We, as human beings, have the tendency to take a lot for granted, especially if it is something we take as a given, such as: hearing, eyesight, speech, mobility, the list goes on. If we were lucky enough to have been born healthy, we rarely ever think further than what we are used to. Sometimes, we do not understand the immense relevance of something that seems so simple, until it is taken away. A perfect example of such, is the aspect of: COLOUR.
Definition of colour: it is the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light.
In essence, it is a fancy way of saying – blue, green, pink, yellow and whichever other colour under the rainbow that you can think of.
However, why is colour so important? Eyes record over 90% of our sensory impressions, with over 80% of our visual information relating to colour. Colour majorly affects the following:
- emotions, which in turn affects decisions
- the success of design concepts, branding and campaigns
- cultural symbolism
Colour has the special ability to influence mood, feelings, behaviour and psychological reactions. It can have various effects, from lifting our moods to causing anxiety and irritability, inducing pleasure and triggering sadness. Even though there is a general lack of research in this area, researchers and experts have made a few important discoveries and observations about the psychology of colour and its general effects. Different colour tones play an important role when it comes to various emotions. It can be influenced by various aspects, such as brightness, tint, shade, tone, coolness, warmness and more.
Warm colours: yellow, orange, red
Evokes feelings of happiness, energy, anger, optimism, love, warmth, desire, confidence, creativity, inspiration, etc
Cool colours: green, blue, purple
Evokes feelings of calmness, trust, safety, hope, renewal, sadness, self-control, spirituality, arrogance, wisdom, etc
Design & Branding
The correct usage of colour can be one of the most powerful tools used in branding, marketing and design. Colour can be highly advantageous in any campaign if used correctly, creating immediate awareness and recognition. It also plays a big role when it comes to your corporate identity and business brand, how much you stand out and how memorable you are. Before choosing a specific colour scheme, it is crucial to do enough research in order to understand how colour can reflect on your company’s values, target audience and overall image. The emotional aspect of colour is just as important as its practicality. If correctly understood and implemented, it can very much contribute towards the ultimate success of your company/venture.
Throughout the times, colours have picked up different meanings and connotations in different cultures. However, there are global colour symbolisms which can unify most cultures due to its worldwide popularity and recognition for what it represents. For example:
Pink – femininity & romance
Yellow – joy & energy
Green – nature, freshness & health
Blue – loyalty, loneliness & authority
Purple – wealth, luxury & mourning
Red – danger, love & passion
Orange – creativity & happiness
Black – death, darkness, elegance, power & maturity
White – peace & purity
Hopefully the above makes us realise and appreciate the immense power that colour has in our lives. Even the most subtle usage can be the trigger for an important decision or reaction. If used wisely, it can become your very own superpower. The question is, are you the hero or the villain?