Do you sometimes feel "blue"?
Well, start breathing again!
But, seriously - have you ever pondered about that? Why is the color "Blue" associated with feelings such as sadness or melancholy? Apparently mankind found out quite a long time ago that colors have a direct affect on their emotions. Being that emotions are what drives us - emotions can cause us to be active, get lazy and complacent, or become annoyed and restless.
It is said that the association between the color "Blue" and the sensation of sadness comes from the age of the ancient Greeks. They believed that when the father of all gods, Zeus, was sad he made rain start. Another expression of sadness related to the color "Blue" can be found with an old habit of sailors. Whenever a ship returned to the safety of a harbor, if ever the ship's flag was blue it meant the crew was mourning over the loss of their captain or one of their officers.
However, blue is not necessarily associated with sadness. It also induces relaxation, and allows one to have clear thoughts. Its is one of the less intense colors - when applied to objects. Unlike red painted object, blue painted objects do not feel as close in proximity, nor as intense as red ones might be.
Speaking of red - what about it? The color "Red" is the complete opposite of "Blue" in terms of wavelength. Wavelength? What’s that? Light, as we see it, is energy that travels in the form of waves. Pretty much like ocean waves. These waves vary in length. The Longest waves we humans can see are perceived in our eyes as "Violet" (or "Purple"). As these waves shorten, we begin to perceive them as different colors. The shortest wavelength we can see is "Red". Any light wave shorter than "Red" falls under the category of "Infrared". "Infra" means "Under".
"Infrared" are basically heat waves.
White light contains all wavelengths put together. A prism, which is a triangular shaped glass object, can "break" the white light into all of its components. A natural form of "prism" occurs in nature during (and after) rain, as specific conditions facilitate it, when a "hole" in the clouds allow pure sunlight rays to penetrate through and be broken by droplets of water hovering in the sky. We call this phenomenon - "Rainbow".
Now, back to our story - Red, as proclaimed before, is an intense color. It is the color of fire. It has been proven to be the color that grabs our attention first. Ergo, all important or hazardous information is mostly red. For example, warning signs, stop lights, a car's break lights and so forth.
Red causes us to feel warm, it excites us, stimulates our senses and may even keep us energetic. Just be careful - too much of it has been proven to arouse feelings of aggression and discomfort.
How about Yellow? This one color is said to be the most visible of all colors. Yes. That is why heavy equipment, such as; bulldozers, school buses, and even taxicabs, are all yellow. When used proportionately in our surroundings, yellow can promote creativity, self esteem, confidence and friendliness.
Orange, anyone? Who can resist some freshly squeezed orange juice? Orange is fun! It is a secondary color combined of the primary colors - Red and Yellow. It gives out a feeling physical comfort, of warmth, pleasure, security and even passion and sensuality. Orange may cause us to feel hungrer, so in case you are were planning on opening a restaurant, orange objects might help in making your customers feel better and may encourage them to eat more.
Greensleeves was my delight… Ah Green, the color of living-nature, the color of balance, harmony and love. What a beautiful color, indeed! Green is natural to our eyes. Placed right in the middle of the spectrum, it requires no effort from our eyes to perceive it. It indicates the presence of water - therefor a life supporting environment. We LOVE green in the most primitive form possible. However, excessive use of it may lead to feelings of boredom or lack of characteristics.
Pink is another tint of the primary color "Red", but this time mixed with white. Today, we associate pink with femininity. Truth be told - this concept is relatively new, and can be attributed to the suffragette movement, as just nearly a century ago, this red-derived color was associated with the complete opposite - Masculinity. That is due to being associated with red, which has the color of fire and blood in it. Pink is soothing and creates a relaxing environment. It is also associated with love and warmth, which is why we find it in abundance during Valentine's day. Since Pink has Red in its core it is a very powerful color, use it with caution!
Last, but not least - the Violet. This is the last color of the visible spectrum. Above it comes what is referred to as "Ultra-Violet". A part of the sunlight our human eyes simply cannot perceive. On the one hand - "Violet" is the color of spirituality, however, on the other hand it is associated with luxury and royalty. It is often used in order to enhance attributes of quality and class. Violet, can also reduce appetite. Try using it in the dining room as a complementary aid to counting those calories…
Ebony and Ivory are synonymous with music and black and white. Black and white are not actual colors in the full sense of the word. How so? Mainly because white is light where all the colors are put together, while black is the absence of light, therefor, none at all. If a "pure" black color existed, we would actually not be able to see anything. No light rays would bounce from it towards our eyes. Yet, what we perceive as a "Black" color, we tend to associate with sophistication, stability and, on occasion, security. White, as surprising as it may sound, tend to radiate similar qualities. Combinations of these colors can imply minimalism and fine touches.
Gray is a scale of tones which are derived from the mixing together of Black and White, in different ratios. Although sometimes associated with "Depression", when combined with other colors, it has a tendency to amplify them, by opposing a neutral area.
Colors are emotions. Having that people are more emotional than rational creatures, we connect and embrace colors. While one color may have a general impact on humans in general, it can also be something very personal. What is your color?
Your comments are more than welcome!
Many thanks for Guy Gazit for the help in the preparation of this post