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Use color with purpose

Color is all around us; there’s no way of escaping it. With the knowledge of color psychology, one can effectively balance communication and emotions. Take on the world of color with purpose. What does your favorite color say about your personality? My favorite color is blue-violet; however, if you look at my portfolio of work, you will notice that I rarely, if ever, use it. The color is too intense and vibrant to be deemed appropriate for most industries. When considering colors for your brand, research other brands in your industry and think about what’s suitable for your audience, their interests, and the goals and brand perception of your business.

How Color Affects One’s Mood

Let’s examine how color affects one’s mood. You have likely heard the expressions “seeing red,” “feeling blue,” “green with envy,” “purple passion,” “white lies”, and “black rage”. Color evokes an array of feelings and emotions and can inform a first impression. Each of us are conditioned with unique and different psychological views on color. The luminance and intensity of the color is delivered to the optic part of the brain through electrical pulses, then to the pituitary and pineal glands and, in response, the glands release adrenaline, endorphins, or other hormones, and one reacts with emotion.

Bright colors

A bright palette of colors arouses energy, motivation, and lighten one’s mood. Fuchsia, acknowledged for its high intensity of color and saturation, is considered to be feminine and energizing. Hot pink, another motivating color, symbolizes flare, fiery passion, and happiness in celebrations. Red is a primary color that can influence contradicting emotions. Intense reds illustrate anger or hostility, overwhelming power, stimulation, and energy to some people and love, passion, romance, and excitement to others. Red may easily be associated with hazard and is used liberally in casinos and gambling arenas as a device to make people overlook the time. Depending on one’s mood before being presented with the color red may influence a positive or negative reaction. If someone was having a bad day, they would be more apt to be agitated or frustrated by red than someone who was cheerful.

Many people could agree that orange makes them feel warm and cheerful and maybe even gratified and exuberant, but other individuals may be overwhelmed and experience nausea, hunger, or depression. Overall, orange is seen as a color of strength, endurance, nature, and change, such as the season autumn when trees change the color of their leaves. Yellow, established for its vitalizing color and warmth, should cheer anyone up on a dreary day. This highly intense color does indeed spread optimism and cheer like the radiant sun, but there still is an opposing side. Color psychology analysts have also concluded that intensified shades of yellow can fatigue the observer after long increments of time. Babies are irritated and cry more frequently in bright yellow rooms, and arguments and frustration are more probable to arise between people. Some people, besides becoming frustrated, may possibly experience panic and enhanced alertness.

Lime green enhances stimulation and comfort to the wired person and anxiety and panic to others. Kelly green can be found in bold colors that promote animation in generous amounts and relaxation and solace in small quantities. Green is considered to be a color of growth and fertility, in positive connotation, and a symbol of jealousy and covet on contrary. Brilliant hues of teal arise bursts of inspiration to aspiring artists, writers, and producers and create a sensation of optimism. Teal may also be calming or oppositely alerting, serious, and melancholic. Some see teal as seemingly masculine and dependable. Blue-green, a similar shade to teal, evokes motivation and excitement, also.

Blue

Blue may be calming and relaxing after a stressful day or, in contrast, provoke energy. The color blue has been examined by various experts and concluded to be one of the most unappetizing colors. The color appears to be artificial since it rarely occurs naturally in nature. Royal blue comes across as a stimulating, cool, and inspirational color.

Purple

Purple, a majestic and spiritual color, states creativity, inspiration, and beauty. Purple is a symbol of wealth, power, and courage and has few negative emotions. Bright purples denote imagination, prosperous times, and ease of the mind. This color is all around cheerful and often associated with being feminine. Red-violet, another feminine color, along with fuchsia and purple, is regarded as a color of energy and enthusiasm. This close relative of red may likewise cause frustration and anger for some people.

Dark colors

Dark colors initiate feelings of closeness and comfort. Others may feel confined if it is too black. Dusky colors also resemble seriousness, weariness, and withdrawal. Dark purple hues are dramatic, solemn, and elegant, and violet is interpreted as being dark, powerful, and intellectually stimulating. On the contrary, dark purple is associated with mental illnesses and incubus. Navy blue is also elegant and sophisticated, evoking feelings of strength and comfort, or in opposition, depression, isolation, and overpowering thoughts. Natural and conservative forest greens are relaxing and serene. Dark colors like forest green are usually mentally stabilizing and balancing, but in other cases they too are confining, masculine, and overwhelming.

