“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”
― John Ruskin,
To me, colours is more than just light of different wavelengths and frequencies. Each of them is unique in their own ways. Each of them have their own emotional story. And it is our job as designers or artists to uncover such stories and present them to the rest of the world.
Before we look into the different colours and the emotions they represent, here are some general knowledge on colours.
A color wheel is an illustrative grouping of color hues in a circle that displays relationships between colours.
Primary colours are sets of colors that can be combined to make a useful range of colors.
Secondary colours are colours made by mixing two primary colors in a given colour space.
Tertiary colours are colours made by mixing either one primary colour with one secondary colour, or two secondary colours, in a given color space.
Now, let’s look at some of the different kinds of colours and the emotions behind each of them.
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.
Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.
Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.
Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.
Positive: Psychological neutrality.
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.