the meaning behind the colour
Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the colour blue make you feel calm and relaxed?
A particular colour can dramatically affect your moods, feelings and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause physiological reactions. Certain colours can raise blood pressure, increase metabolism, or cause eyestrain.
The Colour Pink: unconditional love and nurturing.
The colour pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing.
Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. It tones down the physical passion of red replacing it with a gentle loving energy.
Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity.
In colour psychology, pink is a sign of hope. It is a positive colour inspiring warm and comforting feelings, a sense that everything will be okay.
Pink calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. Studies have confirmed that exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves and create physical weakness in people. Violent and aggressive prisoners have been successfully calmed by placing them in a pink room for a specified amount of time. Exposure for too long can have the opposite effect.
Pink can signify good health, being ‘in the pink’, and success as in ‘everything’s rosy’.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: unconditional and romantic love, compassion and understanding, nurturing, romance, warmth, hope, calming, sweetness, naiveté, feminine and intuitive energy.
Negative keywords include: being over-emotional and over-cautious, having emotional neediness or unrealistic expectations, being immature and girlish, lack of will power and lack of self worth.
Unconditional love: Pink relates to both unconditional love and romantic love.
Compassion: Empathy and understanding are the fuel for pink’s nurturing.
Nurturing: Pink is both the giving and the receiving of love, understanding and respect.
Hope: Pink inspires the possibility of a positive outcome.
The Colour Yellow: is the colour of the mind and the intellect
The colour yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It is the colour which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception.
Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the colour psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.
In the meaning of colours, yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness.
Yellow is creative from a mental aspect, the colour of new ideas, helping us to find new ways of doing things. It is the practical thinker, not the dreamer.
Yellow helps with decision making as it relates to clarity of thought and ideas, although it can often be impulsive. Yellow helps us focus, study and recall information, useful during exam time.
The colour yellow can be anxiety producing as it is fast moving and can cause us to feel agitated.
Yellow has a tendency to make you more mentally analytical and critical – this includes being self critical as well as critical of others.
Yellow is non-emotional, coming from the head rather than the heart. Yellow depends on itself, preferring to not get emotionally involved.
Yellow is related to the ego and our sense of self worth, to how we feel about ourselves and how we are perceived by others.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, fun, good-humored, confidence, originality, creativity, challenging, academic and analytical, wisdom and logic.
Negative keywords include: being critical and judgmental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive, being egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex, spiteful, cowardly, deceitful, non-emotional and lacking compassion.
Mind and intellect: From a colour psychology perspective, yellow stimulates our mental faculties; it activates the left or analytical brain.
Happiness and fun: Yellow is uplifting to the spirits; yellow helps create enthusiasm for life and can awaken greater confidence and optimism.
Communication of New Ideas: Yellow is related to the expression and integration of new ideas and thoughts.
The Colour Red: is the colour of energy, passion and action
The colour red is a warm and positive colour associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy.
Red is energising. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action.
It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. It is also strong-willed and can give confidence to those who are shy or lacking in will power.
Being the colour of physical movement, the colour red awakens our physical life force. It is the colour of sexuality and can stimulate deeper and more intimate passions in us, such as love and sex on the positive side or revenge and anger on the negative. It is often used to express love, as in Valentine’s Day, however it relates more to sexuality and lust, rather than love – love is expressed with pink.
The colour red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose. It also increases craving for food and other stimuli.
Being surrounded by too much of the colour red can cause us to become irritated, agitated and ultimately angry. Too little and we become cautious, manipulative and fearful.
If your favourite colour is red, it will reflect in your personality! Personality colour red will give you more information on this.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: action, energy and speed, attention-getting, assertive and confident, energising, stimulating, exciting, powerful, passionate, stimulating and driven, courageous and strong, spontaneous and determined.
Negative keywords include: aggressive and domineering, over-bearing, tiring, angry and quick-tempered, ruthless, fearful and intolerant, rebellious and obstinate, resentful, violent and brutal.
Energy: it boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenalin.
Action: it is fast moving and promotes a need for action and movement.
Desire: it relates to physical desire in all its forms- sexual, appetite, cravings.
Passion: it means a passionate belief in an issue or undertaking, including passionate love or passionate hate. Anger is negative passion.
The Colour White: purity, innocence, wholeness and completion
White is colour at its most complete and pure, the colour of perfection. The colour meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.
In colour psychology white is the colour of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.
Its basic feature is equality, implying fairness and impartiality, neutrality and independence. It is interesting to note that babies come into the world with a perfect balance of white, ready to imprint their lives with all the colours of the spectrum (hopefully!) from all their life experiences.
White is totally reflective, awakening openness, growth and creativity. You can’t hide behind it as it amplifies everything in its way.
