A recent color consultation and analysis got me thinking…about why we choose the colors that we do. Of course we can analyze, assess from various vantage points, provide argumentation to support our choices…but really, why do we just feel like some colors and combinations of colors are just “right” for a particular purpose, venue or view?
I think it all comes down to how a color “makes us” feel. What emotions, and sensory reactions we have when we gaze upon that part of the light color spectrum that is NOT absorbed by the surface we are looking at.
Take green, for example, specifically the fresh, bright hue of green the Client of my marketing colleague, (who had brought me in to analyze, assess and consult on her client’s color choice, and suggest a tandem hue) was drawn to.
Some of the associations with green include Life, Growth, Nature, Springtime, Immortality, Hope, and Resurrection. Not bad for a “secondary” color!
Green “sounds” soft to shrill, “feels” smooth to damp, “tastes” and “smells” juicy, sour, or tangy, and
can be “cooler” or “warmer”, “heavier’ or “lighter” depending on the ratio of its components, yellow to blue. Energetically, green relates to the “Heart Chakra“, representing love, sympathy and harmony, and influencing the heart, and the thymus gland.
What might one put with green, a bright, fresh green, that wouldn’t contrast with it so greatly as to change its character? Although green and its complement red (or even pink) are a dynamic duo, unless associations of Yuletide, India, or the tension of opposites are desired…another choice must be made.
Hmm…green and orange, green and purple or violet…still too dynamic…as both of these secondaries have red in them. Yellow would be too similar to the Client’s chosen green in warmth and temperament, containing too much of light and bright and luminous and warm. Yellow, I felt, would compete with the green, and not provide the contrast necessary for visual interest.
The Client’s brandmark is a penguin…ah…images of sea and sky emerge. I ‘saw’ a Teal Blue…that would contrast with the green as a hue darker in value, and provide a coolness that would more subtly offset the bright and warm green,
Blue and green both associate with Tranquility and Peace. They both suggest aspects of nature. Blue relates to the Larynx Chakra. It stands for Religious inspiration as well as creativity, language, and communication, (the Larnyx is often referred to as the “voice box”!), and it influences the Thyroid gland.
Blue “sounds” distant, or soft, it “feels” smooth, it “tastes” and “smells” odorless or fresh, to salty. It’s perceived “weight” tends to the heavier, and more solid, it’s “temperature, to the cool. Blue ‘s associations include nobility, contemplation, truth, spirituality, wisdom, dignity, trustworthiness, value, calm, security, poise, reserve, sea and sky.
We can imagine then, when we put blue and green together, that the effect will be refreshing, and “natural”, both warm and cool, embodying the warm, harmonious heart of love, and the inspired, creative communication of language, symbol, and of course, color!
If You would like to know who wrote the book on color consultation and design, please investigate the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers, and the writings and teachings of Frank H. Mahnke. There is a whole world of color exploration awaiting You out there…and within!
To hear more about color choices and analysis, the how and the why, tune into our Color Muze on Artistically Speaking Talk Show with Rebecca E. Parsons, , and hear how the amazing artist Jacqueline Moore responds to, and utilizes color in her extraordinary decorative, painterly and restoration work!
Give it a try…turn YOUR senses on and rock Your world, with Color!
If You feel so inclined…let us know how You do it!