Instructional design/Color Selection for Message Design/Unit4 Effects

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Color Selection for Message Design


Unit 1 High- and Low-Keyed Colors

Unit 2 Warm and Cool Colors

Unit 3 Color Combinations

Unit 4 Psychology of Colors

Final Exam!

Psychological Effects of Colors[edit]

So far, you have learned general effects of high-/low-keyed colors, and warm and cool colors. You also learned the effects made by various color combinations. In Unit 4, you will learn moods and meanings carried by specific colors.



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The color of red gives a powerful feeling and could be useful when you want to impress people.


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Red color is also associated with the sense of happiness. Specifically, red is a Christmas color as well as color for festivals in Asian cultures.


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People naturally perceive red as a color of danger, probably because it is the color of blood or fire. You can use red when you are creating warning message.



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Orange makes you feel the sense of energy. You can use orange, for example, when you are writing an article about the vitality of a moth.


Cariwest Parade 2013 Christmas Decorations in Funchal

Orange also gives a happy and friendly feeling. The color is often associated with festivals.


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Orange is the color of fire and thus conveys warm a feeling. The color would especially attract people in a cold winter.



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Because yellow looks similar to gold, it is often associated with sacredness. Notice both the pictures use gold yellows.


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By using bright yellow, you can create something unique and new looking. Such yellow makes the object strongly standout from other objects.


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Yellows is also perceived as cheerful. When you want to create a happy feeling, you can consider using yellow too.



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Green color is associated with the energy of plants and carries the feeling of growth. While red represents temporal strong energy, green conveys long-lasting, gradual energy.


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Because green leafs are usually young leafs, green color also convey the message of freshness and youngness.


La Magia de una sonrisa Swing of Smile

Because greens are associated with freshness and youngness, they also convey the feeling of healthiness.



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Blue has the sense of serenity. Especially pale blues can combine also with the effects of high-keyed colors and make a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.


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Blue is the color used in various professional settings and perceived as the color of trustworthiness.


Cold lake II Meander in the Bay shallows at low tide. (8500312368)

Dark blues, combined with the effects of low-keyed colors, could create a negative atmosphere.



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Violet is another color that could create a depressing atmosphere. Because it is a cool color, it tends to absorb rather than evoke energy.


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Violet is also said to invoke a sentimental feeling. As low-keyed violet carries rather negative feelings, you want to be careful about the key of violet when you intend to create the nostalgic feeling.


Church interior Amethyst

Violet is a unique color associated with spiritual beings or supernatural powers. When you want to make a mysterious atmosphere, consider using violet.



White flower blooming Behind bridal veil falls

White contains none of red, blue, or yellow, thus, it is uncontaminated and pure. Brides tend to wear white dresses as symbols of purity.


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The uncontaminated and clean character of white make the color a symbol of trustworthiness. The white color is often associated with medical practices.


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As white does not have any color, it could be perceived as boring too. Especially gray whites, combined with the effects of low-keyed color, could convey a cold or sad atmosphere.



Sad Grandma Serious woman

Black is the darkest low-keyed color and it displays the effects of low-keyed colors very strongly. In general, black carries negative feelings and atmosphere.


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Black is also associated with death. While whites are also associated with death, it tends to be associated with funeral rather than death itself. Also, in Asian cultures, black is the color for the funeral.


Indonesian President Yudhoyono, British Prime Minister David Cameron and International Development Secretary Justine Greening (8145398272) Anne Richard from the US State Department addresses the meeting (10840243183)

While black is generally associated with negative things, it is also associated with eliteness and intelligence. This is probably because people tend to be expected to wear a black suit in formal settings.



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In terms of its effects, brown could be considered the opposite color of white. While white is a color of cleanness, browns are colors of contamination.


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Because the earth color is brown, the color of brown is associated with bareness. Accordingly, it also conveys the feeling of wildness.


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As brown represents both dirtiness and bareness, it also produces the message of poverty. You would notice lots of pictures about poverty consist of the color of brown.

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