Let us take a moment, and imagine a totally gray world, without black or white, without colors or shadings, just gray. Gray down, gray up, gray in front, and even gray at sides. Actually, how would we know what?s up or where is down? Gray doesn?t have nuances of shadings or contrast, no brightness or darkness, but a monotonous unity throughout space. First thing we?re going to feel would be a static nature, total motionlessness. No warmth or chilliness, no emotions or perspective. Hence, such a space will have no emotion affect on us as spectators, not even depression as one might think. If we would spend a long time in a gray space, we would actually loose our consciousness, our emotional lives and our experience and thinking ability. There?s no life here, no light or darkness, only a state of motionlessness and lifelessness. Fortunately, that is not our world.
Now, let us step out of that gray world, and step into a totally different world. A new world with light and darkness, with the entire rainbow spectrum, including all shadings, with contrast of warmth and cold, light and heavy, bright and dark, up and down, with motion and depth, and most important- with life. When we come back to our world, we restore our distinguishability and consciousness, the ability to feel and experience, and of course the ability to think.
So how exactly that miracle is accruing, in a world that is colored with all rainbow colors where life exists with all its might, in contrast with a colorless and lifeless world? After all, we usually take the color in our world for granted, excluding sympathy or antipathy we hold for one color or the other. To answer that, and in order to find how the world of color truly affects us so significantly, we will take one color at a time, and try to ponder about it:
Red- Hot tempered color
Walking into a Red room, we?ll feel as if we?re getting warmer. Blood will rush faster and stronger throughout our body, our pulse will rise and our heart will pound stronger. At some stage we will feel the Red space closing onto us, making it difficult to breath.
Emotional aspect- we would feel frightened and scared, as if being attacked by something, wanting to run for our lives or kneel down to plea a prayer.
spiritual aspect- it could be said that the color of Red warm us, accelerates the bloodstream, opens blockages in body, soul and spiritual level, teaching us to kneel down and pray for the divine. Red color motion is in the strong presence it exhibits.
Blue?s cold nature
And now, let?s walk into a room painted all Blue, and stay there for a while. Here as well, we would start feeling unusual physiological sensations. Slowly chillness will penetrate our bones, we would shiver and cramp, blood will flow slower, and we will find ourselves shrunk in a corner, frozen.
Emotional aspect- we would feel detached and lonely, as if we?re alone in the world, shut inside a sealed envelope, while sadness permeates into our soul. Blue color?s motion is of introversion and convergence, wrapping up from outside, darker at the edges and brighter at the center. That is why when looking at it, it will always retract away from us.
Spiritual aspect- Blue introduced awareness of perspective to humanity, close and far, creating a space which will prevent claustrophobe feeling, but will provide a coat by the darker chrome at the edges. Blue is the color of soul, teaching us about devotion, or else we would all be enclosed in our own autism. Blue helps us to bring ourselves out and connect to the world.
Imagine us entering the same room, only now it is all painted in a strong Lemon Yellow. Instinctive feeling would be of bedazzlement. We would?ve liked to wear sunglasses, but there?s nothing like that in the Yellow room, and meanwhile Yellow gives its share. It radiates powerfully at us, nerve endings become irritated and our eyes start tearing, blood will rush to help the nerves calling out for help, muscles and joints will gain momentum from the oxygen rich blood, bringing to a rushed internal body activity, in an effort to cope with the strong light.
Emotional aspect- Yellow awakens, rejoices, opens, illuminates. It could bring to hysteria on a prolonged exposure.
Spiritual aspect- Yellow color is the light penetrating the darkness, light of thought. Yellow?s motion is of radiating from inside out, in straight lines as color pales on edges, opposite to the Blue color motion. When it is external, it radiates at us like sunlight motion and comes forward, being the last color seen as darkness falls at sunset. Yellow?s radiation brings us back to ourselves, hence we gain a sense of ?I?.
These are the three basic colors, Red, Blue and Yellow. The three have radiating character. Combining between them creates all rainbow colors and their shadings.
Green - created by combining Blue and Yellow
Green has in it a blending of different colorful powers. Introvert Blue wraps, and Yellow radiates inside out, introvert and extrovert. They both become balanced in Green, which we can see mainly in the vegetative world. Ninety nine shadings of Green are known, from bluish Green to yellowish Green. Green doesn?t have Yellow?s irritability and hysteria, nor does it have Blue?s melancholic sadness and extreme cold.
With this balance it creates a slow motion, inducing peacefulness. Green has something of passiveness.
Purple- created by combining Red and Blue
Purple is the sound of silence, creating a quiet and dignifying environment, bringing us closer to higher domains.
Physical aspect- good for therapy. A sore throat or pain will be alleviated with a Purple silk handkerchief. Purple?s brightness relaxes and supports meditative frame of mind, and when it is too dark it can evoke fear. It is considered to be an older people color, so it will be better not to expose young children to it, whether in clothing or within the space which they grow up in. Purple has a lot of darkness warmth, and some of light?s chilliness. On the physical level Purple is a liberating color. It brings something from the future, generating serious feeling and respect. It is the color we see in sacred places, priests clothing is Purple, sacred article wear Purple velvet. It is definitely a color which generates in us a memory of something bigger than us, and a sense of responsibility to the spiritual world, which is sometime difficult to bear. It gives us the moral existing in religious feelings.
Orange- created by combining Red and Yellow
Orange is a specially nourishing color. It has a shiny character, it strengthens, heartens, encourages, excites and gladdens us. On the physical level it strengthens the liver and warms, and on the emotional level it excites and rejoices. On the spiritual level it gives a man the power of iron and provides guidance to the heart?s courage.