White is a colour of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets. It creates a sense of order and efficiency, a great help if you need to declutter your life.
While there are very few negative connotations to white, particularly in western culture, too much white can be cold, isolating and empty. It implies a feeling of sterility, detachment and disinterest, providing little stimulation for the senses.
Too much white can cause feelings of isolation and emptiness; it can be too pristine and immaculate, making you feel as though you can’t make a move for fear of upsetting it or creating a mess.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: innocence, purity, cleanliness, equality, complete and whole, simplicity, immaculate and neat, self-sufficient, pristine and open, new beginnings.
Negative keywords include: sterile, stark, fastidious, empty, isolated, cautious, critical and boring.
Innocence and purity: White is the beginning of everything, before anything is muddied or thinking is ‘coloured’.
New beginnings: White represents the clean slate, helping us through times of stress, and allowing us put the past behind us and preparing us to move on.
Equality and unity: White represents the positive as well as the negative aspects of all colours. It contains an equal balance of all the colours of the spectrum.
The Colour Orange: adventure and social communication
The colour orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.
Orange relates to ‘gut reaction’ or our gut instincts, as opposed to the physical reaction of red or the mental reaction of yellow.
Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.
The colour psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. In fact orange is so optimistic and uplifting that we should all find ways to use it in our everyday life, even if it is just an orange coloured pen that we use.
Orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life and is a great colour to use during tough economic times, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life.
With its enthusiasm for life, the colour orange relates to adventure and risk-taking, inspiring physical confidence, competition and independence. Those inspired by orange are always on the go!
The colour orange is the worst colour to have in the kitchen if you are trying to lose weight!
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: sociable, optimistic, enthusiastic, cheerful, self-confident, independent, flamboyant, extroverted and uninhibited, adventurous, the risk-taker, creative flair, warm-hearted, agreeable and informal.
Negative keywords include: superficial and insincere, dependent, over-bearing, self-indulgent, the exhibitionist, pessimistic, inexpensive, unsociable, and overly proud.
Adventure and risk taking: Orange promotes physical confidence and enthusiasm – sportsmen and adventure-seekers relate well to orange.
Social communication and interaction: Orange stimulates two-way conversation between people – in a dining room when entertaining it stimulates conversation as well as appetite.
Friendship: Group socializing, parties, the community – wherever people get together to have fun and socialize orange is a good choice.
Divorce: The optimism of the colour orange helps people move on – it is forward thinking and outward thinking.
The Colour Green: is the colour of balance, harmony and growth
The colour green is the colour of balance and harmony. From a colour psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart.
From a meaning of colours perspective, green is also the colour of growth, the colour of spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. It is the sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living, restoring us back to a sense of well being. This is why there is so much of this relaxing colour on the earth, and why we need to keep it that way.
Green is an emotionally positive colour, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally. A natural peacemaker, it must avoid the tendency to become a martyr.
Green loves to observe. It relates to the counselor, the good listener, the social worker. It loves to contribute to society. It is the charity worker, the good parent and the helpful neighbor.
Being a combination of yellow and blue, the colour green encompasses the mental clarity and optimism of yellow with the emotional calm and insight of blue, inspiring hope and a generosity of spirit not available from other colours.
It is generous and loves to share, but it also looks for recognition. It is friendly and can keep confidences.
This colour relates to stability and endurance, giving us persistence and the strength to cope with adversity.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: growth and vitality, renewal and restoration, self-reliance, reliability and dependability, being tactful, emotionally balanced and calm, nature lover and family oriented, practical and down to earth, sympathetic, compassionate and nurturing, generous, kind and loyal with a high moral sense, adaptable, encourages ‘social joining’ of clubs and other groups, a need to belong.
Negative keywords include: being possessive and materialistic, indifferent and over-cautious, envious, selfish, greedy and miserly, devious with money, inconsiderate, a hypochondriac and a do-gooder.
Harmony and balance: Green is the great balancer of our mental, emotional and physical energies which is why there is so much green on our planet. Green is the heart centre of the body.
Growth: As in nature, green leaves are an indication the plant is still growing.
Hope: Green is the anticipation of things to come.
The Colour Blue is the colour of trust and responsibility
The colour blue is one of trust, honesty and loyalty. It is sincere, reserved and quiet, and doesn’t like to make a fuss or draw attention. Blue hates confrontation, and likes to do things in its own way.
From a colour psychology perspective, blue is reliable and responsible. This colour exhibits an inner security and confidence. You can rely on it to take control and do the right thing in difficult times. It has a need for order and direction in its life, including its living and work spaces.
Blue seeks peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order – we certainly feel a sense of calm if we lie on our backs and look into a bright blue cloudless sky. It slows the metabolism. The paler the blue the more freedom we feel.
