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Courtesy of photographer Will Ainsworth (source: flickr)

Color Psychology: What Does It Reveal About You?

Types

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Life is a blank sheet of paper, colors are in you. Paint it bright and colorful. - Jochen Mariss.

Human civilization has from the ancient times been fascinated by colors.
Our eyes are sensitive to light which lies in a very small region of the electromagnetic spectrum labeled visible light. It corresponds to a wavelength range of 400-700 nanometers and a color range of violet through red. The visible colors from shortest to longest wavelength are: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Ultraviolet radiation has a shorter wavelength than the visible violet light and infrared radiation has a longer wavelength than visible red light. A mixture of the colors of the visible spectrum is white.

Color psychology is a field of study devoted to analyzing the effect of color on human behavior and feelings. Colors are an important part of our everyday life. Most of the time we take color for granted, as something usual, therefore we don’t attach much importance to it, but according to scientists colors affect us at a subconscious level. According to them, colors have an effect on behavior, the nature and character of people. Special color tests can help us understand a person’s personality and psyche. One of the most prominent and internationally well-known is the Lüscher Color Test.

Max Lüscher is a Swiss psychotherapist, known for his color test, a tool for measuring the person’s psychophysical state based on his or her color preferences. Besides research, teaching and practicing psychotherapy in Basel, Lüscher worked for international companies giving color advice, among other things. His book, “The Lüscher Test”, has been translated into more than 30 languages.

The modern version of the test is limited to only four colors which represent the four types of thoughtyellow, green, blue and red. Based on our affinity to certain color, psychologists are able to give us insightful information about, and not only, our personality, strengths and weaknesses, thinking pattern, volition, emotions, drives and pursuits.

They claim that your favorite color reveals it all. If that’s true, what does your color say about you?

YELLOW

Yellow stands for energy, fertility, maturity. It’s radiant, cheerful, warm. It symbolizes optimism, joy and communication. Bright yellow stimulates mental activity and, according to Dr. Oz, it stimulates serotonin in our brain. The yellow person is of a cheerful and fun-loving nature. It walks through life with open heart and open mind, interested in a variety of different things. Because of the carefree attitude problems seem less serious than they really are, therefore it looks like she/he is able to solve them almost effortlessly. Since she/he usually sees no problems, she/he can often not understand why other people are sometimes deeply concerned and stressed out about a problem. It reminds me of Bobby McFerrin‘s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.
Freedom and independence are the two thing a yellow person values the most. Their lives are imbued with love of life, joy and wit. They think and act quickly, which often gives them a head start in life. Yellow people don’t need relationships to make the happy or to find a purpose of their lives. If they manage to fin a matching partner, they will most likely change their mind. Witty dialogues and a polished intellect are their trademark. They love nature and are interested in its preservation.
They work to amass their wealth. They want recognition and social confirmation and they often spend money generously in order to reach their goals.

Freedom-loving yellow is the symbol of vastness and openness, is regarded as the color of intellect – who loves yellow, has a great desire for freedom.

GREEN

Green is a calming color mostly associated with nature, more specifically with flora. Green is the color of hope, it represents life, growth and fresh start. Green people are considered to be conservative, stable and persistent. They are tenacious and can trace their intentions with great determination. They are often perceived as egocentric because of their strong will power and ambition. Typical for them is the pursuit of recognition and career. Their goal is the highest possible position at work and in society. They strive for financial security and material possessions. Green people have a strong sense of family values and usually love children and animals.

Harmonious Green is the primary color of nature – it symbolizes growth, healing and harmony. Those who love green, are reliable, have a lot of compassion and great social skills. In Islam and Judaism is the color of compassion.

BLUE

38 percent of Germans say that blue is their favourite color.

Blue stands for relaxation, balance, contentment, peace and serenity. It soothes and calms the temper and acts equally cooling. With the blue color unrest and insecurity can be canceled out. Psychologists claim that being overly exposed to the influence of the color blue, can lead to looking at the world through “rose-colored glasses”. Blue people are introspective, objectively-thinking people, who place great emphasis on the spoken word. Their feelings and thoughts are serious and profound. They are constantly in search of clarity and truth. Mystical and unsubstantiated thoughts and ideas meet with disapproval. They get along particularly well with intellectual people. Blue people don’t show their feelings openly and therefore can appear cold or even feeling-less to others. They would rather choose to be alone over a superficial sociability. They love outdoors and are fond of water.

Loyal Blue corresponds to the element of water and symbolizes peace – people who love blue are often admired: because of their solid character and deep loyalty. They often appear very distant and reserved.

RED

Red is the color of passion, blood and love. It stands for war and courage. Red people are considered powerful people and energy bundle. They see their fellow partners as strong and dominant people with leadership personality. That is why they are often perceived as bossy and aggressive. In company of others red people like like to stand in the limelight. Red people are very hones and straightforward, they like new experiences and conquest. Their life principle is: “Anyone can achieve anything only if they want to”. Red people think that they do everything almost perfect and they demand the same from their partners.

Powerful red is symbol of love, sex, excitement. People who love red are Power types – always one step ahead of all others. Motto: You can, if you want. In love they are very sensual.

COLOR THERAPY

Many ancient civilizations believed in healing effects of colors. Color therapy is denied by many and therefore is considered alternative treatment.

Red was used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
Orange was used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.
Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems.

COLOR MARKETING

Colors of web brand logos (source: thedinfographics.com)

Colors of web brand logos (source: thedinfographics.com)

Color psychology plays a great role in marketing.

In the visible light spectrum warm colors are eye-catchers. Yellow is the most visible color in the spectrum and it is, along with red and blue, one of the most frequently used colors by numerous brands and companies.

“But normally anyone wanting to market a product is well advised to study the findings f color psychology” – Audi, The Power of Color

“More than 40% of drivers could see themselves switching brands if their car company did not offer the right color” – Karen Surcina, Color Marketing and Technology manager at the U.S. coatings giant DuPont.

The latest Open Corsa commercial is a beautiful example of color usage in marketing.

FESTIVAL OF COLORS

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, as a festival of colors. The main custom of Holi is the use of colored powders and water on others. This is why Holi was given the name “Festival of Colors”.

This is how they celebrate it in Utah.

INFOGRAPHIC

And finally, I chose to close out this story with this beautiful infographic made by Alankar Vishal.

The Psychology of Colours (Alankar Vishal / source: visual.ly) Click to view full size.

The Psychology of Colours (Alankar Vishal / source: visual.ly) Click to view full size.