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Language Of Color

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In the design world color is just a "color." Color has a meaning, color conveys a mood, and color influences.

When designing an advertisement you have to think about your audience, colors that they feel more comfortable with and colors that trigger familiar associations such as blue Ð'- sky. The color red reminds people of love and the most romantic color. Blue, one of the most popular colors, is a reminder of the sky or ocean. Green implies wealth and at the same time nature. Sunny yellow is an attention getter and purple conveys luxury and wisdom. There are also symbolic meanings behind different colors too. Cultural associations such as the color green is associated with heaven to the Muslims and the best example is luck, the lucky clover, to Ireland and to the U.S.A. Religious, mythical, political, spiritual, and linguistic are a few other cultural color associations.

"Psychology plays an essential role in deciphering the meaning of color in visual communication. Color psychology involves the affective nature of color Ð'- how color makes us feel" (Evans/Thomas 98). Each color conveys a different mood or emotion whether positive or negative depending on what you are trying to tell through your advertisement. Purple conveys power/royalty and it is associated with distinct aromas of plums, grapes, and berries. The negative of this color is madness. Blue is peaceful, confidence and loyalty, this color actually makes the body produce calming chemicals, yet at the same time this color can be depressing. People can be more productive in a blue room. Green is another calming color, maybe that is why before appearing on TV people sit in a "green room". Negatively, green conveys decay, jealousy and a reminder of war. Yellow is full of energy, joy, happiness, optimism and hope. It also makes a person short-tempered and cranky. Fun note: a person using medications may require a stronger dose in the presence of yellow. Another color full of energy is orange, also conveys creativity, confidence and playfulness. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain making an invigorating outcome. Last but not least, red the most emotionally intense color and of energy, fire, love, excitement, speed, leadership and power. At the

same time it is associated with blood and danger, just the opposite of red's positives. Just to show how much color has an effect on people, a study was done on the color Baker Miller Pink. "Also know as "drunk tank pink," this color is used to calm violent prisoners in jail. Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma, Washington was the first to report the suppression of angry, antagonistic and anxiety ridden behavior among prisoners: "Even if a person tried to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can't. The heart muscles can't race fast enough. It's a tranquilizing color that saps your energy. Even the color-blind are tranquilized by pink rooms." (Courtesy of Color Voodoo Publications Ð'- Copyright 1999 Ð'- All rights reserved.)

According to, "marketing companies claim that people can make subconscious judgment about persons, environment, or items with 90 seconds of initial viewing based on 62 percent to 90 percent on the influence of color alone." Color affects more than just our mood, it can even influence our taste of foods and the colors of the clothes we wear. Washington State University recently discovered that patients can tolerate more pain, recover more quickly from surgery and use fewer drugs when there was a lot of greenery present in the room, also in this environment there are fewer stomach aches. When it comes to restaurants, green maybe used because this color makes you eat slower, so you might spend some extra money, at the same time if the food is green it can have a negative affect on your opinion about that food. Blue has been found to decrease the heart rate, but overexposure of the color has just the opposite effect. This color is also used in hospital rooms and intensive care units. It can also be found in a light shade, for it's calming effect. Light blue clothing appears young and sporty, royal or navy blue is dignified or wealthy (nautical outfits). Like the color green, blue also makes you eat slower. On the contrary, yellow, orange and red make you eat faster and helps the customers move in and out faster, ever notice how most fast food restaurants have a good amount of one of these colors either in their logo or in their restaurant? Yellow has the power to speed up your metabolism, but overpowering and can make you irritable if over-used. Orange is the most



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