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How Colors Alter Mood and Spur Creativity

How Colors Alter Mood and Spur Creativity

Vicki Santillano | Divine Caroline


This stark color carries many connotations with it, including death, power, anger, dynamism, authority, and seduction. Research has found that offices using black as a primary color had workers who felt stronger and “tougher.” People who wear black usually feel more confident and attractive (the slimming effect helps) and people wearing black sometimes seem more sophisticated to others—probably why the little black dress has a home in most women’s closets.


Blue is a popular choice for favorite color and it’s a top pick for creating harmonious, open spaces—the right shades conjure images of vast blue oceans and skies. It emphasizes quiet moods and contemplation, but it’s also connected with depression (“feeling blue,” “got the blues,” etc.). A study published in the February 2009 issue of Science found that people explore their creative sides more when exposed to blue. Participants shown ads with blue backgrounds preferred ads that emphasized aesthetics, such as pretty or unique images of a product, over the product’s technical details.

Colors have an effect on our perception, moods, and even taste buds and the effect itself is heavily influenced by what they mean to us culturally, socially, and personally. Studying color psychology and its findings isn’t a key to unlocking universal truths, but it might teach us a few handy tricks for our daily lives—such as looking at the color blue before starting an art project, wearing red to get more dates, or investing in yellow paint to ensure a successful soiree.

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