If I said what does the colour Green mean to you? What would your reply be? It’s natural, or a healing colour? That green is the colour of nature, of fields and trees and grass? It is all of that and more, it has been determined that green is a restful colour for the human eye, it can actually improve vision, it also gives off a suggestion of stability, endurance and movement. In traffic it is the safe indicator to go. In heraldry green indicates growth and hope.
Green is a secondary colour in that it is a combination of two primary colours, yellow and blue. Its effect is both warming and cooling making it a calming colour one of balance and harmony.
Advertisers use green to indicate safety so is usual in drug and medical product campaigns, “green’ or environmentally friendly products are associated with the colour, whereas a darker green is often associated with money and the financial world – I guess they want us to see their product as safe!!!
Green is popular in interior design as it introduces a symbolic sense of peace, nature and security. Green presents us with the rejuvenating and restorative properties of nature and as such is popular for bathrooms and bedrooms. Just bringing plants indoors adding the green element to rooms transforms them, helping urban dwellings reconnect with nature. The freshness and sense of relaxation will keep us using the colour green again and again as it mentally and physically affects us, raising our mood and relaxing our minds.
Be aware though, like everything there is a negative to the all the positive and with green it is used to portray sickness and jealousy, we all know the phrase, “green with jealousy”. Colour meanings and symbolism interested Carl Jung a well known psychiatrist, he believed that using colour helped the expression of a person’s psyche, that the colours you choose say something about you and that certain colours can facilitate certain reactions. The use and interpretation of colour is not as simple as just seeing it, this article is worth reading if you are interested in what is colour theory and it application to the way we live.
Blue is the world’s most popular colour according to the website Colormatters. It is the coolest colour – the colour of the sky, the sea, the earth and twilight. It has long been associated with calmness and tranquility, and used to counterbalance the fiery intensity and warmth of red, orange and yellow. Whereas those warmer hues represent spontaneous emotion and intense feelings, blue tends to reflect the cool logic and reason of intellect. Indeed, blue is the ‘look before you leap’ into the ocean colour of choice; the calm before the storm, the monsoon that brings relief from a heatwave. Blue can take calmness too far and be a metaphor for depression and ‘feeling blue’.
Blue is also the world’s favourite corporate colour, evoking trust, dignity and authority. Conservatives are particularly drawn to the colour. It denotes trustworthiness, sincerity and dependabiility, making it popular with business sectors such as banking, insurance and healthcare. Over 60% of all company logos are blue, well-known corporate blues include Barclays, ANZ, Visa, American Express, Microsoft, HP, AXA, Volkswagen, Ford, Pfizer and Bupa. Dark blue has more serious and responsible connotations whilst light blue has more spiritual and peaceful associations. Blue is the perfect colour to have around babies because of its calming properties and Greeks believe blue wards off the ‘evil eye’. In a step away from the corporate office environment the term ‘blue collar’ refers to working class manual labourers. On a cultural level, the colour blue also pervades pop culture with the iconic presence of blue denim jeans and blues music.
I like yellow, I find it cheerful and stimulating but a whole wall of yellow I would find too much. Yellow is the most visible of our colour range and it the colour that resonate with the left side of our brain -the logic analytical side. I found it interesting that Goethe explains why a colour which such positives has some negative connotations. Such as the yellow hats of bankrupts and the yellow circles on Jews – we also associate it with cowardice. Today’s colour scientists think this is more to do with the shade of yellow, dingy yellow is associated with decay, sickness and jealousy. It is also practical colour not really an emotional colour, as it is from the head not the heart it can support analytic thinking and critical analysis of others and ourselves.
It is a good colour to use in advertising especially for children, as it is consider a fast moving colour. It highlights elements of your design or advertisement. it is recommended not to use it with men’s products, men perceive the colour as childish. Also not really recommended in large areas for elderly as the vibration of the colour is too fast. You mind also find in periods of stress or large amounts of change in your life that you don’t tolerate yellow very well. This fact resonates with me as Iooking back I found moving to college and certain personal issues were stressing me out, I realised I never wore my favourite jumper, in fact it is only recently I found it at the back of my closet. It appears when we are trying to cope with things the vibration of yellow agitates us rather than soothe. So yellow is as complicated to use in art and design as any of the more intense colours.
Culturally, physically and emotionally colours affect us. I think it is important that we know in what ways we are affected so we are more in tune with ourselves and our surroundings. For an artist it is imperative we understand the nature and psychology of colours. Every post I plan to dedicate to a colour I would be so interested in your feedback on my perceptions, agree or disagree.
Red is the colour of passion we associate with sexuality and excitement. It is a colour of strong desires its makes a statement. It is the colour of blood and as such has associations with aggression and war, as well as power and love. It is a highly visible colour and its no accident that our emergency equipment, stop lights and danger signs are in red. I think that’s why dad bought me a red car – danger on the roads! I know when I am driving it I feel assertive and confident. If I put a red dress on I feel sexy and dramatic. Yet put me in a red room and I soon get agitated and uncomfortable. This article argues for red being a manipulative colour. Colour has a profound effect on us and we are not always aware of it. I found a poem the other day which I think identifies a lot about the colour red for me personally.