About Colour

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Colours can dramatically effect moods, feelings and emotions. Learn how to harness the effects of colour.

The multitude of research projects investigating the impact of colour upon our moods and emotions, have come up with the startlingly similar conclusion that  colour does have the power to affect our emotional state and wellbeing.  As much as colour can change the look of a room, being in its presence can also affect how you actually feel.  The affects of any given colour vary depending upon its application and intensity of use.  The same can also be said where there is a perceived lack of colour.  The unique properties of individual colours can directly impact upon on our perceptions and the subsequent feelings that result.

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Red

A warm bright colour. Red has also been known to raise the pulse rate and stimulate the appetite. Red is one of the most powerful colours and when used well it can help to manifest feelings that we associate with love, warmth, comfort and passion. On the flip side red can also represent anger and needs to be used with consideration.

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Grey

One of the most neutral colours which is not represented in the basic colour spectrum, is still a very fashionable and important colour of the current times. Whilst grey can be identified with characteristics associated with being sensible, responsible and conservative, it can also be identified as having similar characteristics as black such as sophistication. Grey is easy to use and on trend. Grey however, when used incorrectly or in the wrong tone can be seen as dull and oppressive if not lightened or softened with good accent colours.

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White

The colour that reflects all light and also classed sometimes as a “non a colour”, is one colour that we all use in some shade or tone time and time again. White depicts purity and innocence, and can be deemed warm or cool depending upon its position on the colour wheel. It is a colour that is very dependent upon its undertone, rendering it bland or sterile if the wrong tint or shade is used. It also needs to be considered in context with its surroundings to gain a true and holistic picture.

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Blue

The universal colour blue is widely considered as being the most calming colour on the spectrum. Other qualities associated with blue include security, orderliness and tranquillity. Whilst the calming effect is a major drawcard and motivator for its use, it can also have the associated effect of being somewhat cold and melancholic. Converse to the heightening effect on heart rate that red can have, blue can both decrease heart rate as well as appetite. As with all colours, it has its own unique power and properties, and must thus be judged in context with other colours to gauge its true impact

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Green

Green is the symbolic colour of nature and embodies many positive and desirable attributes, including health, vitality, revitalisation and refreshment. Harmony and balance, being the two key attributes of nature, are also inherent positive qualities of green. It does however also have associations with jealousy and envy, as suggested by such popular phrases as “green with envy” and “green eyed monster”.

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Yellow

The warmth, brightness and cheer of yellow lends itself out as a loud and boisterous colour screaming for attention. But such is the power and irony of colour, that despite its strong associations with happiness, excessive and indiscriminate use can be overwhelming, creating feelings of frustration and anger.

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Purple

Purple is not a colour commonly found in nature, so its meaning and associations have thus evolved more through cultural significance, the most common being royalty. This is attributable perhaps to the expensive nature of the dye, thereby making it affordable only to the very wealthy. It is a colour that can be luxurious and exotic when seen in a positive way, but decadent and indulgent in a negative light. The colour also has strong associations with spirituality.

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Brown

Brown along with green holds the accolade of being the ultimate natural colour. Its “down to earth” association offers the twin qualities of warmth and comfort, along with reliability, security and responsibility. But once again, overuse and lack of context and contrast can render it boring and isolating.

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Orange

Like yellow, this is another bold and bright attention seeking colour that invokes warmth, energy and enthusiasm. Indiscriminate overuse of such a powerful colour as orange can however be over whelming, creating the similar feelings of aggression caused by red and yellow

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Pink

As the ultimate colour of femininity pink can range in shade from soft pink to fuchsia, and is inextricably linked with love and romance. Its overuse can be inappropriate for decorating spaces that have a unisex context, as its strong feminine nature may be unappealing across genders.

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Black

The all absorbing nature of black sometimes lends itself to the notion of being a non-colour. It is often used in neutral settings and its use in clothing is often motivated by the desire to not stand out. While Black does carry an air of sophistication, formality and sex appeal, it is also the colour of mourning, and its popularity with TV “bad guys” gives it some sinister undertones. Sensible conjunctive use with other colours can have a softening, brightening effect on black, allowing its powers to be properly harnessed thereby making it the ultimate style statement.

 

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