Can colour affect mood?

colour affect mood

The psychology of colour is a fascinating subject. Although we all have different preferences and opinions on particular colours and shades, there are some established theories on what different colour groups can signify and how they can affect the way that you feel.

Colours can mean different things in different parts of the world. Take red for instance. In China red symbolises happiness and fortune – people often wear red at weddings. In the UK we are likely to associate red with anger, passion or danger, for instance stop signs. Or white – here we associate white with purity and it is traditionally worn by the bride at a wedding however it can also symbolise surrender, and in Eastern cultures can be a symbol of mourning.

However in the West, graphic designers and interior designers have a general understanding of how colour groups can affect mood. It is important to note that the subtleties within a colour group can change the feeling of the colour dramatically – for instance within a group of blues some may seem warm and some may seem cooler, depending on their makeup

Here are some colour groups and how they are generally believed to affect mood:

Blues – blues are generally thought to promote tranquillity and calm. They are also often thought to be cool and can generate feelings of sadness, however the flip side to that is a warm blue tone that has some yellow in it – think of the blue skies and clear waters of your holidays, which evoke feelings of warmth!

Greens – greens are generally associated with nature and can have a calming effect – think of the idea of the ‘green room’ that celebrities and actors relax in before showtime.

Yellows – yellows are thought of as cheerful, like the sun, but can be tiring on the eye as they reflect a lot of light. Yellows can be associated with feelings of frustration or anger. Yellow is great as an accent or supporting colour, rather than a colour to be used on all four walls.

Reds – red is generally associated with excitement and intensity – think passion, love and also anger. The red group of colours can be used as a good example of the variety within a colour grouping. For instance bright reds may be associated with the above, however a deeper, richer and darker toned red can be warm and comforting, and also relaxing.

So as you can see, colour has the potential to influence mood and your colour scheme can be used to evoke certain feelings within its guests. However, the feelings associated with colour groups are wide generalisations, and while useful, are probably helpful as a starting point when you are planning your project. For instance to create a calm, restful space, light colours and subtle tones of blue and grey may be a good option.

However, always remember that the subtleties of different tones and shades and the way that you co-ordinate them will create the final affect.

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