with everything in red color – illumination, tables, cutleries, flowers, walls – everything in a solid red color. How do you feel? Do you feel at ease or scared? Do you feel comfortable or otherwise with the ambiance permeating the room?
There is a high probability you’ll be scared or at least be bothered by the total redness of the room.
Now let’s try out another mental painting. How about coating everything in the room white – tables, chairs, clothes, walls – everything in white color. How do you feel this time around? Definitely, the reaction and emotion that will be aroused in you will be different from the ones derived from the first room you imagined to be all-red.
With the illustration given above, it is quite obvious and beyond doubt that color has a strong influence on our minds. It shapes our perception of the world around us. This is the psychology of color.
Colour creates connection
We all have a subconscious affinity for looking at colors, admiring each element that sums up to give the overall appearance of the color – factors such as shade, intensity, brightness, warmth, and tone. Each of these elements, among many others, are mediums through which color is given its effective beauty. And they all are significant for meaning and effect.
Bright and flashy colors like yellow color in interior design and home decor, for instance, can have several underlying effects on you. You can find it distractive, disturbing, or warm. Some colors are associated with coolness and comfort. Blue and gray colors fall into this category. Imagine a deep blue sky in the desert. Doesn’t the blueness evoke some coolness?
Every message deduced from color is an effect. Let’s pick a popular color – purple. Purple color is generally acknowledged to be the denotation for royalty. The sociological history behind the color can make you think of royalty or something close to that whenever you set your eyes on purple. That royalty drawn from looking at the color is a message, with possible effects.
Color effects on the eyes are often temporary. The effects are strongly felt when your eyes are staring at the color. But the moment you take your eyes off-color, it’s only a matter of time before the effects waft away. This is the psychology of color.
The sophisticated relationship between the human mind and color can spring up varying questions. Why does our mind react differently to colors? Why is the reaction not uniform in all colors?
Colour conveys impression
Memories are formed from the accumulation of impressions. Every day of our lives, we consciously or unconsciously are instilled with experiences. These experiences are products of our feelings.
Memory houses impressions. How you view the world, your love, or hatred for something – everything single thing about you – is influenced by the impressions forming your memory as you grow.
Imagine a lad bitten by a green snake but survived the bite after treatment. What do you think will be the child’s predisposition to green color later in the future? As much as the color green is harmless in itself, the gruesome experience of the child with the green snake will forever change his mind about the green color. So, possibly, the child can develop an inherent and inexplicable fear and deterrence for green color. This mindset of the child towards green color is a result of his past impression. Nothing less.
So, your past impression has a strong influence on you and the way you react to colors.
Let’s imagine another child groomed up around the flowery environment and taught with the belief that “green” is the symbolism for life and growth. What do you think will be the child’s reaction to green color in the future? A positive response as opposed to the child attacked by a green snake.
Your past experiences explain why you react differently to colors the way you do mostly.
Attributes of Colour
Every color has arrays of attributes that make it peculiar, identifiable, and distinguishable. So, there is more to color than you think.
Crimson, scarlet, magenta, cerise, burgundy, cardinal, and claret – they all are shades and tones of red. Tone, level of shade, warmth, and intensity of color play a crucial role in the impression of the color. Crimson red is the deepest. Other shades of red have their tint layers attributive to them.
Just as red color is added about in arrays of its different layers, all colors have their respective layers, too, each with different effects. A cobalt green, for instance, will appear sharper, brassy, and harder than a sap green, which will look succulent and accommodating.
Color attributes are elicitors of different reactions. Your reaction to ice blue will be changed to sky blue. This is the psychology of color.
What is beauty without color? The potency of color cannot be underemphasized. It is immeasurable. Just imagine a world without color. It definitely won’t look appealing. The precious ornament of the world, giving it its beauty and elegance, is color.
The indispensability of color is revealed in everything around us – sun, trees, sand, animals, cars, houses. Everything is clothed in color.
Colour goes beyond just visual imagery. It appeals to our other senses. We can feel its touch, hear its message, smell its fragrance, and taste its savor. Therefore, it is only natural that the human mind reacts to color because it is around us always, contributing to our daily experience of the world.