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Often when someone is selecting a colour to paint a room or their home, they’re likely to settle on a hue that appeals to them and think no more of it. Subconsciously, however, colours have a psychological effect that can affect our moods and feelings. Colours can also be used to communicate, signal action and even impact behaviour.

Colour psychology is a big topic in the interior design, art and marketing areas, thanks to a few observations and discoveries regarding the effect of colours. While many of the perceptions are subjective, there are is some universal agreement regarding some effects.

For example, red hues (red, orange and yellow) are regarded as warm colours, and the emotions typically associated with these can range from comfort and warmth to excitement and passion. These colours are often used in warning signs or high visibility areas (think traffic lights). When they’re paired together, they can stimulate hunger or activate anxiety, depending on the context.

On the other side of the colour spectrum are cool colours: blue, green and purple. Blue is associated with coolness and efficiency, is regarded as a soothing colour to the mind, and symbolises clear communication. Green is associated with restoration, rest and balance. When the world contains green, it expresses abundance and life. Lastly, purple has associations with royalty and usually symbolises high quality. Its excessive use can lead to deeper contemplation or meditation.

Personal experience or culture are some of the factors that influence people’s feelings about different colours. For Scott Anson Painters & Decorators Ltd., acknowledging these perceptions is important so that clients feel comfortable with their choices. The company has more than two decades of experience working with both commercial and private sector clients.

Impact in Life

Perception of colours is seen in various aspects of life. For example, a graded test paper with red ink on it is not a welcome sight to any student. Colour preferences can also be used to communicate personality traits. In some instances, people choose colours to make a statement on how they want others to perceive them. White, which is seen to evoke a sense of cleanliness and freshness, can be worn by someone trying to look young. Silver, on the other hand, is linked to modernity and recency, so many high-tech products tend to incorporate this colour.