Color psychology - or chromology - probably came to the forefront when marketers realized that they could use it to change the public sentiments about their brands.
Still, though, it cannot be denied that on a very subconscious level colors invoke certain feelings and perceptions in our hearts and brains.
According to Greek psychologist Markella Kaplani, color is deeply integrated into the natural human signaling system, which is a part of our innate need for survival.
“In more primitive times, we would use color to identify danger. For instance, a black fly is merely annoying but if it has yellow stripes on it, it may sting and thus be a potential threat,” she told StepFeed.
This signaling system, she added, is largely unconscious now, often escaping our awareness, but it has not become obsolete. It rather affects us on a subliminal level. Thus, color still has an impact on our feelings and, sometimes, our choices.
“Given my experience, I have come to realize that colors do have an effect on people’s psyche. I do not believe they play a protagonistic role when it comes to dealing with typical psychological dilemmas but I have seen that when the opportunity arises, the implementation of color psychology can complement one’s therapeutic goals,” Markella said.
Because of the cultural symbolism of colors, members from every region respond to colors differently. Here is how the Middle East, a region so wonderfully adorned with colors, respond to the different shares of the spectrum.
Even though red is the color of love and hearts, in the Middle East it triggers caution and can even provoke feelings of anger and rage. More often than not, the color is associated with evil.
“Red is viewed as a powerful color given that it possesses the longest wavelength. It can easily grab attention because it appears to be closer in our visual spectrum than it really is. Its influence is physical since it arouses us and increases the pulse rate, giving the sense that time is passing quicker than it is. This can activate the ‘fight or flight’ response,” Markella said.
When it comes to blue, the Middle East is not so different from the West. Most Arabs consider it to be a sign of safety and protection. The color is also often associated with immortality, heaven, and spirituality. No wonder it was selected to represent brands like Skype and Facebook.
According to Markella, “Blue stimulates individuals mentally, not physically. Typically, intense shades of blue trigger clear thought, while lighter, soft shades of the color have a calming effect on the mind, aiding concentration, serenity and clear communication.”
Throughout the region, yellow is linked to happiness and prosperity, with the exception of Egypt, where it represents a state of mourning.
“Psychologically, yellow is categorized as the strongest color due to the fact that it stimulates our emotional system. This is because the yellow wavelength is moderately long,” Markella said.
“In its softer and lighter hues, yellow can augment our sense of optimism and self-confidence, while it’s more intense tones can have the exact opposite outcomes on our psyche, bringing about fear and anxiety.”
In the Middle East, green represents the religion of Islam and thus most Arabs would associate it with peace, surrender, spirituality, and divine generosity.
“Because the green color does not require the eyes to adjust so as to perceive it, it is linked with a sense of restfulness. Given that it lies in the center of the color spectrum, it is the color of balance," Markella explained.
"Instinctively, we see green as a sign of protection since it indicates that as long as there is ample green in the area, there is water, thus the possibility of food. As a result, it appeases us on a primitive level."