Distinctive relationship between colors and psychology


My extended essay shall inform the analysis on the study of human mental state, psychology. But more specifically, I will extend the distinctive relationship between the choice of colors and Psychology.

There are lots of evidences that prove the statement of "Color affects one's mood." But we are not exposed that much to the statement that "Mood affects the choice of color". So in this paper, I will demonstrate the interaction between color and mood. In order to achieve this, the relationship between the choice of colors and the artist' mental state will be dealt in depth. Through this analysis we will be conscious that selecting precise colors can be affected by psychological study as mental state or mood can be influenced by colors. Therefore, writing words on the deep association between the colors and Psychology will allow us to access and understand not only the psychological study but also Art, especially colors, more profoundly.

In addition to a section for the abstract and the presentation of the topic, research question and approach, this essay will consist of three more sections, excluding the conclusion part. First part will deal with the question of "How color affects the mood". Second part will show "How mood can affect the choice of color". In order to achieve this, I will share demonstrate several evidences which can be easily found in our real lives. Finally, the conclusion brings a matter to an end that considering the psychological effects on the process of producing art works, especially choosing right colors, artists can create qualified and unique masterpieces which will clearly show how the producers feel and think while they are crafting work of art and considering the color effects on psychology people can take advantage of using color to the distinctive areas of psychology such as therapy or mind control.

The relationship between Color and Psychology

An Analysis of Interaction between Mental Statement and the Choice of Colors

When we draw or make art works, it is clear that the style of an artist is unique but his or her art works' component always alters. Even though a same artist produces several masterpieces, each of the works can upholds unique size, theme, mood, type of lines, message, materials and the choice of colors. Consequently, the question that comes to our mind is, "What factor affects the differences between works of art of an artist?" Many people reckon the factors that affect the choice of colors in works of art the most are external acquirements such as artistic knowledge, generation that artist lived, significant experiences or the inspiration from the other great artists. But I am willing to declare the internal acquirements such as feeling, mood, mental state or depression formed from the illness that has been occupied one's mind while the artist is creating art works can be the enormous factors as well. Then let us see the relationship between the color and emotion that is created by each color.

Color Psychology

Color is one of the elements that has a significant psychological influence on people. The theory that clearly explains the relationship between the color and emotion and psychological influence on people is 'color psychology'. Even though the effects that the colors provide to people are subjective, there are significant symbol and meaning that is known worldwide. Then, how does each color affects the human being's mental state?

1. Red

"If one says 'Red' - the name of color - and there are fifty people listening , it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different."

This is a quote from Josef Albers. As he said, red has a lot of meaning which are significant. Therefore, it is important to know correctly what red represents. First, if you want to catch people's eyes, red is the right color to use. It brings attention and gives importance to where it used. We can see this from daily life. For example, there is no doubt that all the warning signs are emphasized with the color, red, in order to catch people's eyes. It is the same reason for the teachers to use red pen to check the tests to let the students to know what they get right and what they get wrong right after the students take a look at their own tests. In the garden, red roses are placed to attract the attention. The terminology 'red flag' also stands for a warning of danger. The phrase 'not worth a red cent' stands for having no value. A quote from Derek Jarman, "painters use red like spice", also shows that red refers to importance. All these evidences highly demonstrate that red represents the importance. Red also represents movement and excitement. It increases the heart beat. That is why when people see or drive the red sports cars, they are more excited and enthusiastic than when they look at the white cars. The terminology 'red letter day' means a joyful, happy and memorable day. Red represents energy. One of the reasons why 'Red Bull' company used color red on their logo is to emphasize that this drink provides energy. Red represents a notion of the protection from anxiety and fears. We can see this from several organizations such as American Heart Association, American Red Cross, the international symbol of AIDS awareness (the red ribbon) and The Red Ribbon Campaign (a drug prevention program).

As we can see only one color red has several implications for different cases.

Here are two more examples that HIGHLY demonstrate the effect of the color red in our daily life.

- Why Do Restaurants Have Red Signs?

Which color comes to mind when you think of fast food restaurants such as Popeyes, Pizza Hut or KFC? It must be red. Most restaurants use warm colors like red, orange and yellow for their sign boards. The reason why they prefer the color red is because they believe in "color psychology" we talked above that holds that warm colors make you think of something sweet, thus bringing in an appetite. This theory is based on the studies of Faber Birren, an American color psychologist. Therefore, the function of a restaurant signboard is "psychological sales promotion" that makes people want to eat, as well as simply being a "notice board". Many fast food restaurants have their interior done in a red color scheme. Pizza Hut and Popeyes mainly use red and orange in their interiors. KFC completed remodeling, using a warm beige and red color scheme in 2004. It is said one of the Korean food company, Orion Confectionery Company, also considered this factor when they changed the packaging color of their 'Choco-pie' (similar to a moon pie in USA) product. There were many employees who were against the idea of changing the color to red like exported Choco-Pies. At the time, Orion's Choco-pie has already positioned itself with blue package as a long running brand, so red package was difficult to accept. Then a consumer research study showed that consumer's preference for red package was higher than when the package was in blue. Orion company boldly carried out the change and Choco-Pies became more beloved by consumers.

- Wear Red Uniforms and Win Games

Red is called the color of victory. On the 9th, the Korean National Soccer Team won a 4-0 victory versus Kuwait. This proved once again a common belief that red is the color of victory passion, enthusiasm, excitement, energy, action, movement, confidence,

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