All of us are subconsciously aware of the power of color –through our observations of our world, our immediate surroundings and our conditioning in today’s persuasive, brand-pushing society – especially here in the Western Hemisphere. But the power of color is limitless and universal – in all cultures – because of one thing: we are all human. Let’s explore what we all have in common when it comes to color.
According to Colour Affects in London, there are four psychological primary colors – Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. They relate respectively to the body, the mind, the emotions and the essential balance between these three.
Red is Physical – the body reacts powerfully to Red. Although not technically the most visible color, Red has the property of appearing nearer than it is and therefore grabs our attention. It stimulates us, raises our pulse rates and gives us the impression of time moving faster.
Red creates a sense of urgency. This is why Red is used for Stop traffic signs, in restaurants to turn tables faster and increase volume of customers. Red exudes confidence. Ever wonder why Carrie Bradshaw was so enamored with those red-soled Christian Louboutin stilettos?
Red is a subliminal yet guttural message to your body that this person is strong and courageous. Fun fact – according to thefactsite.com, Red also means “beautiful” in Russian.
Among the positive aspects of Red are that it represents physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation and excitement. Some of the negative aspects are that Red is the color of defiance, aggression and strain. So think about all the brands that are colored Red – what are they trying to persuade you to do, feel or act?
Blue on the other hand is intellectual – it appeals to our mind and it is essentially very soothing. Blue is the color of the sky and the sea. Blue affects us mentally rather than physically. Strong Blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, softer Blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Blue is serene and mentally calming. A lot of formal living rooms and salons throughout the world are colored Blue to create serenity and a sense of safety.
Blue is non-threatening. Blue is the color of clear communication. Repeatedly, Blue is the world’s favorite color. Some of the positive aspects of the color Blue are intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, loyalty and calm. But Blue can also be perceived as cold, unemotional and unfriendly.
Now take a look at the picture of the Iowa Republican Primary Debate line-up and think about why a politician would wear only either a Red or a Blue tie to a debate or other public function. Why don’t we see Green or Brown attire at these functions? What is he or she trying to communicate subliminally to you – and why? Is it to complement or contrast their words?
Yellow stimulates the Emotions, has the longest wavelength and is therefore the strongest color psychologically. The right color Yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem. Yellow is the color of confidence and optimism. Is it any wonder that Yellow kitchens are now the rage in home decor in 2016? According to Zillow.com, homes with Yellow kitchens sell for an average of $1,300 more than expected. And what better way to start your day than with an infusion of the color Yellow confidence and optimism?
Some of the positive aspects of Yellow are optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength friendliness and creativity. Think about sunflowers, sunshine, lemonade, autumn leaves, and yes, even Pikachu! But Yellow can also be disturbing with combined with other colors in a scheme. Used this way, Yellow can cause self-esteem to plummet giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our Yellow Streak can surface and cause us to flee a situation or environment.
Green represents Balance. Green impacts the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatsoever, and is therefore physically restful. Being in the center of the color spectrum Green is the color of balance. On a primitive level, a world full of Green indicates plenty of water and little danger of famine. Green is calming and peaceful.
Some of the positive aspects of the color Green are harmony, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, equilibrium and environmental awareness. Think of pastures, lawns and forests, vegetable gardens and the spring season of rejuvenation and the Caribbean waters. According to HouseBeautiful.com, Verdigris, a shade of green from the weathered patina of bronze statues, was one of the earliest green paints available. But Green also has some negative aspects. It can also represent boredom, stagnation, blandness, envy and fatigue.
Using color to enhance your communications is as old as the hills themselves – Maybe even older. We’ve been communicating with each other and our world using color since the beginning of time, but few people (without personal handlers and brand marketers) really use it to their benefit and the benefit of others. So aside from determining what your astrological ‘season’ is to determine what is the best “look” for you, you may want to dress yourself with the colors that enhance your message to the world, using your own personal “brand” as a fashion billboard to communicate to the world what you have to say. Just a thought …
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