Influence of Color
is everywhere, but how does it affect us? It's already been proven that
color can influence our mood, our memory retention, and even the taste
of our food. The more we learn, the more we realize the possibilities
and benefits of incorporating color knowledge into our daily lives.
companies claim that people can make a subconscious judgment about a person,
environment, or item within 90 seconds of initial viewing based 62%-90%
on the influence of color alone.
research discovered that a yellow background with black type is the best
color combo for printed material. Tests showed this combination scored
the highest in memory retention and in legibility. It was also the color
that the human eye noticed first.
medical field has also benefited from color research. Although it has
been recognized by the AMA for sometime that violet/indigo/purple light
corrects jaundice, it was more recently discovered by Washington State
University that people can tolerate more pain, recover more quickly from
surgery, and use fewer drugs when they are in a room with a lot of greenery.
humans aren't the only ones influenced by color. The US Agricultural Research
Service Center showed that using red plastic sheeting under tomato and
cotton plants produced a 15-20% higher yield than those grown with traditional
black or clear plastic and that turnips grown under blue plastic had an
improved flavor compared to those grown under green sheets. Also, those
grown under the blue plastic revealed a higher concentration of glucocinolates
and vitamin C.
it comes to research on the affect of environmental color on the brain,
the scientific conclusions become more controversial. Though initial exposure
to environmental color
does seem to generate a given response, experiments have shown it to be
short lived. Take for example, the prison cells that were painted pinkish-orange.
Initially they did give a response of curbed violence, but when revisited
a few weeks later, seemed to have no effect. Researchers believe this
is due to the fact that homeostasis takes over and negates the effect.
In other words, they adjust to the color influence. In fact, some prisoners
appeared to end up in an even more agitated state.
has been found that blue can decrease the heart rate and have a calming
effect, but once again, only in moderation. Over exposure showed to have
the opposite effect.
color studies have shown that blue/green makes you eat slower while yellow/orange/red
makes you eat faster and more. (Ever notice the colors inside a fast food
study showed that over exposure to yellow can make you irritable.
far as personality types and their optimal environmental colors, studies
have shown that extroverts do better surrounded by brighter colors and
monochromatic colors tend to agitate them. The opposite was found true
the same line, some have concluded that the combination black-red can
provoke aggression, black-yellow self-destructive choices, black-green
egocentric behavior, and that black-white can precipitate neurotic decisions.
(This particular study was done for a large store chain looking to curb
shoplifting via color influence by use of interior design.)
research proved the once disputed importance of color for face recognition
by blurring images so the brain would have to rely on solely on color
to distinguish identity.
seems that the study of color does indeed merit additional research. Though
individual influences and preferences will always vary, a general understanding
of the influence of color can only serve to enhance our lives and probably
those of our vegetable gardens too.
are few facts about color;
Color/light can penetrate your body it has even been detected in
the brain of a living sheep.
Your skin is your largest photoreceptor, absorbing more color/light
than your eyes.
Pink can cause muscle weakness within 2.7 seconds after exposure.
It is believed to affect the endocrine system almost immediately.
Color/light can affect the immune system.
Color/light therapy is used for treating jaundice in premature babies.
Light-based therapies are used for treating disorders such as psoriasis.
Experiments have shown that red light can kill the HIV virus in blood.
Researchers are studying a new generation of drugs that work by interacting
with light to target specific areas of the body.
Red light has been used as a wound healer and has been shown to stimulate
production of cell tissue and promote the regeneration of skin and blood
- Is red
really exciting? Controlled experiments have shown that red does not
cause anymore excitement or arousal than any other color.
Is red a "warm" color? It has been taught to believe red is warm because
of its psychological associations with fire and heat .
Red is a significant color in every culture on earth.
It was once thought the fat of a dead red-haired person (presumed
to be of fiery temper) would make a good poison.
is considered a cheery, sunny color by Western cultures.
Yellow is associated with death in some Asian cultures.
Yellow is the first color to be noticed which is why it is now becoming
a popular choice for fire trucks in some areas.
The first flowers to bloom in spring are often yellow: the daffodil,
crocus, primrose and forsythia.
During the 10th century the Chinese adopted yellow as the Imperial color.
It was reserved for only the emperor and those he selected by imperial
In 16th century Spain yellow became known as a color of heresy and treason.
The punishment for wearing yellow was burning alive.
In nature yellow means "warning." Poisonous creatures are often colored
The combination of yellow and black warns of special caution (consider
bees and wasps) - it was selected for the nuclear radiation warning symbol
because of the natural associations with caution and danger.
represents the unknown, maximum darkness, the negation of color. Black
is not a color. Black is a neutral.
Does black make you look slimmer? Nonot unless you're standing against
a black wall. If you are wearing black and the background is a light
color you will look larger. An object is judged in relationship to its
similarity or contrast with its background.
Black carries negative language connotations such as blackmail, black
list, blackball, black market, black sheep.
Black is often the garb of the revoutionary, from beatniks to punks.
A black room like the one on the right may be considered sophisticated,
strange or downright evil depending on our personal biases and perceptions.