The psychological effect of color

Colors are inspiring people to create. Usually people think picking the color for something is pretty simple but it actually gets complex pretty quickly. Do you know that when you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror you decide how you look or how you feel mostly depending on the color?

Color can affect you both physiologically and psychologically. That’s because color is everywhere and you interact with it everyday. So, you get a lot more interaction with color nowadays on multiple levels and people are aware of this. They know that they’re affected by it soulfully and not just mentally.


For me, color is a sort of a silent language or an emotional language that we all know how to speak. As we see color we start to associate it with different things in our lives. We have three different types of associations: universal, cultural and individual.

So, red is definitely the one that increases your heart rate when you first see it. It makes you want to move. There are some studies that actually say that you’ll walk faster, you’ll eat more, you’ll talk more when you’re in a red room than any other color.
One great example is “the red carpet”. Well, there’s a reason why the red carpet is red and that’s because it keeps the traffic flowing.

A photo by Azrul Aziz.
When you see blue the opposite will happen. You become more calm and relaxed.

But I think the most interesting are the cultural differences. For exemple, when you’re very young you might think of brown as dirty and earthy but, as time goes on, you learn to adjust those associations. All of a sudden, espresso and cappuccino became a whole new trend. Brown took on a whole new association.

A photo by Sujan Sundareswaran.

When we start to think of things like recycling or environmental concerns it’s natural for us to think of green. So we develop different types of associations that we share with other human beings. As we grow, those become more and more meaningful to us. As for my page, If it was all black and white it wouldn’t have much impact. When it comes to finding the best colors for your website you want to think about what colors match before you even worry about what colors you can’t use.

Goethe, the German author, wrote “The Theory of Colors” where he explains how colors are perceived by humans and how they make us think and feel.

red grace, attractiveness
bluegloomy, melancholy

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

yellowbrightness, exciting

If we fast forward over 200 years, in somewhere like Times Square, vibrant color is just part of the landscape. Colors plays a huge role in recognizing brands, advertisements and creating the store environments that influence our purchases so much.

A research shows that red creates a sense of urgency, it increases our heart rate and leads to spontaneous purchases. Blue is calm, cool and leads us to be more well-considered in our spending. Researchers found a correlation between pleasant emotions and the wavelength of a color, so people felt more pleasant when they were exposed to short wavelength colors, like blue.                                                                                              
One study even looked at how blue and red influence our shopping behavior. Two stores were constructed, one with a red scheme and one with a blue color scheme. Participants were given some money and the task of buying a TV. It was found there were longer browsing and more purchases in the blue store. Another study found that shoppers are 15% more likely to return to a store with blue color schemes that those with orange color schemes.
And of course there’s more than color involved, there’s influences like smell, music, temperature and salespeople.
As more people now shop online, choosing the color is more of a science.

This article was all about understanding color and why it is so important. I hope what it will make you want to discover how to use colors effectively.

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