Red is exciting, orange is energetic, yellow is happy, green is peaceful, blue is calming, purple is mysterious – so there ya have it. We have colors with a side of words. One order of color psychology fast and easy. Just like lunch from a drive-thru.
Many online resources (color drive-thrus if you will) handily provide lists of words to go with colors and colors to go with words. And there are just as many color scheming sites you can use to fill in squares and rectangles with color to build your own creative palettes.
All fun, all great. But. . .
What are you supposed to *DO* with it; the words, the colors. Where are they suppose to go and what do they do when they get there – alone or in combinations?
Information about color psychology isn’t hard to come by, it’s what to do with it and how to effectively apply it that’s challenging.
When you’re a designer there comes a point where what you do becomes reflex. Choosing the right colors for the brand Hang 5 just happened. I knew what I wanted. Didn’t think twice.
So, how did I get to the point where the right words and associations to go with those particular colors fell effortlessly out of my head? I’d say it’s a mix of common sense, natural color instinct, and a lot of experience working with color across many disciplines.
If you aren’t super experienced with color or confident in your ability to apply color psychology, there’s a fabulous resource you should know about: Colour Image Scale by Shigenobu Kobayashi (1992-03-01). He is regarded as Japan’s leading color psychologist.
SHIGENOBU KOBAYASHI graduated from Hiroshima College of Technology and received his master’s degree from Waseda University for his work in the field of color psychology. In 1966, he founded the Nippon Color & Design Research Institute (NCD) and has since become a leader in the field of color psychology. Kobayashi is the author of over 30 books on color in the Japanese language, with total sales in excess of 400,000 copies. Kobayashi is also an active participant of the International Color Association (AIC) and a lecturer at the graduate school of the Musashi Institute of Technology.
The author is Japanese and one might think – due to cultural differences – there would be conflicts when it comes to interpreting color meanings and symbolism for use in the U.S. I’d have to say there are no major conflicts. In fact, this book illustrates just how universally the language of color can apply.
The book is bursting with colors, easy-to-read charts, and useful diagrams.
RGB values or HEX codes, etc. are not included. The colors printed are for general reference only but they are more than sufficient quality to make this book a great color tool.
Copies available as of today are pricey. This is not a casual-use type reference book. However, it’s worth every penny if you decide it’s a good fit for you.