Color Psychology

3 minute read

Let me first set the expectations right. This article does not deal with any Psychology Course; nor is it an abstract from any good book. It is an observation that has paid me appreciations in many facets of life.

First thing first.

Colors are important (if not directly, then indirectly) to everyone and every color has a meaning attached to it. However, the context in which they are used, changes its meaning altogether. Thanks to Johann Wolfgang Goethe - who was the first to connect color with psychology in his book "Theory of Colors." Not going much into history, what you can really expect from this piece of information is : color - what it depicts and if possible, where should it be used.


Black stands as a color of authority, power and majesty. It is not much used in designing corporate stuff as it also signifies sadness and limited scope. But black is more used in Fashion Industry, specially on girls - why? Because black makes them appear thinner. :) I remember priests wearing black dress, which signifies submission to God. An inarticulate conclusion may be - a woman who likes to wear black colored clothes - may be submissive to man. ;)

In the world of design, black and white make a good combination by creating a picture of sophistication.


Peace, Innocence, Purity. White also depicts light. People often prefer to wear white in summers - which makes it a 'summer color.' Majority of corporate sites are white-tinted - this is also because it reflects professionalism. Beware! Do not offer your Japanese clientele a solution with white color. White, in Japan, symbolizes death.

In Easterns, it symbolizes funeral. While in West, its a happy-time symbol: Wedding, angels, good boys (like me), hospitals, doctors and the sweet little dove.


Blue, a symbol of peace and tranquility. Use this color (and not red) in your bedroom as it may give you relief. People are found to be more productive in blue rooms (read: rooms with blue walls, at least in my office). Other sphere of design identifies blue to be cold and depressing. If you are seeking job, go with a blue blazer. Blue blazer highlights your loyalty. Remember Microsoft? Yes, the blue shade in website of Microsoft is called 'Corporate Blue'


Unlike Blue, it signifies faster heartbeat and attracts attention of the viewer. The wearer appears heavy and it is not advisable to wear it in important meetings as it does not help in negotiations or confrontations. Furniture decorations are preferred to have red color as it catches an eye of the visitor and makes it feel elegant.

Use of red color should be minimal in design. It should not be used as focal color; rather at places where you want to bring to a point. Red and white? Yes, it brings in an aroma of romance. Red and Black? It brings in energy. Do not try Red and Blue shades.


Green symbolizes nature, bright-side to an element. Green color improves vision and hence is 'refreshing color.' Often audition-waiting rooms have walls in green color. You might have observed them in hospitals as well.

A dark shade of green is masculine, conservative and implies wealth. Green makes a good impact on audience. Use of green with blue is a perfect combination (that is why a major IT company, Cognizant, has them in their logo).


Purple is feminine... Royal, Luxurious, Wealthy, Sophisticated, Romantic. You may rarely find this color in nature - hence some people classify this as 'artificial' color too. However, this is one such color, which is very much used in Fashion Industry.

Pair it with Dark Blue, Black for professional touch and with white to have a long romantic life. Beware of using this color with the Thailand people - the widows in Thailand wear this color.


Want to gain attention? Here's one more color. There are two views to what this color symbolizes. Few people find it as an optimistic color; few criticize it as color that increases temper. Too much of this color is not advisable. Use it in little proportion to just gain attention - not catch their nerves.

Egyptians find yellow as 'mourning color'; Japan finds it courageous, China treats it like green - nourishing, in India - merchants prefer to wear yellow and in West - like white, it symbolizes hope.

Selling colors:

Now, this topic can be a book in itself. But let me put it in few words and conclude the article.

Corporate Website: White, Blue, Green - show professionalism
Business Website: White, Red, Blue, Brown - stimulates interest
Fashion: Black, White, Purple - creativity