Your (very) individual view of a colour palette

on Tue 15 Mar


You may recall a lively social media debate about the colour of a dress back in the February of 2015. Was the bodycon dress blue with black fringing or white with gold fringing? There’s a very interesting account of this controversy in this article which concludes - “When context varies, so will people’s visual perception”.


It's perhaps not surprising that something as complicated as the eye causes some variation in terms of how we see a colour palette - after all on average it makes 200,000 movements a day!


However we individually interpret colours though, we can all recognise some 10 million of them (unless affected by colour blindness) and colours will undoubtedly trigger highly individual emotions.


So you may feel that green gets your creativity sparking, or that blue makes you feel calm and open to ideas... 


In fact research by colour psychologist Dr David Lewis (on behalf of Canon) found that 80% of UK office staff believe the colour of their surroundings did have a significant impact on their emotions and performance. Amazingly, when tested under their favourite colour in “colour booths” people were found to be 10% better at problem solving with blue helping brain function and red increasing mental agitation and tension.


What’s more colour was more important to women with 26% of them saying the right choice of colour would make a product successful compared to 18% of men.


In the summer of 2014 the National Gallery held a fascinating exhibition called Making Colour this showed the incredible journey made by people in their pursuit of creating new hues from artistic objects to textiles. The journey went from lapis lazuli to cobalt blue, ancient vermilion to bright cadmium red, through yellow, orange, purple and verdigris to deep green viridian.  


How much do you LOVE those colour names?


So, aside from understanding which colours and shades actually work best for your skin tone, have you a colour that always makes you feel great, or more bold, or calm?  I’d love to hear.

 And, if you haven’t yet found your best colour palette do get in touch!

© Melanie Brewer

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