When we look at certain colours we feel certain emotions, but why is that?

Inside out” is an animated film that allows us to understand the value of emotions and our behaviour. In Riley’s mind, an 11-years-old girl, there are 5 characters, each characterized by a specific colour:

  • Joy is yellow.
  • Disgust is green.
  • Fear is purple.
  • Anger is red.
  • Sadness is blue.

Did you know that there is colour Psychology?

Colour Psychology was born because colours can stimulate the human mind the Limbic System. This stimulation causes specific emotions and moods.

For this reason, in the clinical setting colours are used in various fields, such as: the search for inner well-being and personality tests.

Regarding the first field, there are, for example, relaxation techniques linked to colours, in particular mandalas. Mandalas are artistic drawings that use the relaxing power of colours and painting to reduce stress and restore inner tranquillity. Mandalas have shown to help relieve symptoms of some clinical disorders, such as: depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Regarding the second field, one of the most known tests is the Luscher Color Test. This test was invented by the Swiss psychologist Max Luscher in 1947 to evaluate the mood of adults and children starting from the colour that is chosen. Colours are an important means of communication and are used to study personality even in those individuals who are not familiar with writing and/or drawing.

The importance of colours is not only recognized in the clinical setting, but also in the marketing setting. One study by the EMERALD GROUP (“The impact of colours in marketing”) showed that the first impression developed by a consumer is 90% based on the colour of the product and the brand. For example, Tiffany created its famous colour (“Tiffany blue”) mixing green and blue together; this colour is the undisputed symbol of the brand.

What is the meaning behind some of the most common colours?

  • Yellow conveys positivity. It’s used in marketing to enhance a few products, usually placed at the top so as not to be constantly under the eye of the consumer (as it is considered capable of easy boring).
  • Green conveys relaxation. It’s used in the marketing of health, fitness and eco-sustainability sectors as it communicates a sense of well-being and closeness to nature.
  • Orange conveys creativity. This colour persuades the customer to try something new and this leads him to buy impulsively (for this reason, this colour is often used to promote offers and discounts).
  • Purple conveys conflicting emotions, such as carefreeness and frustration. In marketing this colour is a symbol of luxury and nobility.

Authors of the article: Francesca Mosca & Martina Ballarini

Translation: Martina Fontana


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