Psychology of Colour

A major part of my project is centred around colour. I’ve been spending so much time in the glaze mixing room trying to develop different colours and shades that represent the seasons, this process is very technical with weighing and measuring and recording kiln temperatures and timing that I wanted to step back from it all and just look at colours, what they signify and represent. Therefore this blog post is going to just look at the psychology of colour and what each colour represents.

colour wheel

The whole subject matter around colour theory and psychology of colour is a huge subject matter on its own. I will not be going into too much detail  but will make pointers on what each colour represents.



Attract immediate attention – excitement – speed – danger – warmth – hot – strong

Vibrates within own space.



Positive associations – uplifting and social colour. Navy commands respect – loyal – trustworthiness – blue can make a space look larger



Yellow is psychologically the happiest colour – warmth – joy – optimism – visually pops out.

Yellow adds vitality to other colours, it can make hot colours hotter and bring cool colours to life.



Stimulating – energising – friendly – outgoing – autumnal colour – easy on the eye – spicy – warm – playful active qualities



Pale green is physically the most relaxing and calming colour – vibrant green remind people of spring, nature and life – Darker greens are associated with economic status and success.

Green is world wide symbol for safety.



Royal – exudes class – power – passion – luxury

Deep purple = spiritual and mysterious and dignifies

Lavenders = sweet romantic and nostalgic



Most passive colour – feminine colour – nurturing and compassion

Pink calms and sooths – Shocking pink has higher concentration of red making it appear energetic, fun and trendy.


A warm comforting colour – Earthy, hearty and homely. Brown clothing makes people look approachable reliable and sincere.

Masculine, rugged quality



Formal – dignified and conservative. Used alone its seen as solemn, remote and gloomy.

Wisdom – maturity.


whitePurity – innocence – goodness and truth.

White is a neutral colour but seen as cold as associated with Ice and snow

Simplicity – sterility – safety


blackMost authoritative – intimidating colour

Conservative – serious – dignified – formal

Black gives a feeling of weight and depth.


We all have a strong psychological reaction to colour. Research shows that this is partly physiological, based on the effect colour has on our eyes and nervous system, and partly influenced by our environment and life experiences.

This shows that by using just colour alone I can provoke feelings of warmth (reds, oranges and yellows) for the summer range and cold feeling (blues and whites) for my  winter range. Colour alone can be provoke very strong feelings!



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