A Glimpse Into The Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color

Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color

The psychology of colors has a profound impact on the choices you make consciously, unconsciously and subconsciously based on your instantaneous reaction to color. It Below is a quick look at general responses to colors based on research, historical significance of color, and word association studies. Different cultures react to colors differently, and this brief overview focuses on the responses of people in the Western Hemisphere.

Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Red

has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention, and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element. See more about the color red >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Orange

a close relative of red, sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually strong positive or negative association to orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger “love it” or “hate it” response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy. See more about the color orange >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Yellow

shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts. See more about the color yellow >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Green

occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors, and is second only to blue as a favorite color. Green is the pervasive color in the natural world, making it an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere.The natural greens, from forest to lime, are seen as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology.See more about the color green >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Blue

is the overwhelming “favorite color.” Blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed. The color of ocean and sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming; however, not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic — an engaging color that expresses exhilaration. Some shades of blue may come across as cold or uncaring.Indigo, a deeper blue, symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery, and spiritual realization. So, while blue is typically the color of communication with others, indigo turns the blue inward to increase personal thought, profound insights, and instant understandings. Blue is the least “gender specific” color, having equal appeal to both men and women. See more about the color blue >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Purple

embodies the balance of red’s stimulation and blue’s calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined, at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. With a sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of adolescent girls. See more about the color purple >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Pink

can be youthful, fun, and exciting, and some have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive. Toning down the passion of red with the purity of white results in the softer pinks that are associated with romance and the blush of a young woman’s cheeks.It’s not surprising that when giving or receiving flowers, pink blossoms are a favorite.Pink is the color of happiness and is sometimes seen as lighthearted. For women who are often overworked and overburdened, an attraction to pink may speak of a desire for the more carefree days of childhood. See more about the color pink >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Brown

says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic. See more about the color brown >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Gray

is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color. See more about the color gray >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - Black

is authoritative and powerful; because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated. See more about the color black >>


Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color - White

projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.  See more about the color white>>


Think about how color influences you. How does it influence your purchasing decisions? How about your appetite? Do the colors someone chooses to wear tell you something about their personality? I’d enjoy knowing what you notice or have experienced about how color impacts your life. Leave a comment or start a discussion below.

Continue Learning: More about the meaning, symbolism and psychology of color


  1. i really appreciate about this sensation of colors because i love different kinds of colors specially the blue color and pink.Blue color makes me reminding the past of my life….and pink which is my favorite color and green reminds men the green forest in my province…

  2. Interesting

  3. Caleb Penner says

    Hello Kate Smith,

    My name is Caleb Penner and I am writing an essay for my english class and part of the question is how does Disney use color to portray certain characters, more specifically in the movies of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. I was wondering if I could interview you via email because emailing an expert is a requirement for the essay.

    i hope to hear from you soon.