Colour Psychology

Colour has the power to evoke all types of emotions in human beings. How we feel about certain colours can influence the choices we make and even the products we buy. Some people have a predisposition to the colour red. It is without doubt the colour of power and energy but it is also a colour that indicates caution should be taken, ie, traffic lights.

The colours we are drawn to also reflect our personality. If a person feels cold, warm colours appeal most and vice versa.

Each primary colour has positive and negative influences on a persons mind.

As stated above, red can be powerful, excting and yet aggressive in negative sense.

Blue is calming but can also be perceived as cold.

Green is the colour of nature and balance. On a negative note it can also be bland and uninteresting unless balanced out with another colour.

Yellow conveys brightness and positivity , yet can also be perceived as overly emotional in a large quantities.



Effects of light

Colours aren’t always what they appear to be. The world we see through our eyes is an illusion. It is our perception of colours that varies according to the quality and amount of light the colour is exposed to. A green leaf absorbs all colours and deflects the colour green which in turn comes in contact with the colour receptors in our eyes. To many it appears green however to some it may appear to be any colour but. Sounds crazy I know, but true.

Another type of light invisible to the human eye is ultra-violet light. This type of light is beyond the red end of the visible part of the spectrum, is referred to as radiation and comes across as heat. Amazing, right?!…


Colour Mixing

Colour combinations are seemingly endless and are only limited by the extent of our willingness to experiment.  The depth of colour  varies on the amount of light it is exposed to. Our eyes are predisposed to see the colour of the reflected light rather than the actual hue itself. This means that what may appear red to you may appear blue to others, proving that colour is a personal perception.

When using colour for interiors, it is important that it be viewed in the same light as it intends to be used in. This is due to the fact that colour samples on technology screens are shown as coloured light and not the actual pigment.






Colour Systems

Colour is named by three major elements;

  • Primary: Red, Blue and Yellow (these are pure hues and cannot be derived from any other colours)
  • Secondary: Green, Purple (Violet), and Orange (created by mixing primary colours)
  • Tertiary: these are created by mixing uneven quantities of primary and secondary colours 

The use of a colour wheel helps the user identify the above elements and also assists in identifying warm (aggressive) or cool (receding) colour palettes.

It also assists in creating a colour scheme by identifying colour relationships such as; monochromatic,complementary, split-complementary,triad, tetrad and analogous.

Colour Basics

Colour plays an important role in our everyday lives. Colour can be described by 3 major values;

  • Hue;  is the chromatic or pure value of a colour
  • Brightness; refers to how light or dark a colour or hue appears
  • Saturation; refers to how pure or dull the colour appears when mixed with a hue from the other side of the Colour Wheel TM

The selection of colour in our home or office environment stimulates our senses. Depending on the colour choices made, we can feel empowered, productive, reflective, cautious or calm and relaxed- just to name a few!.