COLOUR IS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ADVERTISING. IT BRINGS DEPTH AND EMPHASIS TO THE DESIGN, BUT IT ALSO GIVES THE FEEL AND MOOD OF THE DESIGN.
POSITIVE: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
NEGATIVE: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.
EFFECTS: Red is strong, and very basic. It is stimulating and lively, very friendly. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive.
POSITIVE: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
NEGATIVE: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.
EFFECTS: Since it is a combination of red and yellow, orange is stimulating and reaction to it is a combination of the physical and the emotional. It focuses our minds on issues of physical comfort – food, warmth, shelter etc. – and sensuality. It is a ‘fun’ colour.
POSITIVE: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
NEGATIVE: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety
EFFECTS: The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically.
POSITIVE: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
NEGATIVE: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.
EFFECTS: Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful.
POSITIVE: Trust, Loyalty, Wisdom, Confidence, Intelligence, Faith, Truth, Heaven
NEGATIVE: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness
EFFECTS: The colour of the sea and the sky. It’s often associated with depth and stability.
POSITIVE: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
NEGATIVE: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.
EFFECTS: It has associations with royalty and usually communicates the finest possible quality. Excessive use of purple can bring about too much introspection and the wrong tone of it communicates something cheap and nasty, faster than any other colour.
POSITIVE: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
NEGATIVE: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.
EFFECTS: Being a tint of red, pink also affects us physically, but it soothes, rather than stimulates. Pink is a powerful colour, psychologically. It represents the feminine principle, and survival of the species; it is nurturing and physically soothing.
POSITIVE: Psychological neutrality.
NEGATIVE: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
EFFECTS: Pure grey is the only colour that has no direct psychological properties. It is, however, quite suppressive. A virtual absence of colour is depressing and when the world turns grey we are instinctively conditioned to draw in and prepare for hibernation.
POSITIVE: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
NEGATIVE: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.
EFFECTS: It communicates absolute clarity, with no fine nuances. It communicates sophistication and uncompromising excellence and it works particularly well with white. Black creates a perception of weight and seriousness.