Feel Color

I was going through some old school work that I found...and started reading a paper I once wrote on how color impacts your mood. Here's a little snippet...

"...reds, yellows, and oranges warm the room because they remind of cheerful things like the sun and warm fires. Blues, greens, and purples cool the room because they remind of calming things like water or shady trees. Browns and grays are considered neutral colors because they don't add or take away color, they just enhance what's already there. As one can see, choosing the wrong color may produce emotions completely opposite than intended. For this reason, many designers have described color as touchy.

The bedroom is only one example of how color may affect a person’s mood. For the most part, color is used outside of the bedroom. One of its main users is the printer with cards, brochures, book and CD covers, journals, letterheads, maga- zines, billboards, etc. as products. Statistics show that ads in color are read up to 42% more often than the same ads in black and white. Colorfully printed material holds the audience’s eye a few seconds longer than black and white printed material, and for this reason, designers generally opt for using color in their work over black and white.

With this choice made, designers have one big thing to consider. If a certain color on bedroom walls can alter a person’s mood when in the room, how will the color choice on printed material alter a person’s mood when viewing the printed piece? This is when color choice becomes a life or death choice for many designers. For example, an advertisement for a tropical getaway is in the making—shouldn’t then tropical colors be used for the advertisement? Rich, vibrant colors would attract the audience’s eye quicker and for a longer period of time than muted, pastel colors.

Another example where color choice plays a part on the mood is when thematic pieces are made, such as a brochure for a Christmas play or an advertisement for Halloween candy. Red and green are known colors for Christmas and, more often than not, have that association with that time of year. The same goes with orange and black for Halloween. How would one view a Halloween candy advertisement that displayed pink and purple hues as the main color choice? A spooky Halloween mood would definitely not be the result, even if the advertisement had the word Halloween boldly printed on the top of the page.

Color choice is more than just a choice. It’s life. The world evokes many moods depending on where one would find oneself. Just as a cemetery would produce a different mood than a wedding — color choice does the same..."

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