It’s a fact that colour has a physical effect on us all whether we believe it or not. In the beginning, Nature’s own signals came in the form of colour. Man instinctively knew that if food was turning green, don’t eat it. If a red and yellow creature slithered through the undergrowth, keep well away. And these primitive instincts remain with us today.
The way our homes and workplaces are coloured still affect us in the same way as our ancestors – instinct!
In colour psychology, there are no wrong or right colours; some may love the colour red and others hate it. Blue might be thought of as a calming colour; to others it is cold and uninviting. It has been found that it is the combination of colours best stimulates that basic instinct. Using psychology of colour can reinforce your image and project a message, whether it be technical proficiency, reliability, or whatever your business.
Red is a powerful colour but strangely enough, though not the most visible it does appear nearer to us, and thus gets our attention first – think of traffic lights. Red signifies strength, confidence, energy, warmth, excitement and masculinity. However, it could also indicate aggression and defiance so remove that implication by having highlights of another colour. Those in the hospitality industry favour red as it has been discovered that this colour fires up the appetite. Think of McDonald’s and Burger King, their red uniforms draws your attention and subconsciously causes excitement with the flash of yellow bringing a feeling of happiness.
Blue has many positive attributes but can have a number of negative ones as well. It is the colour of the mind and unlike the reaction to red, we feel calm and trusting. Think of blue uniforms of nurses and other care givers; it says ‘trust’. Blue is the world’s most popular colour and also the most popular for uniforms. However, be careful of the shade as some blues can be seen as cold and unfriendly.
Yellow is the colour if you want to give off an incredibly positive feel. It is seen to be enthusiastic, optimistic, creative, cheerful and friendly. The psychological response is extremely strong so it is often the colour of charity workers’ tabards. Use this colour to promote a sense of well being. Too much yellow or a shade that clashes with the rest of the colour scheme can have the opposite effect and cause anxiety
Green is in the centre of the colour spectrum and is the colour of balance. It is associated with nature, harmony, equilibrium and peace. In the primitive mind, when the land was green, water must abound, therefore food, the consequence – reassurance. Green uniforms are seen usually on anyone working with animals, horticulture, and agriculture.
Black helps project knowledgeable expertise. It is a colour of security, efficiency and sophistication and conveys seriousness and clarity. Any business wishing to achieve a glamorous, stylish look can be confident in black. It doesn’t alter the perception of other colours around it so is often used in hair dressing salons. However, thought should be given as black can impart a feeling of coldness, menace and oppression.