How Colors fool you: The Psychology of Color

The educational system has taught us seven colors in the rainbow visible to the human eye in art subjects. The end of the study is that there is a possibility of a metaphysical idea that this is the limit normal humans can see. This means that there are colors and shades beyond the human eye’s perception.

Animals can see things differently. For example, most carnivores like canines and felines can only see black and white. Yet, they compensate with their quick reflexes and elevated senses of smell. Insects have different sets of lenses to use to maximize their reflexes, and this helps them avoid harm. Herbivorous mammals see color just like humans because they need to adapt to see leaves and fruits compared to a wolf.

The Psychology and common symbolism of Color

All this gravitates towards an argument. Humans, like animals, gravitate towards our animalistic reactions towards color. Here is a list of colors that give us knee-jerk reactions or symbolisms readily identifiable when choosing a color. I will limit myself towards the seven colors of the rainbow, actually Six Colors and the neutral Color noted that are limited to the human eye:

The red color triggers meat and blood. It symbolizes any immediate response of a human being. It is associated with violence and the nature of carnal immediateness subdued or direct display of desire, sex, pleasure, and food.

You can observe that red is a bold color. The color is associated with food. Most restaurants use this to their advantage. They usually use red, orange, and yellow to trigger that usual association with hunger.

World leaders are fond of using red all the time, not because of war or violence, but because it represents bravery and loyalty. Also, conflict and violence are usually associated with red. Just like how much a lioness is eager to slay its prey and give the meat to her cubs.

Society, religion, and popular culture associate red with the color of sexual desire or love. The bible has portrayed that the devil has taken a woman’s disguise with a scarlet red dress and a scarlet-colored dragon in the book of revelation. In the 1999 film The Matrix, The woman in red symbolizes an entity-catching mechanism. In the film, she grabs everyone’s attention and leaves the system off guard.

The color orange relatively identifies with the symbolism of the earth and warmth. With orange being the closest to our skins, it wouldn’t be surprising to represent sexuality or glee. But, convincingly, orange is the color of joy and creativity, like the sun or freshly cooked fried chicken.

The color yellow represents glee, youth, sunlight, lightning, and speed since yellow is the color nearest to the color of the mid-day sun. Most kitchens use yellow as much as restaurants do. It represents an equal level of rush and comfort. Carbonated drinks usually use yellow as it directly signifies an increase in energy. It is the most vibrant color in the rainbow.

When it comes to green, it is one closest to the earth. It represents growth, familiarity, nature, comfort, stealth, excrement, world, vegetables, and health.

The color green’s association with earthliness and prosperity is common. Its extreme hues also associate with irritation, jealousy, radioactivity, and excrement. Its loose association of darker themes is that the color of puke and scat somehow has a shade of green. Usage of green is a sign that everything returns to the earth.

The intensity of blue’s familiarity connects with the symbol of business, calmness, the water, and masculinity. It also reminds people of serenity. This color is the go-to of corporate people, and police officers wear blue. So, it’s an illusion that you need to be relaxed. Also, given that our planet consists of 3/4s of water, Poseidon’s color is signified for dominance.

Purple is the color of sundown. Hence it evokes sadness, loneliness, and royalty. It is the color of royalty because you only see dusk in a few minutes the whole day. You actually need to go out of your house to take a good hard look at the purple sunset. It is like taking sight of a celebrity or authority. It is a sad color because it has the lowest radiance level compared to other colors. The darker it is, the more painful. It also symbolizes funeral pyres and death.

Sidenote: the Byzantine people urinated on fabric soaked with mulberry and orchids to produce the color violet for royalty during the dark ages.

Black and white are two polarizing colors. It would be either full of color and overwhelming or the total loss of color and relaxing. The fact is that black and white are two poles, and it compliments the neutral or primary color and even defines it better.

Thus, it is better to use a good combination of black and white for a sound color palette for a designer. It doesn’t matter if your work lacks color, but make sure that there is a good balance between black and white for every palette. It will bring more nuance to your work.

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