The Psychology Behind Colour And How To Use It To Your Advantage

The Psychology Behind Colour And How To Use It To Your Advantage

Ever had someone ask if you’re feeling okay? Or comment how well you look?

Chances are the colours you’re wearing are influencing people’s reaction to, or impression of you.

Colour is widely used in marketing and advertising to communicate a company’s message.

We do it too. Intentionally by those who know the power of colour to look more authoritative, sophisticated, approachable, competent, confident, like a leader…. Others unknowingly.

Research on the Impact of Colour on Marketing by the University of Winnipeg, Canada, shows between 62-90 per cent of interactions are influenced by colour alone.

Colour can also influence our mood and that of those around us.

That’s because colour conveys meanings through natural association or psychological and cultural symbolism. For example, red is the colour of fire and blood (natural) yet is associated with power, strength, leadership, ambition, aggression and arrogance (psychological).

Let’s delve into it a little deeper. Colour psychology expert, Angela Wright, explains that when light strikes the eye, each wavelength does so differently. Vibrations of light are converted into electrical pulses which travel to the brain. To the hypothalamus which controls our endocrine glands that produce hormones. Depending on the wavelength, various colours trigger a physiological response which then produces a psychological reaction.

Think about it. Which is likely to be more calming to look at for a prolonged period of time: a red wall, or a green wall? Red is often perceived as stimulating while green is regarded as soothing, like nature.

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According to Wright, the eye easily adjusts to the wavelength of green unlike red, which catches the eye. Just like someone wearing red. And red traffic lights. It also makes sense that green is used for operating theatres; when surgeons look up after being immersed in blood red, the hue of green rests the eye.

Of course, we can also have our own perception and reaction to colours based on our personal experiences.

Then there’s the physical effect colour can have on our appearance. The wrong colours can highlight blemishes and wrinkles, dull our complexion, make us look larger or shorter…are generally unflattering. The right colours can make us look healthier, slimmer, taller, more vibrant, and yes, even attractive and younger. An image consultant can guide you here.

As for the meaning of colours?

Here are some examples.

Red: Passion, strength, energy, warmth, excitement, power, leadership, love. Too much can incite aggression and represent arrogance, anger and danger.

Blue: Unity, confidence, wisdom, loyalty, security, authority, trustworthy, conservative, dependable, intelligence, communication. Note police and emergency services wear blue. As do many executives and politicians.

Yellow: Joy, happiness, fun, friendliness, vibrant, optimism, intelligence, creativity, idealism, hope, sociability.

Green: Youth, environment, nature, growth, new, generosity, fertility, reassuring, harmony, balance, rest.

Orange: Energy, balance, enthusiasm, creativity, passion, flamboyance, playfulness, social, warmth. Have you noticed Prime Minister Turnbull wearing his array of orange ties? Whether intentional or not, it reflects his energy and passion for his innovation agenda which represents creativity.

Pink: Appreciation, gratitude, admiration, femininity, health, love, nurturing, warmth, sexuality.

Purple: Spirituality, creativity, vision, wealth, quality, luxury, royalty, nobility, mystery, wisdom.

Black: Modernity, power, efficiency, substance, sophistication, formality, elegance, mystery, style, as well as death and evil.

White: Purity, peace, innocence, cleanliness, hygiene, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.

Brown: Calmness, stability, steady, seriousness, tradition, approachable, non-judgemental, reliability, support, nature.

Gold: Prestige, wealth, expensive, wisdom, flamboyant.

Silver: Prestige, reflection, glamour, sleek, modern, scientific, responsibility, insight.

For a more detailed profile on colours, check out http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours.

Now that you have a better understanding on the meaning of colour, wear it to your advantage. If you need some help, you know where to find me.

Warmest,
Nicky