Facts About Color
Color is a powerful tool. Many good artists and designers recognize it’s power and use it to manipulate to their benefit. Recently, I have been researching color in general and have uncovered some interesting facts about color. Use this information wisely, as it will allow you the ability to subtly manipulate your audience.
Color Can Affect You Physically
Did you know that the color in a drawing, painting, or object can effect the way you feel about it? In fact, simply the color of an object can affect your mood and feeling. There is actually research that suggests that the light of colors can affect the center of emotions found in the hypothalamus. This region of the brain, in turn affects the pituitary gland, which controls the endocrine system. The endocrine system, in turn controls the thyroid and sex glands, which control hormone levels. Hormone levels control mood and emotion. It may be a long trip, but color does physically affect our body through our mood and emotion.
Color Can Affect You Psychologically (Although it’s Hard to Prove)
I think that all of us can agree that color does affect our psyche. It is quite hard to prove this however, if you are the scientific type. Despite this, there have been several attempts over the years to prove the connection between color and psychology. Neuropsychologist, Kurt Goldstein experimented with the affects of color on one’s psyche in the 1930′s. These experiments yielded some interesting results on how color affects us. For example, the experiments showed that objects seen in red light appear bigger or heavier. In contrast, objects that were viewed in the opposite color, green, appeared smaller and lighter.
Here are a few more ways color is thought to have had an impact on psychology…
A factory in the United States changed the color of the bathrooms to an unpleasant green and saw production increase by 8%.
Customers of a coffee house constantly complained about the cool temperature in the room. At that time, the walls were painted a light blue. After changing the color to orange, there were no more complaints.
The color yellow can cause nausea, so it is avoided in airplanes.
Black boxes seemed heavier to workmen than green boxes filled with the same material.
Red can make you hungry, while the opposite color, green, suppresses it.
The color red can also increase your muscle reaction, make you want to gamble more, and raise your blood pressure. Blue has the opposite effect.
Blue street lighting resulted in lower crime rates in Glascow in 2000.
Blue conveys trust and reliability.
Green is believed to increase concentration.
I came across these interesting facts about color in my research and I thought that I’d pass them on. While color does have an impact on our psychology, we bring our own experiences to the table making color psychology an imperfect, but fun science.