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Emotional Impact of Color

Posted October 24, 2015 by & filed under

In continuing the previous discussion on color we have found that People have a natural, instinctual reaction to color. And it may change over time or from one group of people to another, but the power of colop cannot be underestimated.

Red is seen as a positive, stimulating color that stirs up passion and energy in those who see it. On the negative side, however, it can be seen as an aggressive color and so should be used with a specific intention. In Asian cultures it is considered good luck! And it’s always nice to add a bit of drama to liven up a space.02.28.2014 Emotional Impact of Color 1

Red’s little sister is pink, of course. This is obviously considered more of a feminine color, at least in spaces, not necessarily in fashion any more. A bit more saturated and it becomes fuchsia which is considered more of a power color. It is interesting, however, to know that studies show that pink can be calming for around 30 minutes then make someone irritable for around 30 minutes and back to calm.

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I, personally, have grown to love yellow. It is a cheerful and positive color that brightens a dark space and brings in that feeling of sunshine and happiness. I do notice that clients tend to shy away from it because it is a strong color and it takes some convincing to understand how to use it. Just like Van Gogh’s Lillies focuses on the blues of the flower but they would not stand out the way they do if it weren’t for the yellow. Appropriate use of color is not just the use of one color but the way in which colors—and even textures—combine to create an overall aesthetic.

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Blue is my second favorite color. It reminds me of the ocean, the sky, nature in general, and I find that to be exceptionally restful.  Blue is considered to be a color of trust and safety. That’s why lots of banks and even politicians use it frequently. But, in tones such as spa blue, it really comes across as a respite from the world.

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Purple and fushias are traditionally the color of royalty and majesty and symbolize opulence and luxury. Most people either love it or hate it but it has the ability to be used in a really handsome and sophisticated way.

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Similarly, neutrals are ones that people either love or hate and it all depends on knowing the proper way to utilize them. Warm colors can be used to bring comfort and warmth to a space as well as be incorporated through natural materials in architectural uses. Greys are often misunderstood as well. Grey needs to be incorporated into a palette in a manner that allows the other colors to be highlighted.

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And, for my most favorite color: white. White reflects all color and can be very sophisticated but it does rely on other design principles to make it last. It is a similar situation with black. They are rich and stand out and must be used appropriately to bring a space together.

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The main story here is to not be afraid and to be open minded. Most of the time people are afraid of colors not because of the color but because it is difficult to see how it incorporates with the rest of the design aesthetic. Just sit back and watch as colors you never imagined you would like bring a space to life in a way you love.