Colors and emotions

Rainbow Brain Creativity Psychology

Two absolutely separate branches of knowledge are taking a huge interest to people’s perception of different colors. One of them is medicine involving color therapy to cure diseases and another one is marketing taking into account the color impact on our decision to purchase products and things.

Theoretically color is an electromagnetic wave that is emitted by any object and produces different sensation of our retina, the nervous tunic of our eyes. Retina is a part of our brain which detects the waves and transmits them to the brain cortex so that we could recognize and evaluate different objects. The whole process enables us to differentiate what surrounds us to react emotionally and physically. Each color has its particular wave length causing very special sensation of our brain what results in our different reactions. Using the rainbow R-O-Y-G-C-B-V colors I’ll try to describe shortly reactions activated by them in our mind and this would be partially from my own experience as a doctor.

Red (R), the color of fire, dynamic actions and aggressive attacks. It induces to act rather than think. Our mind can’t be calm in red surrounding. There was a torture in Tsarist Russia when a prisoner was put into the cell without windows where walls, ceiling and floor were painted in red. After some staying there the person became mad. This color is very well beloved by marketing specialists because it pushes us to buy things not even considering whether we actually need them.

Orange (O), the color of power, sun, related attributes as authority, gold, wealth and related features as leadership and superiority. A man can’t try on himself an orange thing and feel comfortable if he is not a leader by his nature. Saying leader I mean not only the power but the huge responsibility for how this power is applied. The good example is the Buddhist monks whose orange robes confirm their real power and moral leadership in the countries worshipping the Buddha.

Yellow (Y), the color of excessive emotions produced for people to see. It is one of the favorite background colors when the model should be too much emotional. The color of carnivals, shows and fun which is actually non-productive as it could force a person neither to think nor to act. This is the color of disorders with ungovernable emotional excess defined as hysteria.

Green (G), the color of nature which is in the middle of the rainbow spectrum. Green color forces us to be inquisitive and aspire to knowledge like Mother Nature is tempting us to investigate and study her phenomena. Would you like your child to be more diligent schoolboy (schoolgirl)? Put an item of green furniture e.g. a lamp, a chair or a curtain into the room where he (she) is doing the school assignments and this may help.

Cyan (C), light and ethereal color of sky. The color of information, communication and easy conversation. The color of luminous screens of TVs, PCs and smartphones caring us with daily news, social media and easy chatting. This is the color of to blah-blah-blah rather than to act.

Blue (B), the color of deep and calm water, tranquility and confidence. No one could swim in deep water if is not enough good in this or too much nervous. The color of the law and lawyers, rules and stability. The color of conservative British Tories to add. Use some blue in your outfit if you would like more serious and respectful attitude to yourself from other people.

Violet (V), the color of night and deep affections including voluptuous desire. The color of intuition, meditation and spiritual practices. The most sexual color in the spectrum. Don’t even try to talk to a person whose favorite color is violet. He (she) most likely knows what you would say prior to you open mouth for this and prefers to communicate without words.

As any water drop is unique so every human brain mostly consisting of water is much more unique in its temper and reactions. If a person is satisfied and happy with life at heart so the preferred colors are in balance with his (her) nature. If something goes wrong so the situation might be corrected by adding a color intensifying a weak reaction or an opposite color to relieve the excessive reaction. As the example a shy man could feel himself more brave if a red thing like a tie or a pocket-square would complement his garments in the situation where bravery is expected from him. Hysterical woman could improve her image if she starts adding blue and violet to her dress instead of yellow.

On my opinion one of the better ways for the product to attract diverse customers is the usage of opposite colors in its advertising and other marketing promotion and I’m always thinking about this when editing my pictures. There is a special editing technique that was brought to our attention by talented photographers and involves colors so that to enlarge consuming public. This is a split-toning when the overall saturation of a picture should be something reduced and lights and shadows are to be toned in different colors. Toning lights and shadows in opposite (complementary) colors makes a great effect of unity and struggle of opposites.

Thanks for reading,


Kyiv, Ukraine

Photo credits: Dave Bredeson.

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