We love our coffee. We love the convenience of the coffee store, namely Starbucks. So what does that have to do with color? How much time do you spend in your local coffee store? What is it that appeals to you? Is it the food, the décor, the coffee? The colors that surround you in your coffee store are going to be trendy and warm and the latest, according to what’s popular dictated by the Color Association of the United States, (CAUS) the organization that sets the color trends for products, brands and environments.
Warmth and cheer in the character of a room are found on the red/orange side of the Color Wheel.
Cool and restful are found on the blue/green side of the Color Wheel.
Color considerations for your home and office are crucial to your emotional well-being. Light tones or blue, green and violet recede and can make a room seem bigger, which in turn gives you a feeling of space and openness. The warmer tones of reds and oranges in light or dark tones seem to move towards you, which could crowd you or enfold you. An office is best in a neutral tone in a light value, but can be in your favorite color, warm or cool. Grey is popular now, it can be warm or cool as well, depending on your color choice. Of course, beige has always been a classic. I happen to love greige, that’s a cross between gray and beige.
Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food or the effectiveness of placebos. Red or orange pills are generally used as stimulants. Factors such as gender, age, and culture can influence how an individual perceives color. Businesses use color when deciding on brand logos. These logos seem to attract more customers when the color of the brand logo matches the personality of the goods or services, such as the color pink being heavily used on Victoria’s Secret branding. Warm colors (red/orange side of the Color Wheel) tend to attract spontaneous purchasers, despite cooler colors (blue/green side of the Color Wheel) being more favorable.
Color has long been used to create feelings of coziness or spaciousness. However, how people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person. Blue is the top choice for 35% of Americans, followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%). A preference for blue and green may be due to a preference for certain habitats that were beneficial in the ancestral environment as explained in the evolutionary aesthetics article.
There is evidence that color preference may depend on ambient temperature. People who are cold prefer warm colors like red and yellow while people who are hot prefer cool colors like blue and green.
A study by psychologist Andrew J. Elliot tested to see if the color of a person’s clothing could make them appear more sexually appealing. He found that to men, women dressed in the color red were significantly more likely to attract romantic attention than women in any other color. However, for women, the color of one’s shirt made no difference in their level of attractiveness.
Despite cross-cultural differences regarding what different colors meant, there were cross-cultural similarities regarding what emotional states people associated with different colors in one study. For example, the color red was perceived as strong and active. If you own a red car, you might have found the cops giving you tickets that you never before deserved.
Excitement and fatigue are produced by the use of the primary (red, blue, yellow) and secondary hues (green, orange, purple) in strong, bright values, and by strong contrasts of tonal values. Those colors and tones are great for a game or playroom or even for a powder room (a guest bathroom).
Give some thought to how you feel on a sunny day, verses a rainy day. Do you love to overlook a mountain terrain or in a garden lush with glistening foliage and flowers, as though embedded with Swarovski crystals?
Different colors are perceived to mean different things. For example, tones of red lead to feelings of arousal while blue tones are often associated with feelings of relaxation. Both of these emotions are pleasant, so therefore, the colors themselves procure positive feelings in advertisements. The chart below gives perceived meanings of different colors in the United States.
Chart: Functional (F): fulfills a need or solves a problem and Sensory-Social (S): conveys attitudes, status, or social approval
|Lust (S)||Jealousy (S)||Good Taste (F)||Masculine (S)||Sophistication (S)||Authority (S)||Ruggedness (S)||Grief (S)||Happiness (S)|
|Power (S)||Competence (S)||Envy (S)||Competence (S)||Sincerity (S)||Sophistication (S)||Sophistication (S)||Sincerity (S)|
|Excitement (S)||Happiness (S)||High quality (F)||Feminine (S)||Power (S)||Expensive (F)||Purity (S)|
|Love (S)||Corporate (F)|
The “rose of temperaments” (Temperamenten-Rose) compiled by Goethe and Schiller in 1798/9. The diagram matches twelve colors to human occupations or their character traits, grouped in the four temperaments: choleric (red/orange/yellow): tyrants, heroes, adventurers;
sanguine (yellow/green/cyan) hedonists, lovers, poets;
phlegmatic (cyan/blue/violet): public speakers, historians, teachers;
melancholic (violet/magenta/red): philosophers, pedants, rulers.
Do you have a favorite place, room, environment?