Purple, comprised of Blue and Red, and the Yellow, bring all three basic colors together and create an experience of perfection and satisfaction.
Complimentary colors merits
Red and Green-
Green is Red?s complementary color, together they create all three basic colors: Green, created by Blue and Yellow, and Red. Complementary colors like a couple, always giving a sense of balance and satisfaction. In this instance, Red accelerates a man?s activity, while Green calms and brings a sense of tranquility. Together they are an image of all life forces active in any living thing.
Yellow and Purple-
Yellow?s complementary color is Purple. Yellow, as we saw, radiates powerfully from inside out, activating the nervous system, illuminates and awakening, wind?s light is radiating, thus creating self awareness. Purple is a liberating color and guides to moral and religious feelings. Together they create an image of past and future acting together. Yellow works on our thinking and Purple acts on ego and will-power.
Orange and Blue-
Orange color has a lot of heat, shiny and glowing, made by Red and Yellow. It gives courage to the heart and strengthens the liver, a very nourishing and joyful color. Orange is a fast moving energetic color, with no center or periphery, continuously expanding. It is very energetic, exciting and spry. It is very important for today?s humanity. Blue is Orange?s complementary color, moderating Orange?s strength. Together they form a powerful pair, taking man to spheres of courage and devotion, and of heart excitement.
These are the main colors and their traits. In a short glance we could see that color is not just a decorative or fashioned element, but it also has a great meaning for the quality of our lives in this world. Color can interfere or improve, if we know how to use it wisely and sensitively.
Tips for design and proper use of colors
Designing using color is more than improving a visual atmosphere of a space. It actually asks to strengthen, encourage, and create a harmony to fit a certain space. To reach a designed solution fitting accurately all needs, a few factors need to be taken into account: Size and Proportions of the space- ceiling height, width, etc; Designation- for kids or adults, home or office, etc; Energetic meaning- what king of activity the space will hold, activity and performance, motivation and ambition, focusing and alertness, pleasure and play, or peacefulness and spirituality.
After defining all factors in advance, and learned a thing or two about the meaning of colors, we would like to exemplify a few way of correct usages of color in the world of design:
- Nursery- the right colors for the individual characteristics of the child need to be used. Age, gender, temperament, and more. For young children there is no need to overload too many colors. Soft pastel colors will create a soft atmosphere, importantly radiating warmth. Over the age of seven a stronger and more varied color palette can be added. At this age one can identify whether the child has an active or restless temperament or a quiet or passive one. An active child will in fact benefit relaxation from colors like Red or Orange, being affected by these colors complementary colors, Green and Blue.
A child tending to be more quiet and passive will benefit from colors like Green, Blue and Magenta, that through their complementary colors, Red and Orange, will provide the child with a more active drive (works like in a homeopathic treatment).
- Study and Work rooms- here concentration and inner quiet is needed, which can be achieved by using bright Yellow that will sharpen the thought, and in addition a variety of colors in selected areas, in order to encourage creativity and inner action. If the room has a strong natural light it is better to use Butter Yellow so that the light and color won?t be too harsh, and if the room is dark Lemon Yellow or Cadmium will add light and warmth to it. Artistic articles or a poster with variety of active colors will provide elevated concentration and achievement.
- Offices- designing an office space should fit the type of work being done in it. If it is being used by the boss and his team, or is it visited regularly by outsider. Workers should have a tranquil space in quiet colors, preferably homogenous, with some warmth and happy and encouraging character. Color spots with paintings depicting the type of work being done in the office, as a motivating reminder, posters of nature or landscape can be used as colorful windows at strategic places, liberating and awakening in tiresome moments. High-tech offices can create a modern space and add touches of color as a contrast to the technological chillness.
Offices accepting crowd could use more varied colorfulness, walls in different colors, pictures and colorful posters with diverse themes will help the crowd to find interest while waiting.
- Various rooms like a Living-room- in addition to the color chosen for walls, curtains and furniture, a poster comprising the colors in the room will form a connection between the different elements in it, giving a sense of perfection. The poster could be used as the palette from which colors are used to design the room. A colorful and celebrative room will fit a bonding and social atmosphere. A quiet shadings palette will fit a more solid atmosphere, encouraging quiet conversations, reading and social games.
Restaurants- Red will evoke appetite, large pictures, large motifs, large and clear inscription in the menus and color photos of selected dishes will help dinners to choose their own.
- Hotels or Zimmers- paintings on the walls add interest and fun to the vacation, bind the colors of the room, creating harmony.
- Pub or a Club- that is where people meet to drink and find entertainment, to forget the daily routine, socialize and mingle. Darker colors like Titanium, Black, Red and Burgundy will fit. Dimmed colorful lighting will help creating a mysterious atmosphere and luxurious flavor. A large scale poster with a large motif as a projecting color spot will do wonders to warm up the atmosphere.
- Medical institution- diverse and delicate colorfulness will encourage comers. Paintings of nature, landscape and flowers will contribute to generating a sense of normal and lively space, uplift the mood and provide hope and encouragement, both of which are very important for visitors of medical institutions.
It is only fair to say that sometime you just feel like grabbing a brush and start painting impulsively, but if we consider that this creation will escort us for years to come until we decide to paint again, it is advisable to think in advance, and choose the colors meticulously. That way we will enjoy a space where color and design speak the same language, and will advantage from the colors astonishing traits.