Image by Marie Vonow
The other day I read that if a person wears bright yellow underwear they will feel happier. This made me think about the influence colour has on our emotions.
Many people have a favourite colour. However, some would choose a particular colour for an item of clothing but would not paint the walls of their home that colour. For example, I love to wear bright red clothes but would never paint my walls red, not even a feature wall. I find blue, but not too dark and not really wishy washy, relaxing. My current house has walls of a creamy buttercup yellow but that is the colour they were when I bought the house. I have come to really like the colour.
Perhaps you like some shades of a specific colour but not others. The colours people like is influenced by personal preference, age, gender, culture, upbringing, associations and experiences. It is thought the way colour influences us is partly biologically innate and partly a learned response.
Some colours tend to be soothing or relaxing. Others are likely to stimulate and energise. There are hues that generally make one feel positive and some that can have a depressing effect. However, culture can influence a person's reaction to colour. Children may like particular colours but have different preferences once they are adults.
It is not just the colour itself that can influence how you feel. The shade of the colour can have a bearing. How much of that colour and the other colours in the particular environment influence a person's response.
Individuals can react to a specific colour differently. Some people have a tendency to prefer pastels and muted shades. Others like vibrant bright colour. A person with a classic style will react differently to someone with a 'hippie' outlook.
I guess I am traditonal in my approach to colours for food. Although I have tried black tomatoes and found them to taste quite nice, I avoid them. I like tomatoes to be red. I like red or green capsicums and green zucchinis. Other colours do not appeal to me, even if I have given them a go and have no objection to the taste.
Colour is often used as a marketing tool. Companies research the influence colour has on their target market before choosing the hue of their logo and product. Restaurants often choose the colour for walls and furnishings with the effect it will have on people's appetites in mind. Red may be chosen as research shows it stimulates appetite.
I have noticed how 'fashion' influences the colours used not only in clothing but in home decorating. Have you ever asked a shop assistant if an item was available in a particular colour or shade and been told it wasn't a fashion colour that season and therefore it wasn't available? I remember a time when the cupboards in my childhood kitchen were each painted a different bright colour as was the fashion at the time.
Colour has an influence on the way we perceive many things in life. Some individuals are willing to pay considerably more for a car in the colour of their choice even though they realise the colour does not effect performance or reliability. Personally, I love colour (some colours more than others) and am very glad the world isn't just in black, white and grey.