It’s winter and we could all use a little more color to brighten our day . . . yes, even my West Coast friends! Just as the sun affects our moods, gazing at, wearing or surrounding ourselves with certain colors evokes different feelings. Check out my post on Colorstrology for details on the intriguing belief that we are connected to certain colors based on our birthdays.
We use color to distinguish between teams (Go Blue and Silver!), to hide pounds, to accentuate curves, to decorate rooms, to mark occasions. Just as I can’t imagine a world without music, a world without color would be a world with less smiles.
Advertisers, marketers, actors and musicians strategically use color to evoke a response from their audiences. As a semester opener for my communication classes, I ask my students to answer the following questions about colors. There are no right or wrong answers but these spawn thought and discussion as to how we can subtly use color to evoke desired responses when conveying messages. I give students slips of paper with a different color labeled on each. They answer the questions below according to their given color.
It’s your turn. Pick a color, any color, and replace the X with that color. Complete the rest of the sentence with that color in mind.
- The personality of a person whose favorite color is X may best be described as ____________________, ____________________ and ____________________.
- The personality of a person who has an extreme dislike for X may best be described as ____________________, _________________, and _______________________.
- When I visualize X, my thoughts and feelings can best be described as: ___________________________, ______________________, and __________________________________.
- My first impression of a book whose cover is X is that the book is _________________________________.
- My first impression of a woman who wears X a great deal is that the woman is ________________________.
- My first impression of a man who wears X a great deal is that the man is ___________________________.
Color for thought:
~Do certain colors appear masculine (or communicate masculinity in some way) and certain colors appear feminine (or communicate femininity in some way)?
~Which colors would you categorize as masculine? Why?
~Which colors would you categorize as feminine? Why?
What colors would you use to communicate the following feelings and characteristics? Why?
d. Sex appeal
What colors would you use to package the following products? Why?
a. a new and powerful detergent
b. an expensive line of chocolate chip cookies
c. an extremely powerful personal computer
d. a mild liquid laxative
e. an expensive gold watch
GG’s reflection questions:
How universal do you think the impressions that people get from various colors are? For example, do men and women get the same impressions on the basis of color? Would young and old derive the same impressions? Would members of different cultures?
Comment your responses. This is fun!