The meaning of colors is defined mainly by two factors: the effect they have on our psychological mood and the cultural meaning that society has given them since their origins. We can take advantage of these effects and meanings for different purposes, such as decorating a bedroom that conveys peace and relaxation, creating a creative work environment, influencing someone through the way they dress, attracting attention in advertising campaigns and even creating a favorable situation for an intimate relationship.
The environment influences people’s moods, and knowing the meaning of colors allows us to control part of this environment.
Most of the meanings of colors are defined by our cultural relationship to our connection with nature. The meanings of colors are largely a reflection of how our ancestors saw the world. Although each color has a common meaning for everyone, it is true that today’s society, as well as the personal experiences of each individual «modify» significantly the perception of the meaning of each color.
An example of the meaning of a color defined by its visibility in nature is blue, which we relate to tranquility, since it is the color of a clear and calm sky. Blue is also perceived as a cold and deep color because of its relation to rain and the sky’s reflection of large areas of water.
Since the mid-1940s, psychological studies have conclusively demonstrated that colors can change a person’s mood, always linked to their brain activity. For example, orange stimulates physical activity, yellow stimulates brain activity and purple calms and stabilizes the mood.
What do favorite colors and personality mean?
Statistically, common traits have been found between people’s favorite colors and their personality. This association between colors and personalities has nothing to do with magic, astrology and other disciplines that do not base their assertions on scientific proof. Numerous facultative studies have determined common traits among supporters of a color.
Of course, this is only applicable to a large group of people, one should not fall into the personalized application since, as we will explain later, the experiences of each human being modify the perception and meaning of colors. Although, as a guide we could say that it is valid.
The meanings of colors have endless applications in many professional and personal fields.
Undoubtedly, one of the professional fields that most use the meanings of color is design and marketing, precisely because of the ability of colors to influence the mood of the people who see them. An ad in gray on a light background will go unnoticed by most of us, but the same ad with a yellow background will attract our attention in the same way that sunlight (which is associated with yellow in nature) awakens us.
But the meaning of colors and their sensory perception is not only applicable to a single color, but to the relationship that is established between different colors. For example orange on green creates a visual contrast that our brain perceives as a warning, and for example red superimposed on yellow transmits a receptive signal of danger. All this has been demonstrated by scientific studies that show that when we look at these color combinations, the same neural processes are activated as when we are in danger or in a situation of alert. Impressive.
The meaning of color and its relationship with logos and trademarks.
The meaning of both warm and cold colors has a direct correlation with the perception we have in corporate logos. We can find hundreds of examples of professionals using colors to create a relationship between a product and a sensation to their consumers, traditionally colors in the advertising world are associated in the following way:
- Yellow: optimism, clarity, warmth.
- Orange: friendly, social, security.
- Red: daring, excitement, young.
- Violet: creativity, imaginative, wise.
- Blue: useful, strength, faithful.
- Green: peace, health, growth.
- White: balance, tranquility, neutral.