Color Smarts: Colors & What They Convey

Our lives are instinctively tied to color. We may not be always aware of it, but color dictates our feelings and well-being. Their associations are cultural, economic, and much of the time universal and held unanimously. They affect everything we do from our buying decisions to our judgement of others. Color affects our bodies as well as our minds. They have the power to calm us, or stimulate our senses. We greet them every morning when we decide what to wear and bid good bye when we shut them out to rest.

Its been proven that actual physiological changes take place in humans when they are exposed to certain colors. Colors can stimulate or depress, excite or tranquillize, warm or cool, and even increase or decrease one’s appetite. It’s no wonder corporations spend millions on focus groups and surveys relating to color, their products, and how shoppers are influenced by them.

This infographic I made shows the most common associations:

Color for me has always been a conscious entity in my life. I see them, notice them, and analyze their relationship to one another everyday. I often come across an object with a shade or hue of color that stops me in my tracks. Sometimes it’s a color combination or subtlety of shades of the same color. Most of the time, I snap a picture with my iphone to analyze later. As you can imagine, I have many of these color inspiration images taking up memory space. So much so, I usually find myself deleting an old one, only to replace it with a new one

Here are some “color inspiration images” that have managed to escape the delete button on my phone:

I experiment with color as well. My house has seen many waves of painting frenzies. My passion is seeing how one wall color plays off another wall color, or piece of furniture, or decorative objects. Because of this, my house is in a constant state of change. It’s a never-ending project, however I find myself never straying too far from what I call my “grounding colors.” These are the colors that make me feel comfortable, happy, and accomplished. Their meaning is more personal than the infographic above suggests, but nonetheless follow the same associations.

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by Rick Funes.


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Rick Funes

PO Box 141166

Coral Gables, Florida 33114-4445