From Shelly Wu, PhD. Psychology on the Psychology of Colour
Yellow the pure bright lemon yellow is the most eye-fatiguing color. Light is reflected by this bright color, resulting in excessive stimulation of the eyes, causing eye irritation. It also speeds metabolism. Paint a room yellow, you will make babies cry and grown-ups lose their tempers in it. Furthermore, yellow is not a good color for notepads and monitor background. Although it can alert our brain and enhance concentration, it is hurtful to our eye.
Yellow, when used in small amount, produces sensations of brightness and warmth. It represents playfulness, light, creativity, warmth and an easygoing attitude toward life. It is as inviting as a warm, sunny day. Yellow is like sunlight -- you want it to be there to feel good, but you don't want it to be "in your eye".
Yellow has many shades. Pure yellow is the most cheerful and sunny of the spectrum. A softer tint, however, will make it more pleasant to look at. Dingy yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, jealousy and duplicity. Choice of shade is important when it comes to yellow.
Yellow, the cheerful sunny yellow, is an attention getter. It is the most visible color of all the colors, it is the number one attention getter.
Yellow is a spiritual color that is a symbol of the deity in many religions.
Blue represents solitude, sadness, depression, wisdom, trust and loyalty. Wearing blue to job interviews indicates dedication and loyalty.
Blue is one of the most popular colors. To American consumers of both genders, blue is the favorite color. However, be careful when using blue in association with food - it is a natural appetite suppressant and can be repulsive in some instances.
Blue is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Blue-colored food is repulsive to humans because when our ancestors searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. During experiments, when participants were served with food dyed blue, they lost appetite.
Blue relaxes our nervous system. It has a sobering effect on the mind and can cause people to be more contemplative, which is the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue, which is a good color for bedrooms, causes the body to produce calming chemicals. Darker shades of blue, however, can feel cold and depressing.
Blue surroundings, if not too dark, increase productivity. Studies show that students score higher, weightlifters lift heavier weights in blue rooms. People retain more when reading information written in blue text.
Green comes with many symbiotic meanings, among which, the strongest and the most universal is nature. Related to that, it also signifies life, youth, renewal, hope and vigor. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility.
Green is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming color and has a neutral effect on the human nervous system. The "green rooms" are designed for people who are waiting to appear on TV to sit and relax. Green is also a popular color in hospitals because it relaxes patients.
Green's various shades have different symbolic meanings:
* Dark Green -- cool, masculine, conservative, and implies wealth.
* Emerald Green -- immortality.
* Olive Green -- the color of peace.
* Yellow-Greens -- least preferred color of consumers.
Green represents money in American culture.
Orange is associated with warmth, contentment, fruitfulness and wholesomeness. It looks strong and generous.
Orange is the color most associated with appetite.
Orange has a declassifying, broad appeal. It can be used to indicate that a product is suitable for everyone, and can make an expensive product seem more affordable.
Black is a controversial color. On one hand, it is associated with demons, witches and the devil; on the other hand, sturdiness and reliability. On one hand, it speaks with authority and power; on the other hand, despair and mourning. On one hand, it symbolizes evil characters and criminal activities; on the other hand, constancy, prudence and wisdom.
Black is the clothes color of choice for many people for various reasons. Some wear black for it feels formal and powerful. Priests, on the contrary, wear black to signify submission to God. Others wear black because it gives a slimmer appearance. Minimalist black clothing has been seen as being stylish and sophistication.
White stands for purity, chastity and innocence. In most of the western societies, brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. It also represents cleanliness. Doctors, nurses, and lab technicians wear white to imply sterility.
White reflects light and keeps cool. So it is the color for summer clothing. In general, it creates a cool and refreshing feeling.
Purple is the color for royalties. It stands for luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also the color of passion, romance and sensitivity.
Purple is a rare color in nature. In ancient times, people used a certain species of shellfish to create purple dyes -- a meticulous process. Some people like purple decorations for its unusually posh and artistic look. To others, however, it just looks artificial.
Brown is the color of earth and wood. It is solid and reliable and helps to create a neutral, comfortable and open atmosphere. It communicates credibility, solidity, strength and maturity.
Brown is more likely to be in men's favorite color list.
Brown -- certain shades of it -- can look worn and wistful.
Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma Washington, reported that when prison cells were painted pink, it reduced aggressive behavior among prisoners. “Even if a person tries to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can't. The heart muscles can’t race fast enough. It’s a tranquilizing color that saps your energy. Even the color-blind are tranquilized by pink rooms”, according to Dr. Schauss. Such a effect, unfortunately however, was short-lived as later studies would show. It appears that once the body returns to a state of equilibrium, a prisoner may regress to an even more agitated state.
Red is an attention grabber. Words and objects in red get people's attention immediately. In decorating and design, red items should be perfect since it will attract attention. When it comes to cars, there is a positive correlation between the color red and theft rate.
Red is an emotionally intense and very extreme color. Red clothing can be uplifting and convey power and energy but may invite confrontation.
Red is extremely dominating. It should be used as an accent not as a background.
Red rooms make people anxious but rooms with a red accent can cause people to lose track of time, thus are favored by bars and casinos. Restaurants often use red as a decorating scheme because of its appetite stimulant function.