Color Psychology

September 28, 2009 | 2 Comments |

I’m making a series of blog posts that briefly describes many of the classic responses to colors. This material will be repurposed in my ebooks, DVD, seminars, and workshops. Your responses here may be featured there – anonymously. I invite you to participate. All you have to do is comment. Write the first words or phrases that come to mind when you look at each color. Then see how similar or different they are from other readers’ responses.

For more on color psychology …

Color psychology has many layers – pan-cultural, cultural, regional, communal, individual, and temporal. The mix is so complex that many are tempted to say “It’s all relative.” and conclude “Color has no fixed meaning. You can assign any meaning you want.” And yet, we can communicate with color. There are physical/biological and cultural/social codes at work when we react to color. Knowing what’s in play can help us see and use color with more depth.

There are shared responses to color (physical and biological and social). And you have your own individual responses to color. Changes over time can be tracked for more insight. Considering these aspects of color consciously will give you a greater awareness of the phenomenon of color and improve your ability to communicate with it. This mindfulness is something every visual artist will benefit from.

Over the next week I’ll be making a series of blog posts that briefly describes many of the classic responses to specific colors. I’m developing my sessions on color psychology to integrate into my ebooks, DVD, seminars, and workshops. Your responses here may be featured there – anonymously of course.

Check out my color sessions at PhotoShop World and PhotoPlus East.
Check out my DVDs on color.
Check out my free color resources.
Check out my recommended color reading.


  • I really appreciated your comments about the psychology of color. They struck a resonance with me. I’ve been interested in the neuropsychology of how people view photographs for some time now. That certainly includes color. But, there are other aspects as well. For example, we teach students in workshops that the viewer’s eye goes to the brightest and/or sharpest thing in the image. I’ve also heard that westerners tend to enter a photo from the lower left while Japanese people (and maybe others) would enter the same photo from the upper right. I’ve searched for confirmation of this but haven’t found anything so it may be a myth.

    My goal is to collect these bits of information, verify them if possible, and then use those that are real in designing images that better convey my vision and intention.

    I’d enjoy kicking this around with you and others who are interested.

  • trace

    I hope you’ll include white and black.

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