In the meaning of colours, blue relates to one-to-one communication, especially communication using the voice – speaking the truth through verbal self-expression – it is the teacher, the public speaker.
The colour blue is idealistic, enhancing self-expression and our ability to communicate our needs and wants. It inspires higher ideals.
Blue’s wisdom comes from its higher level of intelligence, a spiritual perspective.
Blue is the helper, the rescuer, the friend in need. It’s success is defined by the quality and quantity of its relationships. It is a giver, not a taker. It likes to build strong trusting relationships and becomes deeply hurt if that trust is betrayed.
Blue is conservative and predictable, a safe and non-threatening colour, and the most universally liked colour of all, probably because it is safe and non-threatening. At the same time blue is persistent and determined to succeed in whichever endeavors it pursues.
If you are thinking of using blue in a business application, read about the meaning of colours in business.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful and calm.
Negative keywords include: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative, predictable and weak, unforgiving, and frigid. It can also indicate manipulation, unfaithfulness and untrustworthiness.
Communication: Blue relates to one-to-one verbal communication and self expression.
Peace and calm: The colour blue induces calm and peace within us, particularly the deeper shades.
Honesty: Blue is the colour of truth.
Authority: The darker the colour blue, the more authority it has.
Religion: Blue is the colour of devotion and religious study.
Wisdom: Blue enhances the wisdom of the intellect.
The Colour Purple is the colour of the imagination and spirituality
The colour purple relates to the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective colour, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.
Purple assists those who seek the meaning of life and spiritual fulfilment – it expands our awareness, connecting us to a higher consciousness. For this reason it is associated with transformation of the soul and the philosophers of the world are often attracted to it.
In the meaning of colours, purple represents the future, the imagination and dreams, while spiritually calming the emotions. It inspires and enhances psychic ability and spiritual enlightenment, while, at the same time, keeping us grounded.
The colour purple inspires unconditional and selfless love, devoid of ego, encouraging sensitivity and compassion. Purple can be sensitive to all the different forms of pollution in the world today, whether it be air pollution, noise pollution, visual pollution or the pollution in our food chain. This sensitivity makes violet susceptible to illness and allergies, vulnerable to its everyday surroundings.
The colour purple is specifically associated with royalty and the nobility, creating an impression of luxury, wealth and extravagance.
Purple has power. It has a richness and quality to it that demands respect. Purple is ambitious and self-assured, the leader.
Too much of the colour purple can promote or aggravate depression in some. It is one colour that should be used extremely carefully and in small amounts by those who are vulnerable to these depressed states.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include: unusual and individual, creative and inventive, psychic and intuitive, humanitarian, selfless and unlimited, mystery, fantasy and the future.
Negative keywords include: immaturity, being impractical, cynical and aloof, pompous and arrogant, fraudulent and corrupt, delusions of grandeur and the social climber.
Inspiration: Original and sound ideas are created with violet – use it when looking for inspiration during brainstorming sessions.
Imagination: Violet inspires creativity with intellect – it is also stimulating to dream activity.
Individuality: Violet is unconventional, individual and original. It hates to copy anyone else and likes to do its own thing.
Spirituality: Violet assists us during prayer and meditation, helping us to get in touch with our deeper subconscious thoughts. Churches often feature violet in their stained glass windows. From a negative perspective it can relate to the cult follower.
The Color Black: is mystery and protection
Black is the colour of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world.
In colour psychology the meaning of the colour black is protection from external emotional stress. It creates a barrier between itself and the outside world, providing comfort while protecting its emotions and feelings, and hiding its vulnerabilities, insecurities and lack of self confidence.
In colour psychology, black means power and control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others.
Black is intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes. It can prevent two-way communication because of its intimidation. The salesman wearing all black will make a lot of sales, but no friends! It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process.
Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power.
Black absorbs negative energy. It is useful to carry something black with you to protect you from harm and negativity when traveling or when going about your usual daily activities outside your home.
People who like black may be conventional, conservative and serious, or they may think of themselves as being sophisticated or very dignified.
The colour black is often seen as a colour of sophistication, as in ‘the little black dress’, or ‘the black tie event’. Affluent and success orientated women often choose black as it can give an impression of elegance, sophistication and confidence.
Black is often associated with sexiness and seduction, as in the temptress in sexy black lingerie creating an air of mystery and intrigue. It can also imply submission to another (including a sexual partner), similar to the priest wearing black robes in submission to God.
Black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When the light appears, black becomes white, the colour of new beginnings.
Too much black can cause depression and mood swings and create a negative environment. Combined with white only, it can create an argumentative atmosphere. It is best to use some colour with black to lighten and brighten its energy.
