The Psychology of Colors: How Colors Influence The World

Ever wondered why you’re going to see a red light outside an operation theater room? Or why the police force in some countries has a blue uniform while in others, it dons beige? Colors have a significant psychological effect. And the individuals and insitutions in charge of policy and authority are adept at exploiting this to optimise end results.

Most color usage is usually for persuasion. Colors can persuade us whether to buy a product, or decide on how trustworthy the same product could be. Different colors have a different effect on our psychology, but is it the same feeling experienced by two different people when they see a red color or any other color?

It’s not just different colors delineating different meanings, there are also cultural differences which affect this perception of colors.

For example, you may see the bride and the groom in white attire in some regions. In other cultures, white is worn at funeral ceremonies. This explains that color psychology does not depend on the rudimentary facts about color but also culture and personal perspectives come into play.

Let’s see how colors are used to persuade us in different domains.

Blue

The most famous and popular color in the world. Arguably, of course.

Blue is a symbol of loyalty, focused, duty, intellectual and logic. Thanks to this, most of the offices have blue color, to promote efficiency and fewer errors.

Men may prefer to wear blue color on their first date to exhibit loyalty, stability and trustworthiness.

The sky and oceans are blue, symbolizing calm, cold, tranquility and peace. You may remember animated cartoon characters, upon freezing, would have their color change to blue. This color also is associated with sadness, aloofness and an uncaring nature.

In the digital world, Blue is the most favoured color. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and multiple other social networking portals have a blue logo – showcasing dependability and sociability. This also is one of the reasons for their success.

Red

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Red is essentially love, romance, passion, care. At the same time it is also aggresion, and intensity. A woman should wear red color on their first date to grab attention from a man. According to a research study, waitresses wearing red color uniforms would get more tips if their patrons were male.

Red also increases your appetite, which explains why restaurants have red featured in their decor and ambience. McDonalds and KFC have a red logo too.

Red shows a sense of warning and increases the heart rate. You may also see the red light in the operation theatre and red siren on police vehicles, ambulances.

Purple

Purple does not appear in nature much so it was hard to make purple dye. Purple symbolizes luxury, and a rich look. Due to this, it is associated with royalty, expensive, prosperity, wealth and exotic. By reading this you may also get the answer to your question on why most of the gifts are wrapped in purple color, to make them look expensive. But too much violet will make it look fake or artificial.

Black

Most consider black to denote death, sad, mournful and evil. While it also is associated with power, strength, and authority like a judge in the black robe.

Researchers examined statistics from more than 50000 national hockey league games, and concluded that teams were penalized more for faults and aggression while wearing black jerseys.

Black is also considered as a formal wear, it absorbs all the energy that comes to it and reflects only minimally.

Orange

Orange is all about energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. It is often preferred at the gym to increase energy levels. It is considered to be the fusion of passion and happiness of red and yellow respectively.

Sports teams tend to have orange jerseys for success and strength, it is a high energy color.

White

White is the color for hygiene, equality, purity, goodness, sophistication and cleanliness. Hence, you see white color in your bathroom and toilets. Even the tablets you take as medication are mostly white in color to make you feel they are hygienic and pure.

Grey

Color gray has no psychological effects, or has fewer effects. It can be used in combination with colors like red, blue, purple and black so as to make them look a little dull. One should never wear gray to work, to a date or an interview as it shows a dull nature, lack of energy.

 Yellow

Yellow is considered to be the color of happiness, laughter, cheerfulness, optimism, creativity, emotional strength, confidence. It is considered to be the strongest color emotionally. Of course, your opinion may differ. Yellow color can make babies cry if they are exposed to its darker shade and for a long time. Apparently, it can also cool down the temper of an adult.

Too much yellow also shows signs of disturbance, fear, emotionally vulnerable and depression.

Colors used in web designs and product branding

According to Neil Patel, “color is 85% of the reason you purchase a particular product”. Whenever you a buy a product, for the first 80-90 seconds you decide whether to buy the product based on its. Companies also use colors for brand recognition.

For example, have you ever seen your bathroom cleaner in red, yellow or black?

It is always blue color, because you trust the color. Blue is the color of loyalty and efficiency. This plants a thought in our minds – that the bathroom cleaner will deliver effectively.

Web designs are made in a similar fashion. To impact more audience and viewers, different combinations of colors, or a single color, is used to design a website. For example, in 2014, black and white was a trending color combination in web design.

Of course, there are also cultural differences which may change how colors are perceived individually.