Unless you are a professional artist or art critic it is fair to say that the color meaning is based primarily on instinct and emotion. How someone feels about a color or design is entirely up to the individual and there are no right or wrong answers. However the way we feel about color can often be attributed to our subconscious and history, as well as personal preference.
Throughout the history color schemes has often been used to define different feelings, seasons and ceremonies depending on one’s culture and origin. For example early Native Americans used different colored paints to symbolise times of war and death, as well as for spiritual ceremonies and seasonal harvests. Steeped in history throughout many cultures, certain colors are associated with particular feelings and emotions that are still very relevant in modern design.
Colors can affect how we feel subconsciously. This means that one may not even know they are being affected by the color of an environment or artwork. The feeling behind meaning of the colors sees hues grouped into two main groups commonly known as warm colors and cool colors.
Color Meaning of Red, Yellow, Orange and Pink Color
Red – Red is a strong and pure color that can get pulses racing, literally. It can stimulate feelings of excitement and strength. It is a real attention grabber associated with love, courage and masculinity. If used incorrectly red can also evoke feelings of aggression and visual strain.
Yellow – Yellow is usually found to be uplifting, increasing confidence and optimism. Sunny and cheery, yellow is a popular choice for interiors, however choosing the wrong tone or teaming yellow with the wrong accent color can have the opposite effect; leaving a viewer feeling depressed and anxious.
Orange – Given that orange is a combination of yellow and red, how one feels about orange can be either physical or emotional. Warm, sensual and secure, orange is generally considered an upbeat color. However orange can be perceived negatively as deprivation particularly when teamed with black.
Pink – Because pink is a tint of red it does affect people physically, although rather than getting pulses racing, it has more of a calming effect. Pink is associated with love, tranquillity and femininity. Pink should be used sparingly to avoid emasculating a space or design.
Color Meaning of Blue, Green and Violet Color
Blue – Blue effects us mentally and can be very soothing and helps us to focus. It promotes clear, calm communication and is a popular choice for interiors. The wrong tones of blue however can make a space feel cold and sterile.
Green – Its strong association with nature makes green a refreshing and peaceful color. It evokes feeling of abundance and a plentiful environment, but most importantly a sense of balance. Used incorrectly green can be perceived as bland.
Violet – Violet has long been associated with royalty, quality and luxury. It inspires reflection and self awareness and spiritual values. Violet used in large doses can be perceived as cheap and nasty.