Deep, rustic oranges express virtue and nature. Many people also find that dark oranges let them express creativity in crafts and ideas. Dark reds inspire elegance, knowledge, and fortune. Maroon, a close relative of dark red, develops a variety of emotions. Some people feel comfortable and warm, while others feel overpowered, anxious, and sad.

Light colors

Light and subtle colors enlarge spaces making the viewer feel more relaxed and comforted. It is said to be likely that the majority of people enjoy soft, light colors and flashy, saturated colors over dark colors, because they create a sense of radiance and hope. Light pinks are relaxing, quiet, and soothing. Pink can be a passionate color, or in strategy, a weakening device for opposing teams in a sporting event or to calm raging prisoners. Babies prefer light colors like pink, because it has a calming effect on the eyes and mentality.

Light purples, such as lavender, are romantic, soft, and whimsical. Lavender, considered to be feminine, is all around a very relaxing and calming hue. Pale blue-greens are the perfect colors for setting a mentally creative, soothing, and passionate tone, and light blues may come across as being cool and dreamy or sad and depressing. Periwinkle, aqua blue, and light purple-blues also help develop a serene mood. Lighter or less intense shades of orange can be more relaxing and warm, but they still have sparks of ambition.

Black

Black is known to create a depressing and gloomy mood, being harsh and pessimistic in generous amounts; however, using black for detail can add distinction and elegance to create a look of sophistication. Black rooms and the darkness frighten numerous amounts of people, while others who are more adventurous enjoy the inquisitiveness of this color. Black is often used in literature and art for symbolism of death or dying.

White

White, the complementary color of black, promotes purity and sanitation. In church, one can find the color white for its spirituality purposes and connection with heaven and light. One will also see white in a doctor’s office and emergency room, representing a sterile environment.

Gold

Gold is a warm and refined color, associated with wealth and richness. Abundant amounts of gold can be gaudy to some people, but generally, gold is a homely and pleasant color.

Neutral colors

Neutral colors create a cozy and solace tone. Some people feel calm in a beige atmosphere, while others become ill and tired. Beige is neutralizing, warm and relieving, placid, and unrefined. Brown is another unrefined color that promotes peace, warmth, and slowed thoughts. Brown also denotes benevolence, trust, and reliability and is often identified for its masculinity. Gray is a dull and drab pigment that makes one feel worn, depressed, and cool. Grays are also calming and peaceful.

Warm colors

Warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, are just as their name describes them, warm and revitalizing like the sun. These colors are great when one wants to spark up a place for socializing. Warm colors are all about creating an environment for invitation and amicability. Orange and yellow, when combined, create a vivid glow that is ever so cheerful and energizing. Using and blending warm colors in a color scheme furnish an all around casual and comfortable feeling.

Cool colors

Cool colors, such as purple, blue, blue-green, and green, are more receding from the perceiver. Cool colors may be casual or formal, depending on how they are coordinated together, but they usually depict a mood that is much more subdued and peaceful. Cool colors are all about creating a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere for alone time and quietness. Cool like a light breeze or flakes of falling snow are the colors blue and purple. Greens and blue-greens are calming like a low tide in the ocean lapping at the shore.

Maroon

Restless/Relentless
Warm/Comfortable
Uneasy
Death
Powerful
Dull
Warm/Ambitious
Dramatic
Tired
Gloomy
Dark
Thoughtful/Tired
Cozy/Warm
Masculine/Warm
Angry
Dark
Sad/Dark
Gloomy
Anxious
Dark
Daunting
Serious
Grave
Dreary/Somber
Masculine

Red

Bright/Powerful
Cheerful/Joy/Energy
Happy
Fury
Jaunty
Happy
Anxious
Powerful
Bold
Depressed
Bright/Love/Happy
Irritated/Animate
Creative/Energy/Bold
Energy/Power/Love
Love/Hot
Happy/Angry
Exhilarated
Energetic/Animated
Love
Energetic
Love
Excited
Happy
Hot/Irritable
Tense/Charged

