New in our Psychology of Colour Blog Series
‘Colour psychology is the study of colours as a determinant of human behaviour’
Colours influence perception and response but they also affect people differently depending on culture, age and gender. They are a widely used and powerful tool in the market and branding industry and it’s interesting to get a better understanding of our responses to particular colours. They play very important roles in our everyday lives, whether we realise it or not and we thought it would be good to give you some useful colour psychology insights to help next time you’re choosing a new colour scheme or selecting that perfect scatter cushion.
What is it about Blue?
With the current love of blues in all the interior stores and magazines, we thought we’d have a closer look at Blue.
Time and time again research has shown that Blue is the world‘s favourite colour. With its easy familiarity, it‘s the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing and restful, affecting us mentally rather than physically. It can, however, sometimes also be perceived as cold and unfriendly.
Blue is a colour that suggests peace and serenity. It’s the colour of a calm sea and a clear sky, both of which are linked to inner serenity, peace and clarity. Blue is also shown to slow heart rate and breathing, so it can be a good colour to aid meditation or relaxation. It is often used in spas, hospitals and at home is the obvious choice for bathrooms.
Blue is a colour associated with intelligence. It has been proven that looking at different shades of blue can improve concentration, stimulate thinking and provide mental clarity. It has also been shown to improve productivity. Blue is therefore a great choice for a study or work enviroment, offering relaxation and stimulation at the same time.
Blue is a confident colour. Unlike red, which shows aggressive dominance, blue is related to a calm authority. Blue inspires trust, it is non-threatening and shows persistence. It is often a colour of choice for a uniform or formal dress.
Another characteristic of blue is that it is not a very emotional colour. It can be described as aloof or snobbish. Just as it is associated with intelligence, it can be linked with coldness and rationality to a point of showing little emotion. For this reason it is not usually seen as an obvious choice for bedroom décor - but with the introduction of accent colours it can now be more cosy than cool.
There are few natural foods that have the colour blue in them. This makes blue a colour that can suppress appetite. Some diets suggest eating food off a blue plate as it will make you feel like eating less. It is rarely found on food packaging or advertising but is however associated with wellbeing and health. When combined with white, it can be the perfect combination for a crisp, stylish kitchen.
Light blue is the colour most linked to creativity. Sky blue is the most calming shade of blue that helps a person relax and has a familiarity to it because of our natural responses to sea and sky. It inspires feelings of safety and serenity and so is often a perfect backdrop for a nursery. Dark blue on the other hand is the shade that is associated with intelligence and lack of emotion. It is often used to denote authoritarian figures. Where would our politicians and city bankers be without their blue suits?
Blue is a universally liked colour. Its positive aspects are that it is a calming and safe. It can lower the heart rate, improve mental clarity and inspire creativity. It instils confidence and trust. Its negative aspects are that it is unappetizing, occasionally perceived as snobbish and may suggests aloofness and lack of emotion.
How does blue make you feel? Give it a try this season. It might just surprise you!
‘Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions’ – Pablo Picasso
Dormitory - Feeling is Believing.