THE INFLUENCE OF COLOUR ON SELF-EXPRESSION
Design with clear earth tones, light yellows and clear colours in warmer hues:
- Clear earth tones (in particular mid-brown, beige, camel and tan) are warm, friendly and approachable.
- Light yellow is highly visible and therefore sociable, but not as demanding as bright yellow.
- Clear warm colours (such as coral, sunflower yellow, peach) are non-threatening and open, particularly if they are light.
Create using dark colours, in particular black, charcoal, medium to dark gray, midnight-blue, navy, dark blue:
- Appear stern and reserved. The darker the shade the more powerful, intimidating and threatening the effect.
- Create the impression of seniority.
- Create the impression of being in a position to make decisions.
- Earth tones appear friendly and approachable.
- Pastel colours are calm, gentle and non-threatening.
- Yellow appears positive and friendly.
- Bluish-pink is calming and appears non-aggressive.
Create using rich but subtle sophisticated colours (not strong or neon colours) such as camel, butternut, burgundy, salmon and blue-gray:
- Create the impression of having social influence and clout.
- Create the impression of prosperity and economic success.
- Clear earth tones (such as tan, camel, yellowed beige) appear warm, open and down-to-earth giving the impression of dependability and credibility.
- Navy and medium blue suggest reasonableness and professionalism.
Create using medium to dark hues, in particular men’s traditional suiting colours: navy, charcoal, gray, dark blue, gray-beige, black in Asia:
- Appear serious and are therefore business-like.
- Suggest efficiency, strength and assertiveness.
- Give the impression of commitment and capability.
Design with bright, advancing colours such as orange-red, orange, yellow and lime that are visually and psychologically compelling (but not necessarily business-like).
- Bright hues are often seen as playful, energetic and used in sportswear/team colours.
Create using muted colours, dark shades, neutral colours and dull colours:
- Muted, dulled colours (such as stone, taupe, khaki) give the feeling of a lack of openness.
- Dark colours suggest reserve and seriousness.
Neutral colours (black, gray, brown, white) lack character when worn on their own.
Design with strong clear pure colours, purples:
- Strong clear colours are expressive, extroverted and positive.
- Purple is the colour related to higher intellect.
- Purple is a rich “feel-good” colour.
Create using pastel tones, greens:
- Pastel colours are unassuming, quiet and diplomatic, calmly deflecting criticism.
- Green is a balanced colour which gives the impression of peacefulness and orderliness.
- Muted warm colours such as earth tones are centered and down-to-earth.