The psychology of colour
It occured to me that some of the websites I like to read or visit, and some Ive just stumbled upon or viewed out of curiosity have that nice blue, green and white mix going on. I’m turned off by dark stuff, I don’t want to read white text on black, its just not my thing. So why is this? Why do I find one set of colours appealing, yet another so off putting. The web is about information right? I go to pages to learn stuff and connect with ideas and improve my understandings, interact and have a little play. At least thats what I like to think from a logical perspective. Can you believe that in all the years Ive knocked up websites of various types and themes and different business models and purpose, that I never once considered the emotional impact of the colours I used! Not once! I usually sat there and ummed and ah’ed or looked at an existing brochure and just went with a range of options that popped into my head, or varied a theme I’d seen elsewhere and liked.
I guess that’s why Ive always called myself a web developer rather than a designer, I’m more interested in the codey techy widgety bits than any overall appeal to the heart – wow, what a huge ommision. But hey, so what, no big deal, like I said, I’m not a designer – never have been, that just happened to be a label slapped upon me by friends and stuff, my falut of course “What do you Rob?” “Um..I make web pages” ergo Rob, becomes a web designer.
Anyways – that little confession aside, its interesting to read about colours and what they say and how they can influence our readership and message, check out a few of the links, it’ll make for some interesting thoughts and observation.
Here’s what the guys over at infoplease have to say
Blue – The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.
Green – Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in “green rooms” to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.
The people over at Little Monkey Murals expression a similar variation on this theme
Green – Is the colour of harmony and balance. It is good for tired nerves and it helps with the heart area. It will balance the emotions and bring about a feeling of calmness. Green is a good general healing colour. Green is a restful colour so will aid sleep, it also represents nature, and therefore promotes balance, harmony, peace, hope and stability
Blue – Is the colour of truth, serenity and harmony, by helping to soothe the mind. Blue is good for cooling, calming, reconstructing and protecting. Blue will help feverish conditions, it will help stop bleeding and it will help with nervous irritations. Researchers found that children tested higher on IQ tests in rooms with blue ceilings Blue, if diluted to a lighter hue, can reduce stress and relieve tension. Is a colour of peace, tranquility and wisdom and can generate a sense of well-being. Blue gives the impression of space and coolness and represents serenity and loyalty.
Then there is white of course colour wheel pro has this to say
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.
White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.
In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.
I’m definitely gonna think a little more about this in any future projects, thats for sure.