After realizing the possible effects of COLOURS on our lives, we can make use of them to improve our quality of life and our productivity. Next, we will touch on some common industrial uses of colour and how the average person can use COLOURS to our advantage!
Lighter shades of colours can be used on walls of small rooms to generate an illusion of large space. For added effect, another colour can be used on another wall in the same place as we perceive that panel to be on another plane altogether, expanding our view. Some hospitals opt for a light GREEN wall colour instead of GREY or WHITE as soft GREEN relaxes the mind, making it a more conducive environment for patients and staff alike. Similarly, bedrooms could be painted soft shades of colours to make it a desirable place to be in.
Our group did a small experiment on the effect of wall colour on perceived temperature. This was inspired by a common complaint by office workers that offices often have unbearably low air-conditioning temperatures. When put in a room that was painted sky BLUE, our volunteers tended to feel colder than when they were in a room painted PEACH. This was so as BLUE is a cool colour and PEACH is a warm one. The experiment was conducted at temperatures of 18°C, 21°C and 24°C (optimum temperature). So, companies and bosses out there may consider painting their workplaces BLUE to save energy!
What industries could have a greater emphasis on colours other than fashion and advertising? Psychologists have attributed up to 60% of our decision to accept something, to its colour. In other words, the colour of a product pretty much dictates our choices, especially for the more aesthetically-inclined females.
In fashion, designers often play with colours to accentuate body shapes and to hide the unflattering parts. Wearing a totally BLACK outfit draws attention to the person as a whole, making it the colour of choice for power dressing. It is also the perfect solution to look slimmer, apart from dressing in similar shades of a colour. The slimming effect comes from colour being the most outstanding graphic quality of an object. It overshadows outline, form, design and may be more attractive than the subject itself. Dressing in similar hues also gives the impression of a better coordinated wardrobe and good fashion sense. One’s skin colour also affects the choice colours of a person. For instance, tanned people should avoid dark colours such as BLACK, DARK BROWN, GREY and BLUE, especially when it comes to tops. This is to avoid looking dull. To stand out, the tanned could opt for bright shades of YELLOW, GREEN or RED. If they want to avoid standing out, earth colours like BEIGE, LIGHT BROWN and WHITE could be used.
Marketing strategies based on colour work especially well for females. Shops targeted at young girls are usually painted a light shade of PINK (and so are most of their products). Toys for boys come in more masculine shades of BLUE and BLACK. To draw attention, publicity pamphlets sometimes come in shocking shades of RED that warrants action. This is important as lasting impressions are made within the first 90 seconds of an encounter. Since colour is an important visual factor, it can also make or break the publicity campaign. Pleasant, clear colours should be chosen as the human brain requires a certain sense of order to accept what it sees. If an advertisement has too many colours in a mess, we generally tend not to have good impressions of it as it distracts us from the subject matter and gives us a negative feeling of disorder. Apt colour combinations can be used to attract and interest the target audience.
Are the colours of A and B the same?
When we look at coloured objects, our brain analyses its colour in its context (with the surrounding colours). Thus, identical colours may seem to be two different colours when their surroundings are changed. The opposite is true; our brains can be tricked into believing that two close colours are the same, with a little help from their surroundings.
This characteristic is applied in art museums, where they often put faded or old artworks under spotlight in dimly-lit areas. This is to allow the colours in the artwork to stand out and seem brighter. The trick of this is to increase contrast so that the desired object can be more obvious.
Occasionally, the fashion un-inclined will face the problem of not knowing what colours to match. Fret not, for an easy solution is here for you!
Step 1: Take a sheet of black paper or cardboard,cut out a two to four inch square,
br> Step 2: Look at the color of your outfit through this 'window' for about 30 seconds and then look at a blank sheet of white paper.
br> Step 3: The color that appears on the paper will be the after-image - a complement of the original color.