Colours’ effect on everyday life goes beyond art

Oct 15, 2021 | Life

Colours have an influence on people’s moods and it isn’t only about being aesthetically pleasing.

“Finding the right colours can be therapeutic and a very few people take advantage of that happy fact,” according to Janice Lindsay, an interior designer and owner of Pink Color and Design on Willcocks Street in Toronto.

She strives to help others learn about colour with her consultations and Power of Colour workshops.

“Colour choices come from a set of questions and observations,” Lindsay said. “When you personalize, it creates joy. Colour is an unbelievable superpower.”

She said when she teaches colour and design to people she always asks them if they took in the space when they arrived.

“At first they look at me like ‘what do you mean?’” she said. “But when they take time to think, it’s amazing how much they come up with without realizing they were impacted.

“You don’t notice it because you’re reading it with your heart and emotions; the non-verbal parts of your being,” Lindsay said.

Kristen Lee, a student in the Esthetician/Spa Management program at Humber College, said colour impacts her life on a daily basis.

“When I don’t see colour, I’m probably not having the best day,” she said. “But going out into the world and seeing it lifts my mood.

“I don’t change up my style just because my mood is down or want to be perceived a certain way,” Lee said. “I wear a lot of black because it makes me happy.”

Red, however, reminds her of emergencies but she said that doesn’t stop her from liking the colour “because it still makes me feel good.”

Colour theory is an art and a science. Colours both suggest different moods and have an impact on them. For example, pink is comforting and calming. The term “in the pink” means in good health.

A 2014 study by researchers Sevinc Kurt of Cyprus International University and Kelechi Kingsley Osueke of Zedrock and Herman Architecture in Nigeria found that red, orange and yellow convey heat or warmth. Blue and green are cool, with blue said to lower blood pressure and green symbolizing peace.

People often think certain colours in fashion don’t work for them, but others believe that is not the case.

Patricia Legette, owner of Fashion by Patti, a personal business and blog, hopes to help people find their best look without letting their insecurities or negative sides of colours turn them away.

“Primary colours, red, blue, and yellow work for everybody,” Legette said. “Start with one and work your way up from there.”

She said knowing the meaning behind colour and how it makes people feel is important.

“We don’t have words to describe these experiences,” Legette said. “So they’re often diminished.

Arianne Rivet, a student in the Business Administration program at Humber College, said when people wear bright colours, it’s perceived as being friendly.

“People have their personal preferences, but you say something about yourself when you wear colour,” Rivet said. “People stand out, are authentic to themselves, and feel comfortable in their own skin, so it makes them more approachable.”

She said although she finds happiness in colour, it’s a double-edged sword.

“It brings me joy, yet serves as a distraction at times,” Rivet said. “If there’s colour, it’s more prominent, and you tend to realize it more; it stands out.”

For others, there is no difference when wearing light or dark clothing.

However, Legette said society puts labels on colours, which is discouraging for some.

“Sometimes, when people wear too much black It’s considered gothic,” she said. “But honestly, who cares? Who cares about what society and your peers label people based on colour?

“Colours should connect with who you are based on your personality and energy flows,” Legette said. “It should resonate with your identity and what defines you.”