If you had a blank canvas in front of you, what colours would you use to paint it? It could be one solid colour or a fistful of colours.
Welcome to the world of colours!
In today’s blog entry, I would like to induct everyone into another aspect of colours – namely the psychology.
Just like how English is accepted as the world’s universal language, so too is there a language behind every colour. And mind you, the message that each colour sends across will either rub someone the right way or wrong way. There are always two sides to the same coin, right? It all depends on the culture and circumstance. Simply put, each colour carries both positive and negative connotations. And the message sent across is a subtle one as it is non-verbal.
Let me share in greater detail the ten most common colours in the colour spectrum and the hidden psychology behind each of these colours.
The colour black is the colour of death in most cultures. It is also the colour of mourning. Yet, for the people on the other side of the fence, black symbolizes coolness, character and mystery. Not forgetting for the ladies, black is a slimming colour. That’s why almost every lady has a little black dress (LBD) in her wardrobe.
How about white? White is virginal and pure….just like the blank piece of canvas I invited everyone to paint on in the opener of this blog. However, this white age of innocence is also clinical, sterile and empty.
How about blue? Well, blue is the colour of loyalty and integrity. That’s why our police force officers are dressed in blue. Blue is also the colour of the seas that separates continents. It conjures up images of being as boundless as the seven seas. On the other hand, blue can also be the personification of “Monday blues”. Blues or simply melancholy you may wish to term it.
How about red? Red is the colour of passion. As it is also the colour of our blood, many nations use red to denote the concept of brotherhood. During festive seasons like Lunar New Year, red is equivalent to prosperity. Conversely, red also symbolizes danger. And if you “see red”, you take offence at what others have done or said to you.
How about yellow? Remember the phrase “yellow dirty fella”? On the extreme end, I see someone wearing yellow as someone full of sunshine, always with a smiley face.
How about green? Green is THE colour we adopt to portray a sense of calmness and serenity in our lives. But too much green can evoke a sense of jealousy.
How about pink? I love pink as it’s the colour of romance. Simply saccharine sweet, too much pink sends a signal that you are playful and cannot be taken too seriously. If you compare pink with blue – I’ll trust the guy wearing blue more as he’s more in control. This is especially true in the corporate world.
How about gray? Gray equals monotony and indecisiveness. Oh come on, did you not know that gray is a blend of white or black? So whose side are you on?
How about brown? Brown, with its earthly hues, tells me you are trustworthy and dependable. More importantly, you are warm and friendly. Why else would you think the furniture and deco at Macdonalds and coffee joints like Starbucks etc are all woody and brown? They want to evoke a homely feeling so you frequent them more often. Yet too much brown will also send a psychological message that you are a boring person leading an uneventful life. The colour’s muted by the way…that’s why.
And lastly, how about purple? Purple is the colour of royalty. Many artistes in the creative and entertainment industries love a splash of purple. But if you overdo purple, you are simply trying to be opulent.
Whether you are starting a business and deciding your website colours; or simply deciding what colour to wear for that day, always remember that colours play a seemingly subtle, while surprisingly huge part in sending non-verbal signals to others.
So, what colour are you going to wear today?