Did You Know: Psychology of Color
As designers we spend a lot of our day considering the impact of certain colors. As you may already know, warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) are appetizing which is why they are the branding colors for most of the major fast food chains. You probably also know that blues and greens are a great choice for a spa-like bathroom but with this post we’re hoping to fill you in on why certain colors are great choices for certain applications and why you might like certain colors more than others.
Red is not for the faint of heart because it stimulates the senses. Red promotes excitement and intensity because it gets the blood pumping. As previously mentioned, red is an appetizing tone which makes it a great choice for kitchens and dining rooms. The intensity is why it is used for stop signs and other spaces to draw strong attention. Red’s blood pumping abilities also make it a great choice for a passionate bedroom.
Orange brings about a jolt of energy and can be a good choice for a bedroom if you have a hard time waking up. Orange is much like red in that it promotes feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. It also draws attention, which is why it is used for cautionary road signs.
Yellow can be considered calm and neutral and can be a good choice for most spaces in the home. Yellow is the most visible color in the spectrum seen by the human eye, so there are many options which can make it difficult to choose the right tone. Yellow is also an energetic color and activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication and sparks creativity. Due to these previously mentioned behaviors, people are most likely to argue in yellow colored rooms and babies are going to cry more in a yellow room.
Like other warm colors, it not only increases appetite but it also increases metabolism. Due to it being the most visible color, it is another color used on cautionary road signs in order to draw attention.
Green reminds us of growth and renewal like the gifts of nature outdoors. Green is a very natural color and is very calming as a result and encourages spending money, making it a good choice for store accents. Green improves reading ability, making it a good choice for a home office or library. Green is thought of as a tranquil color that brings about health and healing; in fact, it can lower stress and reduce stomachaches. Due to green being proven to be relaxing, it is why the “Green Room” is where guests wait before being introduced on a television talk show.
Blue is another very calming color prevalent in nature, making it a great color for restful bedrooms and spa-like bathrooms. However, blue is not often found naturally in food and is in fact the least appetizing color, so it is not often popular for dining rooms. Blue is a great color for offices because blue is calming, it helps people focus and be more productive.
Purple is the color of royalty and creativity and, depending on the tone, can be dramatic or calming. Purple is also the color of wisdom and spirituality and can be seen as exotic because it is not often found in nature. For the same reason, purple can be perceived as artificial.
Gray is very serene and calming, again because it is often found in nature. Gray can feel strong and masculine or delicate and feminine or create a perfect balance between the two. Simple glamour can be achieved when multiple shades are layered. Gray makes a great backdrop color because it is so dependable and resembles various metallic tones.
Brown encourages people to slow down and relax, it is weighty and robust like the materials it is found on in nature. Due to the fact that wood tones are shades of brown and wood finishes are found throughout our homes on many surfaces, brown is perceived as very stable.
White is the color of purity and innocence and can create a great sense of space or add highlights. White is another color that makes an excellent backdrop for colors to pop against which is why it is often used in art galleries. Too much white however, can feel sterile and unwelcoming.
What is your favorite color in your space? What were you surprised to learn about color?