A Brief Lesson in History and Science of Colors

Featured Image Source: Pixabay/Denis_Azarenko
Many people ask what fascinates me the most about graphic designing? Quite honestly, my answer has always been ‘colors’. The gradient shades and mix of rainbow tints have always appeared magical to me, inspiring me even as a kid. However over the years, I learnt that being fascinated with colors was not enough when you are a graphic designer. You need to be color educated and have a good understanding of color psychology to create winning designs.

Being part of the LogoDesignGuru design community, I decided to bring this knowledge to our valuable designers through a series of posts on color psychology. Hopefully, you will gain a profound insight into the world of colors and will be able to make fantastic designs.

The History of Colors – Long History Short

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to accredit Sir Issac Newton with the discovery of the color spectrum. From gravity to motion, light to sound and anatomy to color, he is the pioneer of many scientific facts. While he didn’t exactly “discover” colors, he did identify the components of colors and its seven shades. He identified the seven major colors to be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

While Newton is accredited with the identification of the seven colors, it was the early Egyptians who actually studied the power of colors long before this discovery and applied it to every aspect of life their lives. Color art that we practice today has its origins dated nearly 2,000 years ago.


Science of Color Psychology – Moods & Impulses

There is no specific origin of color psychology as a subject, because it is a natural energy that has been studied and adopted by Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Greeks and all ancient masters. According to experts, we all are our own color psychologists, because our emotions are related to colors.

Color is light and energy that influences and stimulates our brain through the eyes. When light falls on the retina, the wavelengths are converted into electrical impulses that are then passed on to a part of the brain (called Hypothalamus) that governs our hormones and endocrine system. When color signals trigger the hypothalamus we feel sad, happy, hungry, elevated, furious and even cold or warm – each color signal leaves its impact.

Red color might make us feel happy, excited or furious, while black color can make us feel sad and depressive. Though these are all natural emotions, there is a scientific explanation to how color affects our moods.

Over the centuries, it has been proven by various experiments how colors affects the world we live in. For designers it is necessary to recognize this, so that they can relate the right colors to various industries and use it to impact the target audience and their choices.

Hope you had a good dose of history and science of colors today! Our next post will be all about the seven colors, their meaning and uses in various industries.

Images Source: Pexels

Market research nerd with a penchant for graphic design and branding. A digital marketer by profession; a creature of the web by compulsion.

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