Colour affects hugely our lives. Most people cannot imagine life without colour as it surrounds us and is present in everything we do, see or have from food, fashion to nature. It warns us before danger, sells products through advertising, gives us comfort or irritates us. But what is colour_ It may be surprising fact that colour is just an illusion. Our environment only appears coloured to us. When the eye sees colours, it is being fooled because world is completely colourless. In absence of light, colour cannot exist. In completely dark room the eye is unable to see red, blue or green sensations. It also means that colour is not static. Colour is constantly changing because the light is constantly changing – depending on time, season and place (pg. 2-5, Colour, The secret Influence)
The power of colour comes from its symbolic meaning for people. Colours can represent experiences, emotions, status, and other types of information that are difficult to convey in written or spoken language. (158, Fashion Forecasting)
In understanding colour, it is important to differentiate between these culturally learnt colour associations and true biological responses (pg. 108, Colour The secret Influence)
Commonly accepted colour positive associations in European and Western Culture (pg. 64 – 73, 115 – 117, Colour, The Secret Influence, pg. 18-118, Pantone, Guide to Communication with Colours, pg. 104, Colour Kaleidoscope):
RED – passionate emotions, love, courage impulsivity, lust, murder, rage and joy. Changing into pink transforms its meaning into feminine, sweet and soft as well as sentiment and tenderness, but hot pink catches attention and is associated with youthful and wild way.
ORANGE = usually considered cheerful, extroverted, sociable and associated with autumn by most. Darker browner tones arouse comfort, security, yet eco-friendliness and durability. Linked with metallic refers to exoticism.
YELLOW as most reflective colour of all is usually considered a cheery, sunny, yet the least favourite one. First flowers in spring to bloom are often yellow (daffodils, crocus, primrose etc.). Yellow is colour of citrus fruits, butter and cheese. Yellow and black mean caution of danger (originating from wasp natural pattern) and in the same time it represents a winner (i.e. Ferrari’s logo0
GREEN – The Green Man of Celtic mythology was the god of fertility;today we talk about a gardener with a green thumb and green became associated with the environmental movement. Therefore most people visualise growth, spring, vegetables and foliage (logically favourite colour for camouflage) However, main association of green is hope, trustworthiness, healing and emotional balance.
BLUE symbolises infinity, serenity, transcendence, tranquillity and the ability to achieve balance. “Blue blood” indicates an aristocratic person
PURPLE: synonymous with sensuality and decadence. Also mysterious, penance and sorrow. In marketing , purple portraits luxury and is frequently favoured by creative and eccentric types. With different hues is changes into violet, lavender and lilac.