Color meanings matter. They affect people’s moods, perceptions, and emotions. When it comes to choosing colors for anything, whether we’re picking out clothes or the color of a new room, colors can have a big impact on our lives. Other people will also be affected, so you want to pick out colors that convey the right message and the right meaning. Here are the basic meanings of the most important colors:
Red is an action-oriented color, that’s associated with anger, passion, desire, sex, energy, and love. Done right, this color can inspire passion and communicate sensuality.
However, it’s a very intense color, so it needs to be used with care. Dark reds are earthier and are associated with vigor, rage, willpower, and leadership. The lighter red colors are, unsurprisingly, “lighter” and lean towards friendship, youth, sexuality, and sensitivity.
Blue is a calming color, which calls to mind the ocean, the sky, air, purity, trust, and stability. Many companies use blue to communicate trustworthiness and to convey a sense of security.
While red colors make hearts beat faster and increase the metabolism towards energetic emotions, blues have the opposite effect. Heart beats slow down, appetites are suppressed, and people relax.
Darker blues communicate stability and strength, while lighter blues imply softness, healing, and tranquility.
Yellow means happiness, prosperity, consciousness, and cheerfulness. It is associated with sunshine and gold on the positive side, and can be used to represent wealth, intelligence, and positive emotions.
On the other hand, it is also a cautionary color, used in stoplights and on traffic signs. The brighter the yellow, the brighter the emotion. Dull yellows can represent decay, disease, and age. Many people don’t know that yellow is also one of the most effective colors used in sales. When selling a product or service, yellow is often incorporated.
Green is associated with grass, growth, plants, and nature. Similar to blue, it can be a healing color, but its association with natural abundance also makes it a good color to represent wealth. It can also represent trust and harmony.
Typically, green is a neutral color, but other shades can convey other meanings. Certain shades of green can look sickly and convey cowardice, jealousy, and ambition.
If blue is pure, then white is purer. The color white is the absence of color, so it can convey perfection and completion. It is even cleaner than blue, which is why white is common in many health care fields.
Too much white can be sterile or overdone, but, for the most part, white is a positive color that conveys safety and lightness.
Black is the most mysterious color, referring to the unknown and the hidden. As opposed to white, which reveals, black hides. This can be used to convey discipline, authority, and strength.
White is associated with life, but black is associated with death. Since black absorbs light, it shrinks space. This can be good for clothing if one wants to look thinner, but bad for rooms, since the rooms will seem smaller.