The Deeper Meaning Behind Colors

Updated: Jan 29

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – when you mix them all together - you get a brown color you wish you didn't see. Growing up, one way or another, we all end up learning something about colors. We learn that the sun is yellow, grass is green, and the sky is blue. But colors do more than give us a way to describe things. They affect the way we feel, and some would say, the connection runs even deeper to how we act. Colors such as red, orange, and yellow are warm colors, they catch your eye and invoke strong feelings that often raise your heart rate. While color is widely subjective and the emotions that someone has toward a color can change based on brightness, darkness, and even cultural beliefs - these have been found to be the most common impacts of color:



Anger, race cars and restaurants ... what do they all have in common? Red! Red is the most intense color you can come across. It gets you pumped and ready to go. That's why fast sports love to use red in their branding. In case you are thinking its time to stock up on the red so that you can always rev up your day, too much red also can become overly intense and can cause unnecessary agitation, and, ultimately, confrontation. When you're getting dressed for that high stress meeting tomorrow morning, you might want to step away from red, depending on what else is going on in your life. While your heart is working a faster pace, you're also working up an appetite. This is why many restaurants choose the color red, especially fast food, because they are trying to stimulate your appetite. If your favorite color happens to be red, and you made a new year's resolution to start eating healthier, you might want to take it easy on the color red, at least for a while.


Not too long ago, I bought a slightly orange-yellow couch set for my living room. It's bright, happy and full of optimism, making it amazing to be the last thing I see out the door for work in the morning and the first thing I see when I get home. And while that's all great, if I had bought too bright of a yellow, I might have had some trouble. Bright yellow just asks for far too much attention and will cut your burning fuse in half. Are you planning on painting the nursery yellow? Expect some long nights from a very unsettled baby.


Orange sits in the middle of red and yellow. It's both optimist and intense, but if you're an animal, orange is often a big no. Many poisonous and or venomous animals such as the Malaysian coral snake, dart frog and the eastern red spotted newt feature a bright orange that they will use as a signal to predators that they are not to be messed with.


Things start to cool down with green. It's the most found color in nature, which gives the notion of freshness. And, it's easy on the eyes, making it great for decorating because it's relaxing. However, a muddy green can invoke some negative feelings due to its association with wealth, which can leave a feeling of greed.


Most people love blue. It's calm, cool, and some people say its healing. For a color often linked to depression and sadness, the color blue can really add some positivity to your life. Are you hitting the gym and you really want to push yourself? Surround yourself in blue. Having trouble sleeping? Think about adding more blue tones to your bedroom. And when it comes back to finding out what to wear to that high-stress meeting, blue is always the best choice due to its ability to invoke calmness. From a business standpoint, blue also invokes a sense of loyalty.


That chocolate bar you've been glaring at as you walk down the grocery aisle ... the one wrapped in the dark purple shinny wrapping? There's a reason you want to buy it. Purple is the color of luxury and romance, a longing for all thing of higher caliber. The reason purple got its title of luxury is because of its rareness in nature (even more than blue). Only a few things in nature are naturally purple. And because of this rareness, some could get a sense of artificialness or phoniness when they see the color purple. So, if you're looking to make a good first impression, maybe save your favorite purple shirt for another day.

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