Orange

Cautious/Panic
Cheerful/Joy/Energy
Mildly Pleasant
Ambitious
Brisk
Hungry
Excited/Energetic
Energetic
Peachy
Calm
Fun-Loving/Showy
Cheerful
Charming/Cheerful
Joy/Imagination
Warm
Cheerful
Fruitful/Joyful
Cheerful
Bored
Ill
Hungry
Joyous
Frisky
Relaxed/Hyper
Ugly

Yellow

Smiley/Lively
Cheerful/Joy/Energy
Sunny
Cheerful
Active/Cheerful
Happy
Optimistic/Happy
Imaginative
Bright/Cheerful
Anxious
Happy/Sunny/Light
Cheerful
Bright/Cheerful
Relaxed/Optimistic
Bright/Sunny/Cheerful
Cheerful/Energetic
Bright/Active
Happy/Hyper
Joyous
Happy
Cheerful
Spontaneous
Panic/Agitated
Headache
Warm/Cheery

Gold

Rich/Expensive
Comfortable/Cool
Joyful
Warm
Placid/Calm
Anxious
Powerful
Tired
Rich/Solid
Comfortable
Distinctive
Grand/Fancy
Mellow
Tired/Serious
Wealthy/Warm
Rich/Warm
Rich
Warm/Rich
Hungry
Refined
Rich
Calm
Rich
Hungry
Bright

Lime Green

Excited/Joy
Relaxed/Comfortable
Clean
Panic
Animated
Panic
Anxious
Excited
Energetic
Strength
Bright/Happy/Eager
Over Stimulated
Lively/Playful
Cheerful/Energetic
Bright
Anxious/Loud
Excited
Hyper/Excited
Energetic
Playful
Silly
Happy
Hyperactive
Energized
Silly

Forest Green

Angry Fighting
Warm/Tired
Masculine
Gloomy
Powerful
Calm
Earthy
Relaxed/Warm/Nature
Dull
Relaxed
Depth/Nature/Conserve
Tired/Calm
Calm/Nature/Order
Calm/Comfortable
Trapped
Afraid/Confined
Nature
Scared
Claustrophobic
Natural
Trees/Nature
Masculine
Ill
Calm/Serene
Nature

Navy Blue

Secure/Serious
Warm/Dramatic
Adventurous
Tired
Potent
Powerful
Calm
Strength/Comfort
Warm
Tired
Depth/Beauty/Bold
Tired/Calm
Serious
Masculine/Strength
Elegant/Lovely
Dark
Dark/Cold/Sad
Cold/Scared
Depressed
Sophisticated
Soothing
Isolated
Dark
Calm/Serene
Powerful

Royal Blue

Cool/Lovely
Energy/Joy/Cool/Cheery
Happy
Stimulated
Stimulated
Clean
Inspired
Stimulated/Ambitious
Strong
Energetic
Happy/Spiritual/Light
Cheerful
Formal
Hungry
Pretty/Exhilarating
Loyal/Stimulated
Sad
Energetic
Relaxed
Courageous
Spirited
Inspired
Aroused
Cold/Shivery
Noble

Light Blue

Relaxed
Cool/Joy/Excited
Relaxed
Calm
Delicate
Spiritual
Calm
Love/Pure
Calm
Relaxed
Icky
Relaxed
Relaxed/Casual/Cool
Tired/Relaxed
Serene
Peaceful/Relaxing
Calm
Relaxed/Calm
Calm/Soothing
Tired
Clear-Minded
Dreamy
Peaceful
Cool/Peaceful
Cool

Lavender

Feminine/Love
Imaginative/Joy
Content
Subdued
Fragile/Modest
Nature
Peppy
Anxious
Cool
Calm
Fragrant/Lilac Scent
Romantic
Clean/Restful
Relax/Calm/Comfort
Relaxed/Spring
Soothing/Happy
Content/Soothing
Soothing/Feminine
Feminine
Feminine
Beautiful
Relaxed
Fresh
Fresh/Happy
Relaxed

