Thursday, September 20, 2018

Colors for Inspiration and Colors for Relaxation...

Credit: Pantone : the 20th Centure in Color
How do colors affect us? What colors inspires us? What color is best for creativity?...

What would like be like if colors did not exist? Perhaps a more fascinating question is what is the significance that colors play in our life and how are our emotions associated to different colors?

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.

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8 comments on Colors for Inspiration and Colors for Relaxation...

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By kat822 on November 05, 2011 at 12:50 am

I'm not afraid of color, just this year painted the living room a nice chocolate milk color, and it does feel cozy, the bedroom, a deep rich red, however its a bit dark...but I like it

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By TonyBerkman on November 05, 2011 at 12:55 am

That sounds great. I once painted my room black. It was awesome. :-)

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By Uttam Gill on November 06, 2011 at 03:39 am

Very interesting article...color has always inspired us...To share with you it really perplexing to me that why for thousand years here in India it is a custom for widow to wear White dress only ...I do not know why...another interesting aspect that In same country there is another custom where a child widow wears only red color...on Saturday people prefer to wear black because of planetary influence of Saturn…Is it a superstition or myth…what ever it is color in our life matters…

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By TonyBerkman on November 06, 2011 at 04:58 pm

Thank you Love Heals. I find what you say about "I wonder if the color we choose to dress in for the day is a reflection of of our mood or even the desire to influence." I believe it does. What do you think?

@Uttam, that's interesting and I'd like to know more. There clearly are many associations to color that we have. I wonder how much is part of the part of us that hasn't been domesticated.

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By TonyBerkman on November 06, 2011 at 09:20 pm

Love Heals, is it correct to say that you had knowing that these colors "lift everyone's soul?" or was it specific to you?

How did you know what colours would enable you "to achieve emancipation and growth to a 'higher level of being and knowing'" ? It's interesting. I wonder if the same colors do the same thing for men as for women? For example, I am not very into wearing pink although when I was younger I would wear it.

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By Angie Alaniz on November 07, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I think color effects everyone. Not just some.

But blue the most popular for food? That sounds a bit off to me.

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By TonyBerkman on November 07, 2011 at 02:22 pm

Blue is the LEAST popular for food though it is one of the most popular colors.

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By TonyBerkman on November 07, 2011 at 02:23 pm

LoveHeals, I am wondering if what is specific to you is also more general. My intuitioin is that there are certain colors that affect us all in very similar ways.

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