Color resonates with people in different ways. And our perception of color stems from our upbringing, experiences, and interactions. We all have a favorite color or color that we use more during specific periods of life. But the color you use in a design project can say a lot about the work itself. That’s a scientific fact. Next time you’re feeling bummed or want to be extra persuasive, be smart about what color you’re pulling into your design.
Growing up in Australia I was surrounded by sun bleached blues, greens, and neutrals. As a young girl I was fascinated by the Delphinium blue of the ocean and of the sky. A soothing color that caressed my heart with peace, freedom, intuition and imagination. It also inspired me to be sincere, and confident. Blue definitely brings tranquility. However, it can still be dynamic. Green is another color I am constantly surrounded by. Associated with the season of spring, it is a symbol of life, new beginnings, safety, fertility and environment; green is also a status symbol for money, and wealth. I’ve always been drawn to this color for its healing effects to us, both physically and emotionally. Lately Ive been really drawn to wearing Pinks. Pink is a delicate color that means sweet, nice, playful, cute, romantic, charming, feminine, and tenderness. Its a happy color that makes me feel creative. As you can tell from social media I am not afraid of color. I can often be found in a bright hues paired with a feminine silhouettes.
Color really effects our emotion, and selecting the right color palette is crucial in design. Here is a breakdown of how the consumer generally relates to colors. Red is a warm color that invokes aggression, its attention grabbing and is provocative. Its primarily used in restaurants, automotive and technology. Orange is another warm tone and is seen as playful, fun and is vital. Popularly the color is used in tech and in health care. Yellow stimulates creativity and energy. Its comply used in designs that deal with energy, restaurants, and interior design. Green is a color synonymous with calm and health. Its used in energy, finance, food, and tech. Blue is a cool color that is arguably one of the most popular colors for a brand as this color puts people at ease and give us a feeling of trust. Notice how government agency’s use blue in their uniforms. Purple is also a cool tone that is sophisticated yet mysterious. It is used in finance, tech and healthcare.
Mixing color, science and emotion can be a tricky game. Keep in mind though that a color’s meaning varies in different countries and cultures; what meaning you may know about red is totally a different perception in different parts of the world. Also, different shades, tints, and hues of the color changes its meaning. And while science is teaching designers more every day, it’s also opening up more questions about how we see and feel about color. There are certain colors I still use sparingly in projects and others that I tend to use too much. Personally, I find that I design many times based on my own mood and feelings. Regardless, science is a good place to start when asking early questions in the design process.
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