Little secrets about colors
Colors in autumn
“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions” - Pablo Picasso
There are many fascinating details, known and unknown, about colors. This article is about some of them.
1. One red color for men, many red colors for women
The difference is made by the numbers of chromosome of one gene: one for men, two for women. This is the reason why women see more red in front of their eyes than men. The symbolism of red color is related to different meanings from different cultures (and periods of time). Probably the most important of these comes from blood. Red could also mean danger (stop lights: if you don’t want to bleed, don’t move!). There is another situation as well: if a store doesn’t allow you to eat or drink may have a red circle and a slash in front of an ice cream, sandwich or a bottle: “No food, no drinks”.
Of course, red is the color of the passion (love or anger). The reason for this association is blood again. These feelings are related to heart, and the heart is red and full of blood. When a person is very much in love with somebody, or when a person is very angry because of something, his/her heart rate goes up and he/she becomes reddish.
2. If you buy a car, chose silver!
The reason is your safety. It seems that this color is the most visible in traffic and consequently silver cars are less involved in accidents. However, according to some studies, white cars are the most visible in traffic. Remember this when you want to buy a red or a black car. Silver (grey) could symbolize security, intelligence, modesty, maturity, conservative, lifeless. But remember, color symbolism can vary a lot among cultures.
3. Pink makes you feel better
In everyday life, pink is associated with childhood, innocence, characters child-like personality, girls and femininity. On the other hand, pink is the color of good health and life. “La vie en rose” has become a lifestyle. Not least, pink could be associated with sexuality, purity, love. Pink is the symbol of pure love. Breast cancer awareness bow is also pink.
Pink makes you feel better
This color brings you calm and relaxation, it doesn’t matter if it’s a lighter or darker pink. It’s because its beneficial effects that pink is used in prisons or hospitals.
4. Bright colors help you to make new friends
The first impression matters, colors you wear included. The bright colors make you look solar, give a good impression to the others. On the other hand, black or dark colors say that you are a pessimistic and uncommunicative person.
5. Blue is the big favorite
In case you wonder, yes, it’s true, the top color choice is blue, with 40% of the globe population (well…I have doubts concerning this kind of studies, but it doesn’t matter, we all know that blue is the favorite).
Blue is the color of Virgin Mary and it is associated with young girls. More than that, it’s the color of the sky (air), ocean (water) and it indicated femininity (in other words, blue is another kind of pink). Blue also symbolizes peace, calm, security, loyalty, but also depression (to be in a blue mood).
6. Colors can be frightening
Cromophobia means the irrational phobia of colors and the symptoms could be many: nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulty, an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, anxiety.
7. Yellow/orange stimulates appetite
This is the reason why restaurants/kitchens must avoid these colors. However, yellow and orange are indicated in the case of somebody’s convalescence.
The symbolism of these colors are related to joy, happiness, gold (yellow) and energy, warmth, balance, enthusiasm (orange). Remember that yellow could also mean dishonesty, jealousy, cowardice, illness.
8. Our brain is guilty for the colors.
The way we see colors is related to the (enormous) quantity of information coming from the external environment. In brief, everything is relative in any question regarding colors.
9. Color wheel was invented by Isaac Newton.
A color wheel (or circle) is a visual representation of colors, the arrangement being made according to their chromatic relationship. In 1706, Sir Isaac Newton arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. When the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white. After Newton’s color wheel, the organization of color has taken many other forms from (tables, charts, triangles).
10. Dark brown, the color coming from the remains of mummies
The so-called "mummy brown" is a shade of brown discovered in the 16th century. It consisted of white pitch, myrrh and Egyptian mummies remains, whether animal or human. In the 19th century, mummy brown was one of the favorites of the painters. Mummy brown was produced until last century, when the remains of the mummies were no longer available.
Therapy in colors
This therapy is called chromotherapy/colorology (the use of colors in order to heal), and was known by some ancient cultures (Egyptians, Chinese).
Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or using colors to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colorology and it is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment:
- Red is used to stimulate the body/mind and to increase the blood circulation.
- Yellow stimulates the nerves and purify the whole body.
- Orange is used to heal the lungs and to increase the energy.
- Blue treats the pain. Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems (a blue room may induce calm, but this effect disappears after a while).
How big companies manipulate us using colors
It is easy to recognize a brand by the color displayed (the blue box of Tiffany for instance). The color used can tell many about that company (from the confidence the company enjoys among customers to the quality products the company offers).
According to some studies, red is the color for passion and power, but it's also the color for enthusiasm, energy, courage. Red is used by some important companies like Coca Cola, or British Virgin Group.
From the institutional point of view, green can be associated with youth and environment. Starbucks has as a logo a green mermaid, and the message transmitted to the customers is that the company is concerned about the environment. Green is also used by cosmetics brand Garnier Fructis, and its products are very popular.
The message of the blue is trust and communication. But a company must be careful in order to choose the right blue, because a wrong one could make a brand cold and inaccessible. When we say blue, we have in our mind Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn (some important social networks)or Tiffany (for jewelry).
Purple is the color for the royalty and luxury. Cadbury uses this color for its candies, and pop star Prince prefers this color for his clothing.
Black is serious, luxurious and sophisticated.Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, two of the best known companies in the fashion industry use this color. Ikea uses the same color.
Orange is a fun color. It encourages communication, friendship. ING Bank uses orange in its logo, with a shade of blue.
Pink could be sweet or sexy. It is a feminine color anyway. It also means love and concern for others.Victoria's Secret prefers a stronger pink in its logo.
Brown remindsus of chocolate, and a brand related to this, M & M's.