The power of color. Have you ever really thought about color, all that it is and the impact it has on our lives?
The power of color is actually a complex topic. When you hear the term color, I’m sure you understand what the perception of color is. Everyone has a favorite color and mine is green, but when I tell you that, can you envision it in your minds eye?
Hue, Value, Tone, Tint and Shade
Hue, tint, shade, tone, and value are terms associated with color that you may or may not be familiar with. Hue is pure color with no black or white added to it. These would be the primary and secondary colors on the color wheel: red, blue, yellow, purple, orange and green. Tint is pure color with white added to it (making it lighter). On the other hand, Shade is pure color with black added to it (making it darker).
Tone is pure color with grey added to it (such as a skin tone). Tint, shade and tone are all still considered color, but they can have different values. Value is the most complex of the terms. It is the lightness of a tint, shade or tone. To visualize this, take a look at a paint sample strip. It shows one color with different values of shade on one end, tint on the other and varying tones in between.
The Power of Color
Color can often convey our emotions, moods and behavior whether it is through the clothing we wear, the way we decorate our homes or even the brand/logo of a company.
Red – danger, passion, excitement, energy, vigor, action, success, harmony, good luck
Pink – feminine, sentimental, romantic, exciting. love. purity, happiness, softness
Orange – fresh, youthful, creative, adventurous
Yellow – optimistic, cheerful, playful, happy, focus, motivation, insight, joy
Green – natural, vitality, prestige, wealth, growth
Blue – communicative, trustworthy, calming, depressed, tranquility, harmony
Purple – royalty, majesty, spiritual, mysterious, respect
Brown – organic, wholesome, simple, honest, stability, simplicity
White – purity, simplicity, innocence, minimalism, peace, calm, freshness
Black – sophisticated, formal, luxurious, sorrowful, wisdom, intellect, strength, elegance
Multicolor – United, open, diversity
The Power of Color in Design
When decorating your home, your design should reflect the taste and style which is comfortable to you. Choose the colors of paint, wallpapers, furniture and accessories with intention and keep in mind balance and what is appropriate for the space. A typical room should have 3 colors: a primary (making up about 60% of the color), a secondary ( making up about 30%) and an accent which can be bold or metallic (making up the last 10%). Sprinkle in gold and silver for prosperity and success!
Warm colors (red, yellow, orange, brown and tan) create an upbeat welcoming feel to a room while cool colors (blue, green, purple and gray) are subdued and calming. Warm colors work well in entertaining spaces while cool colors work well in bed, bath and office spaces. For example blue which is associated with tranquility would be a great color for a bathroom.
Scared of color? Don’t worry. There are a few of tricks you can employ. The first is by using complimentary colors. Simply put this means choosing a color, then use the color directly across from it on the color wheel. For example blue and orange, red and green or yellow and purple. Don’t fret….use different values to make it pleasing. Next you can choose a main color and then use the two on either side of it as the supporting colors. Finally think monochromatic. Choose one color and maybe accent with white or black.
Ultimately your home should be your own sanctuary with the colors you love and that please you.
The Power of Color in Fashion
Much like interior design, color can reflect certain emotions in fashion. Go look in your closet. What do you see? A variety of color or do you lean towards one particular color? Black tends to by popular, stylish and fashionable. I mean every woman should have a little black dress right?! It is a color of refinement and elegance. White is second in popularity to black. Because it is neutral, it works well with other colors. Blue is another popular color that gives a soothing, casual vibe. Red as you can guess is associated with energy, love, passion and reflects power. Yellow is cheery, the perfect color for when you are feeling down.
The Power of Color in Branding
What comes to mind when you think of Starbucks? Green? How about Target? Red? There is a reason companies choose specific colors. This is called branding. The power of color in branding can be seen by the triggered response you get from seeing the brand. When I see orange and pink I automatically think of Dunkin Donuts. Then I think of coffee and my car tends to turn into the drive through! Pretty powerful stuff!
If you remember reading my blog before September, the colors on the left were my brand colors. Now the colors on the right are my new brand colors.
Color can also convey seasons, holidays, how we choose landscaping, the way we plate our food. I used yellow and orange flowers, the colors of autumn, in my fall centerpiece. Those are two colors I woul not necessarily choose to use at Christmas. The color of my mango salsa pops when served in a bright orange bowl as opposed to if I served it in a yellow bowl where the color of the mango would get lost.
There is so much more to the science of color. How we “see” color, the psychological effects and how it relates to memory. To learn more about this please read the article The Power of Color by Dinushi Supunsala.
My reusable color calendar is a fun and easy craft project you can do with your kids! All it takes is a piece of card stock (in any color you like), some glue, a sheet protector, dry erase marker and 7 paint color strips. Choose your favorite colors, complimentary colors, monochromatic colors…what ever you feel called to use. The best part is you can switch it up up whenever you like (those paint samples are free!). Think seasonal, or to match your room decor, great for a teen to hang in a locker. There are so many uses!
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