Purple

Strength/Courage
Inspired/Cheerful
Excited
Cool
Active
Powerful
Spiritual
Optimistic
Rich
Feminine
Pride/Power/Beauty
Cheerful
Royal/Regal/Spiritual
Excited/Energetic
Courage/Energy
Energetic
Feminine
Happy
Cheerful/Calm
Feminine
Spirited
Dazed
Jittery
Nauseous
Important

Violet

Happy/Content
Comfortable/Inspired
Awakened
Relaxed
Powerful
Happy
Imaginative
Spiritual
Serious
Energetic
Deep Thought/Pretty
Romantic
Harmonious
Dark/Gloomy
Serious
Solitude/Confined
Dark
Dark
Earnest
Dark
Dull/Gloomy
Confused
Majestic
Intense/Powerful
Serious

Red-Violet

Mellow
Energetic/Joy
Warm
Spontaneous
Energetic
Excited
Dramatic
Feminine
Ambitious
Angry
Deep Ideas/Happy
Over Stimulated
Engaging
Serious
Bright/Energy
Love
Warm/Bright
Hyper/Angry
Mad
Frisky
Calm/Relaxed
Shocked
Silly
Feminine/Soft
Excited

Fuchsia

Mellow
Energetic/Joy
Warm
Spontaneous
Energetic
Excited
Dramatic
Feminine
Ambitious
Angry
Deep Ideas/Happy
Over Stimulated
Engaging
Serious
Bright/Energy
Love
Warm/Bright
Hyper/Angry
Mad
Frisky
Calm/Relaxed
Shocked
Silly
Feminine/Soft
Excited

Black

Depressed
Anger/Panic
Blah
Serious
Somber
Gloomy
Scared/Frightened
Serious/Anger
Pessimistic
Dark
Death/Dark/Dreary
Depressed/Sad
Powerful/Dominate
Depressed/Anger
Dark/Tired
Deceit/Death
Frightened
Dark/Uneasy
Death
Aggressive
Sad/Tired
Powerful
Dark/Danger
Sleepy/Quiet
Danger

Gray

Dull/Drab
Dull
Soothing
Cool
Depressed/Passive
Gloomy
Neutral
Depressed
Dull
Depressed
Drab/Old
Depressed
Soothing/Neutral
Gloomy
Sad/Gloomy
Cool/Old
Lonely/Dreary
Grumpy/Lonely/Dull
Sad
Dull
Drowsy/Dull
Bored
Slow/Drab
Dreary/Mope
Drab

White

Mellow
Energetic/Joy
Warm
Spontaneous
Energetic
Excited
Dramatic
Feminine
Ambitious
Angry
Deep Ideas/Happy
Over Stimulated
Engaging
Serious
Bright/Energy
Love
Warm/Bright
Hyper/Angry
Mad
Frisky
Calm/Relaxed
Shocked
Silly
Feminine/Soft
Excited

Brown

Earthy/Nature
Dull/Warm
Masculine
Earthy
Dreary/Mournful
Ambitious
Tired/Gloomy
Earthy
Hungry for Chocolate
Dull
Autumn/Drab/Chocolate
Depressed
Earthy/Nature/Secure
Warm/Natural
Uncomfortable
Warm/Nature
Warm/Neutral
Awful
Depressed
Lousy
Nature
Dim/Sluggish

Beige

Comfortable/Calm
Earthy/Neutral
Soothing
Neutral
Ordinary/Melancholy
Calm
Neutral
Tired/Pessimistic
Soft
Pessimistic
Light/Creamy
Calm
Simple/Restful
Dull/Depressed
Tired/Calmed
Tired/Sick
Sick
Sleepy/Cold
Warm/Comfortable
Sick
Calm/Comfortable
Sick
Ill
Peaceful
Depressing

Teal

Masculine
Serious/Comfortable
Alert
Imaginative
Tranquil/Serene
Comfortable
Secure
Optimistic
Nature
Clean
Shocking/Different
Sad
Upbeat/Dramatic
Power/Imagination
Happy/Cool
Pretty/Happy
Blissful
Happy/Awake
Serene
Calm
Energetic
Imaginative
Happy/Mischievous
Overwhelmed
Smooth/Calm

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