Red equals passion and seduction. Blue equals calm and productivity. Yellow equals positivity and intellect.
Isn’t it incredible how colour can impact how we live and work? Think about it. Red with anger. Green with jealousy. Blue mood. Tickled pink. Colour has a psychological effect on everyone, from babies to grannies. And putting together a powerful palette can influence everything from a studio bedroom to a huge boardroom.
But why does colour affect our mood? Can it really make someone more productive? And what are the best colours to use to ensure you make the most of the room you’re in?
The science: How colour affects mood
There is a condition called Synesthesia (which Lush have tried to replicate in one of their sensory treatments). People with this condition can ‘see’ colour when they hear sounds, smell fragrance, touch objects or taste foods. They may think an orange feels blue, tastes purple and the sound of peeling segments may be green. Being happy may feel like red, and being angry may feel like green. Funny how the brain works, isn’t it? So colour and sensory perception are linked. In the case of synesthesia it’s far more pronounced.
Can colour make you more productive?
Yep. When Calibre got in touch about how colour could affect me and this blog, I was kinda skeptical. I mean, six out of ten is pretty much just black and white with a smidgen of yellow for effect. But just like a grey day can make someone feel sad, and a sunny day makes someone happy, colour can motivate or bore.
Being the clever know-it-all I am, I decided to consult some science journals (kinda practicing for when I’m a student nurse here) to see whether it’s not just pseudo-colouring or founded in actual evidence-based study.
According to University of British Columbia, blue is the colour to use if you want to feel creative and motivated. It links with the sky, ocean and water which is seen as open and free, peaceful and relaxing. Think waves on the beach, or sitting under a blue sky. Interesting, huh?
So blue is great for doubling creative thought, but red is perfect for those nitty-gritty tasks such as proofreading. It’s mainly associated with hazards and danger. Stop signs. Warning labels. Fire extinguishers. Subconsciously, we see danger and so we become more careful and accurate when we’re working.
But what about for your reader? Yellow is positive and inspiring. Green is ambitious. Purple is romantic (but steer clear of deep purple which can make people feel nervy and on-edge). White is pure and clean. Think Scandi style flat lays.
For me? I’ll stick with my black, white, aqua and yellow. Hopefully it’ll make you feel positive and calm when you visit!