What’s in a Color?

Last week I painted what used to be my kids’ bathroom.  It was long past due.  The tropical fish motif just wasn’t cutting it for guests.  When I was still at the deciding-a-color stage, I did a little research on color the colorwheelpro.com website.

Check out the meanings of colors – which can help in designing websites, I imagine – or scroll down to the bottom of this post to take a color/personality test.

Did you know …

Red Color Red

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.

Orange Color Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.  To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity.

Yellow Color Yellow

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.  Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.  When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning. In heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.

Green Color Green

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.  Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye; it can improve vision. Green suggests stability and endurance.

Blue Color Blue

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.  Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.

Purple Color Purple

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial.

White Color White

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. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.

Black Color Black

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner.

That last, I knew, but so much of the rest was a complete surprise.  Makes me want to revamp my website.  Here are a couple more color facts.

Most people consider blue their favorite color.

The second favorite color is green and occupies more space in the visible spectrum of the human eyes.

Most people either love or hate orange.

Something that intrigues me … why is the color red associated with both love and aggression?

For fun, here’s a color personality test (you have to wait once in between parts, so be patient):  http://www.colorquiz.com/

Apparently, I’m unstable and need to seriously reconsider my favorite colors!  How ’bout you?

Helen

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About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at www.helenbrenna.com.
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12 Responses to What’s in a Color?

  1. michelehauf says:

    Always knew I was royal. 🙂 I love purples, pinks, and all shades of reds. The walls in my house are not white or cream, but pink. It makes me happy. I’ve always been averse to blue, but lately, spots of blue here and there also make me happy. I think as I get older, I’m becoming more open to colors, but I don’t think I’ll ever like green.

    Michele

  2. cindygerard says:

    Love all this color info, Helen. And when I read through it, it absolutely made sense.
    Color me blue :o)

  3. Helen Brenna says:

    Michele, I’m thinking of painting the master bath and bedroom shades of green. It’s supposed to be the most restful color. Would like to paint my office, too. Maybe purple and yellow!

    Cindy, I wish I liked blue more. It’s an easy color. Blends in and out, for me. Maybe that’s a good thing?

  4. Hellion says:

    I took the quiz and am rather creeped out by the accuracy. *LOL*

    But I do say Blue is my favorite color most times (sometimes I say red or green); and green is usually deemed my second favorite color. When I think about painting walls in my apartment (which is rare, because I’m lazy and cheap)–I think I’d like my bedroom to be blue. 🙂

    And I didn’t need to take this quiz to determine I’m unstable. Just saying.

  5. kylie brant says:

    Fun post, Helen 🙂 Apparently I’m a psycho in need of intensive therapy, LOL!

  6. Leanne Banks says:

    I didn’t use to like green. Figured there was enough of that color outside.:) Now, I’m using touches of it. We have generous touches of a burnt red color in our family. It makes the room feel warm and welcoming to me. What color did you end up painting your kids’ bathroom?

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    LOL, Hellion, mine was creepily accurate as well. I’m kinda cheap, too, and paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to change things up. It’s the time that gets me.

    Kylie, you may be psycho, but why would you need intensive therapy? lol

  8. Helen Brenna says:

    You know, Leanne, you hit on exactly why I have never painted with green before now. But I can feel it’s ability to soothe these days, so I’m reconsidering. Touches of green is a nice compromise.

    And I did mean to mention that I went with a medium gray with a hint of brown tones. It’s not a cool gray. There’s a lot of wood in the bathroom and I wanted a color that contrasted without being too bright. Thought about orange, believe it or not, but our kitchen is red – a cross between a currant and brick red – so I thought orange might be a bit too much out there.

    I ended up buying towels and a shower curtain in turquoise blue! I know. Sounds like an odd combo, but it’s pretty.

    And, because I am cheap, I tried spray-painting the old polished brass light fixture and towel rod with a pretty brown pounded metal spray paint. $5 for the can of paint vs $150 for a new fixture … what the heck, right? MAN, did that turn out nicely. Looks like it came from the factory. Forgot I was going to blog about that. maybe next time.

  9. lois greiman says:

    Fun post. I’m in the norm with blue. But I really like jewel tones…burgundies, emeralds.

  10. Helen Brenna says:

    I’m so happy darker colors on walls have become popular, so I’m with you Lois.

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