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colour theory and its emotional associations

Being able to settle on a single colour for a design is a difficult task. Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of how colours affect our emotional response after reading this article.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have an in-depth psychological relationship with colours; it influences our emotions and behaviors. For example, sports team would alter the away team's locker room colours to directly affect them psychologically. And basic colour psychology is used by businesses to increase productivity with workers or encourage shoppers to spend more money.

As you can see, we use colours to stimulate emotional responses. But it should be noted there is no universal truth. Different cultures view colours in different ways and might respond differently to certain colours than another culture. Also, personal experience alters emotions pertaining to a specific colour. Regardless of this, what's important to understand is colours affect us and evoke specific responses. All we need to do is be mindful of which cultural and personal context we're working in.

Perception of temperature: By painting a room with specific colours you can alter their perception of the temperature. Using green and blues you can create a space that appears to be cooler, whereas by painting a room red or orange it has the opposite effect.

Acceptance: In the past, we have all been able to look up to the sky on a clear day and see the colour blue. We often associate blue with being good. It is one of the easiest colours to utilize to appeal to the majority of people.

Reduce analytical thinking: The colour red reduces how effective we think. You may already be aware of the fact when people wear the colour red we find them more attractive. Maybe that's due to red hindering mental focus. Also, athletes lose more often to an apposing team that wears red. ... And students exposed to the colour red before taking a test are likely to have lower scores.

Value: We often associate the colour orange with good value. Brands such as Amazon and Home Depot have incorporated the use of orange to influence our emotional perception to assist our response as a low cost supplier of costly goods.

Spark Creativity: The use of green has been linked with creative thinking, and we often associate green with growth and positivity. This most likely lends itself to spring, when the trees and plants start to grow and flourish. If you are looking to increase productivity in the workplace, you consider using the colour green around the office.

Calm down: We associate the colour pink as calming or draining of energy. Some sports teams in the past have painted the visitors locker room pink in order to lower the mental state before heading out onto the field.

Research has provided us with data that colours directly effect our emotions. Just remember there is no universal rule that says colours will affect us all the same way, but it may just provide you the home team advantage.

Below is a colour guide of existing brands and their associative colours.

Are you taking advantage of colours in your branding?

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