Whether you’re thinking classic, modern, romantic, or trendy for your next event there is a simple tool that can enhance the mood: color. Though there is no precise universal emotional reaction to certain colors, neuroscientists have been using for MRI to study the relation of color and emotion for years. By simply looking at what part of the brain is stimulated by a color we can dive into the deep connection between color and our mood.
Reds – Are probably the most obvious to analyze. Reds represent strong and intense emotions. This characteristic most likely derives from the historical use of red as a symbol of war, danger, and power. In the evolution of décor since then, red has come to represent passion, desire and love. Psychological research has even proven subtle physical effects of red; increase in blood pressure, respiration, and metabolism. What most determines the specific emotional relationship with red is its hue:
Oranges- scream energy! Orange is an extremely stimulating color. This is proven neurologically; orange increases oxygen supply to the brain which has an invigorating and stimulating effect. This must be a result of its makeup: intense red + happy yellow. People subjected to orange have an increase in enthusiasm and playfulness.
• A warm harvest hue of orange is considered soothing
• As orange becomes gold its strong energy suggests prestige and wealth
Yellows- also energetic but more dominantly associated with joy and optimism. Those subjected to yellow feel warmth and healing qualities. But beware! Yellow should always be used delicately. Research has shown when overexposed to yellow, people naturally become uneasy and anxious. When selecting a hue of yellow experts suggest staying true to hue or a lighter version.
• Pale or pastel yellows are associated with freshness and happiness
• Avoid muted and darker hues, they can cause a sickly and unpleasant feeling
Blues- Peaceful, calm and serene. Blues also suggest intelligence and confidence without being too overt. Unlike the warmer colors, blue slows metabolism which attributes to its comforting effect. Blue also gives off a sense of cleanliness and purity.
• Light blues are considered tranquil and soft
• Deep blues feel regal and powerful
Greens- represent nature and growth. Most synonymous with green is fertility. People subjected to green often feel relaxed, natural and healthy. And for most, green is undeniably lucky! ;)
• Earthy greens (like olive green) are traditionally the color of peace. This is perhaps because it is most restful on the eye
• With the combination of blue, teals become refreshing, cooling and therapeutic
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Purples- the comfort of blue + the spark of red. Purple is synonymous with royalty, luxury, and magic. People exposed to purple often feel reflective, meditative and spiritual. Purple can also be incredibly romantic (perhaps deriving from its feminine feel)
• Light purples feel dreamy, feminine, and tranquil
• Deep/royal purples feel regal and luxurious
Black- is chic, formal, elegant, and essentially speaks for itself. It eludes a sense of mystery but unfortunately is most commonly used depressingly (i.e- death, grief, unluckiness). Selecting black is a commitment but when executed correctly is a unique and memorable choice. Selecting Black as a contrast will guarantee that every color will pop. Want the power of black but still craving color? Try your favorite color in a rich tone.
White- Feels pure, clean, and fresh. White is often used to represent new beginnings (how fitting). An overwhelming majority of people exposed to white have a positive reaction. Using white can portray a modern simplicity or a romantic lightness. White and Ivory are the most used complimentary color in an event pallet. Mix the feel of white with great color in a pastel tone.