Positive and Negative Traits
Positive keywords include protection and comfort, strong, contained, formal, sophisticated, seductive, mysterious, endings & beginnings.
Negative keywords include aloof, depressing and pessimistic, secretive and withholding, conservative and serious, power & control, sadness and negativity.
Mystery: Black is the unknown. It is secretive, keeping a lot buried inside, unwilling to show its real feelings.
Power and Control: Black is power and control of the self and others. It creates fear and intimidation.
Effects of the Colour
Effects of Pink:
Calming: Pink calms our emotional energies.
Non-threatening: Pink lacks any aggression or anger, although the deeper pinks can be more assertive and confident.
Affectionate: Pink offers warmth and tenderness to friends and family.
Caring: Sensitivity and tender loving care relate to pink’s feminine and intuitive energies.
Immature: Pink is the colour of the sweet young girl, before life’s experiences take over.
Effects of Yellow:
Creative: The colour of new ideas, yellow helps us find new ways of doing things.
Quick decisions: Yellow helps with clear thinking and quick decision-making but it can also be impulsive.
Anxiety producing: Yellow is fast moving so too much time in its presence can agitate and lead to nervousness and emotional instability.
Critical: Yellow makes people more mentally analytical and self critical of both themselves and others.
Non-emotional: Yellow relates to the head not the heart.
Effects of Red:
Stimulating: to the physical senses- the sexual and physical appetite. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred or revenge. If you have a flagging sex life and would like to introduce more passion into it, introduce some red into the bedroom – the more red, the more passion, but don’t overdo it or it will have the opposite effect.
Exciting and Motivating: it excites our emotions and inspires us to take action.
Attention-getting: it demands you to take notice, alerting you to danger. This is why we have red traffic lights and stop signs – it is the universal colour for danger.
Assertive and Aggressive: drivers of red cars should take note! A small survey I did a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including females, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.
Effects of White:
Impartial: White suggests fairness and neutrality because of the balance and equality of all the colours contained within it.
Rescuer: White rescues us from the dark. It is the white knight, rescuing the damsel in distress.
Futuristic: Symbolizing a clean slate, we can envisage anything with white.
Efficient: White is clean and clinical, giving an impression of efficiency and organization.
Effects of Orange
Enthusiasm: Orange is optimistic and extroverted – the colour of the uninhibited.
Rejuvenation: Orange helps to restore balance to our physical energies.
Stimulation: Orange is not as passionate or as excitable as red, but it is stimulating, particularly to the appetite – the worst colour to have in the kitchen if you want to lose weight.
Courage: Orange helps us to take account of our lives, to face the consequences, to take action and make appropriate changes, and then to move onward and upward.
Vitality: Orange has a more balanced energy than red, not as passionate and aggressive, but full of vitality.
Effects of Green:
Rejuvenating: The colour green revitalizes us when we are physically, mentally or emotionally exhausted.
Nurturing: Because of its link with the heart, green urges us to nurture others. Green is also nurturing to us – another reason why it is the most predominant colour on earth.
Dependable, agreeable and diplomatic: The colour green helps us to see situations clearly from all sides.
Possessiveness: Green is a colour that encourages us to want to own things and people, to collect and possess. Green encourages materialism.
Envy:Green with envy’ is a common phrase and a negative reaction to the colour green.
Effects of Blue
Conservative: The colour blue is a safe colour – the most universally liked colour of all.
Predictable: Blue is not impulsive or spontaneous and it doesn’t like to be rushed – blue needs to analyse and think things through, and to work to a plan.
Orderly: Blue needs to have direction & order- untidiness and unpredictability overwhelms it.
Rigid: Blue likes familiarity. It doesn’t like change and will stubbornly do things its own way, even if there is a better way.
Effects of Purple
Empathy: Compassion, kindness and a love of humanity are positive qualities of Purple.
Controlled emotion: Purple is passionate, like red, but inclined to display it in private only.
Respectable & distinguished: The darker shades of Purple particularly are linked to the origins of purple where it was only available to royalty and the wealthy.
Impractical: purple can be impractical, with its head in the clouds rather than having its feet on the ground. It tends to see life as it imagines it, rather than how it is.
Immature: Purple can be immature, encouraging fantasy and an idealism that is often difficult to achieve in real life.
Dignity: Purple exudes a quiet modest form of dignity which is often appealing to others.
Cynical: This is a negative side of Purple.
Effects of Black
Formal, dignified and sophisticated: As in the little black dress and the formal dinner suit.
Aloof: Black sets itself aside from others with its heavy and intense energy. It keeps others at arm’s length.
Depressing: Black can close us to the positive aspects of life, forcing us to look at our disappointments and the black or negative aspects of our life. It can create a fear of the future.
Pessimistic: Too much black encourages us to look at the negative side of life.