I’m not sure if it’s summer’s approach here in New Zealand, but my love of all things colour is on the upswing and I can’t stop looking at images on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that are bold with punchy blues, pinks, reds, yellows, and more. Does this happen to you guys, too? This drive led me to wonder what it is about colour that influences our emotions so.
The psychology of colour has long been studied with Goethe and Schiller in the late 18th century creating the “Rose of Temperaments”, a diagram that matches twelve colours to human occupations or their character traits, grouped in the four temperaments:
- choleric (red/orange/yellow): tyrants, heroes, adventurers;
- sanguine (yellow/green/cyan) hedonists, lovers, poets;
- phlegmatic (cyan/blue/violet): public speakers, historians, teachers;
- melancholic (violet/magenta/red): philosophers, pedants, rulers.
In recent times, colour has been heavily used to market brands and consumer choices. Of course gender, age, and culture are a heavy influence on the colour choices an individual makes. As do the climactic zones cultures live in. It is noticeable that the tropics tend to favour bold and bright primary colours whereas the temperate regions are often teasingly accused of wearing and using too much white, grey, and black.
Colours can brighten a dull and dreary day and bring a smile to our face when we glance at bright towels, cushions, an article of clothing, buildings. The ancient and beautiful doors of Northern Africa, Middle East and India, draw so many people in. These colours evoke the spicy senses of sight, smell, sound of the souks, markets, and ancient cities of these countries:
Mellow colours influence me greatly, too. These summery popsicles in washed out greens and peach, cocktails in soft pinky rose, fresh-cut fruits in grapefruit, orange, and lime make me thirst for a gin and tonic on a perfect deck surrounded by home and interior design magazines:
Then there are the neutrals. These provide a stable yet still energizing shot of colour which may be a backdrop to punchier hues or can stand in their own glory:
Can’t wait for summer to be here so I can get out on my deck in my teak daybed with colourful throws and cushions and plenty of coffee or summery drinks and foods!
(*images not mine – source: Pinterest and Wikipedia)