If you didn’t see part 1 of this colour psychology article, then click here first.
With the colour green there is the possibility of mixed messages, on the one hand it is tied to negative emotions like envy, greed and jealousy, but on the other hand it is seen as a balancing natural colour that invokes positive mental energy. No retina adjustment is needed to see the colour green so it is a completely restful colour for the eyes. It is a colour associated with nature and the environment and there are positive connotations in ‘being green’. In time gone by green was seen as a poisonous colour, but today much of our great nutrition is derived from leafy green foods. On a psychological level humans are programmed to react in two ways to the colour – to both embrace it and to retract from it, so when using the colour the shade should be selected with care.
Orange is a funny colour – it is closely associated with red and yellow and yet has none of the impact of either shade. It is a bright colour and is considered to be uplifting and cheerful; it is also associated with warmth, shelter, comfort and security. It is good to use a very pure version of the colour that will provide a sensual and rich look, as opposed to a more muddy shade that can feel cheap and irritating.
Purple is the colour of royalty! It has also long been associated with spirituality and religion. Red and Blue are opposites of each other on the colour spectrum and in terms of the emotions they bring out, but when they are combined they promote peace, high self-esteem and emotional calm.
The colour brown is associated with the Earth it is a very grounding, strong and practical colour. Our houses are very often made with brown bricks giving it close associations to shelter and comfort. Whilst it can sometimes be painted as a muddy colour of melancholy, it is also associated with luxury items like metallic paints, copper, chocolate and coffee.
Grey is a very neutral colour, we might associate it with sadness, bad weather and indecision (it’s not black and white – there are only shades of grey…), but it can also be a colour that denotes wisdom and intellect.
Black is largely seen as a negative colour – black magic, death, funerals, darkness, and bad moods and so on. But on the other hand black is a psychically protective colour, it is widely used by fashion and in lifestyle – décor, car choices and in these terms often represents luxury and high end. Black is an absorber of light and so does need to be used carefully, but really the colour perceived is mainly dependent on the aspect of life it is viewed from.
White literally is the opposite of black, in décor it represents sleekness and clean lines; in life it demonstrates purity and is an aspirational colour. It is seen as pure as it is totally reflective. It can be a harsh or demanding colour – be it in décor or in clothing, but generally speaking in Western society there are no real negatives to any hue of white.
Ref: Colour Therapy: The Symbolism, use and healing effects of colour