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The Meaning Behind Colors

Colors have meaning beyond providing something pretty to look at. So how can you choose the colors that will serve the purpose of your website the best?

As we endure the mood of others for both good and bad, we also endure the mood deriving from colors for both good and bad. Colors are the visual manifestation of moods placed on objects. To bear this out, notice what Jason O’Connor observed in 2005 from the article "How to Choose Your Website Colors”:

Yellow:
Positive: Caution, brightness, intelligence, joy, organization, Spring time
Negative: Criticism, laziness, or cynicism

Blue:
Positive: Tranquility, love, acceptance, patience, understanding, cooperation, comfort, loyalty and security
Negative: Fear, coldness, passivity and depression

Orange:
Positive: Steadfastness, courage, confidence, friendliness, and cheerfulness, warmth, excitement and energy
Negative: Ignorance, inferiority, sluggishness and superiority

Purple:
Positive: Royalty, sophistication, religion
Negative: Bruised or foreboding

Green:
Positive: Monëy, health, food, nature, hope, growth, freshness, soothing, sharing, and responsiveness
Negative: Envy, greed, constriction, guilt, jealousy and disorder

Black:
Positive: Dramatic, classy, committed, serious
Negative: Evil, death, ignorance, coldness

White:
Positive: Pure, fresh, easy, cleanliness or goodness
Negative: Blind, winter, cold, distant

From the above list of color associations, can you see how the descriptions for the colors would change according to where you live? The descriptions (associated with colors as illustrated above) are subjective to change and may differ for each culture and subculture across the world.

Even though red was not mentioned, studies have shown that it is the love-hate color. Even in the animal kingdom, studies show that bugs flash their red body parts to warn their enemies.

We react to colors and associate them to memories, objects, people, and places. In part, this may have something to do with how colors throw off wavelengths. Environmentally speaking, we can't see sound waves, but we can hear them. Normally, we can't see heat waves, but we feel them. With color waves, we don't hear or feel them, but we see them. There are other considerations we need to remember about colors too.

Colors have a voice. James Stockton, the author of Designer’s Guide to Color (1984) wrote: “The many psychological aspects of color often seen more emotional and personal than scientific and determining agreement in reactions to colors is sometimes difficult. . . The ‘voice’ of a color depends largely on the colors that are place next to it. . .” The expression of the “voice” of colors really appeals to me, because this is what I see too.

If the colors could speak, they would. Colors are wavelengths; we just can’t hear them. Again, colors do make sound and do have a voice, we just can’t hear them. This is why, our color choices for our home and décor, our cars, and clothing speak volumes about us. We are compatible with the sound waves emanating from our choice the colors that surround us.

Colors are used as non-verbal communication in every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not. Sometimes the color expressions are so powerful that the influence of color can be louder than the spoken word. (Revised 2/16/2006)

Debbie Jensen, Graphic Designer and Photographer http://www.debjensendesigns.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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