It certainly is possible that an individual could have a certain and specific negative association with a color, or a positive one, because of a negative or positive experience related to the color. The purpose of this article is to discover whether specific colors, in general, affect a large group of us in a particular way and if so can we change our lives by changing the colors in our environments?
There are clearly cultural differences when it comes to colors and for some we carry an historical significance to certain colors. In the West, in general, we typically associate the color white with peace, red can mean love, passion or anger, yellow tends to indicated friendship and green is associated to envy. Without relying on generalizations or expressions such as "green with envy" or "black as hell" are there specific ways we can use colors to, for example, inspire us, or one's that make us more creative, or more relaxed?
Color pscyhology isn't new though, however, what is clear is that "H how people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person." Carl Jung is associated with being one of the pioneers of color psychology. Yung's focus was on how we can use color as a tool in psychotherapy. The challenges in this field however are clear. It is impossible to rule out each individual's association to a particular color or a cultures association to colors. Accordingly putting together a control group is out of the question.
So why bother? The question raises another important question and that is even if we have prejudices towards particular colors at some base level are we still affected by certain colors as we are by light and dark? Many designers and artists presuppose that we are. Accordingly they will select colors for a room that are supposed to "relax us," "energize us" or "inspire us."
Blue, the color of the sky and the ocean on clear days, is perhaps the most popular colors yet when it comes to food it currently may be one the the least appetizing. Yet this could be changing as blueberries are becoming a popular and highly recommended source of anti-oxidants. Yet like animals that display bright colors when being threatened to ward off their attackers some food researchers suggest that in earlier times when humans searched for their food, we learned to avoid toxic or spoiled food , which were often green, black, or purple.
Despite the difficult in proving how colors affect us many professions and individuals believe and work with colors so as to achieve particular outcomes. Designers of restuarants often use red because it is supposed to be an appetite stimulant. Therapists today still utilize light therapy or colourology as a holistic or alternative treatment with our Chakras each being represented or associated with a particular color. In homes designers may user neutrals such as browns to create a warm atmosphere. In rooms designed to create excitement and passion people will often go with a red, yellow, purpose or orange.
Often times it is "just what we like" that is the most obvious way to know what colors we should use when designing our offices, homes or in deciding the color clothes we should wear. Yet we may still not be that cognizant to what degree our cultural upgringing or the latest issue of a design or fitness publication has affected our taste. Have you notice how many more men wear pink than woman, lately.
If colors are your thing, and how can they not be, check out this interesting article titled, "7 Books About Color Every Designer (and color lover) Should Own" starting with Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color.