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How to Use Colour to Influence Productivity and Perception

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Angela Wright, a renowned colour psychologist, proposed that colour’s effect on us goes beyond sight alone, and reaches to the intricacies of our psychology.

It’s the first thing humanity instinctively looks to for the information we need, to know how to respond to anything that confronts us.

Think about a stop sign, for example, or a set of traffic lights. What colour comes to mind? What action does it drive you to do?

Between the science of photons and wavelengths, electrical impulses and the hypothalamus, lies a common bottom line: colour profoundly affects your behaviour.

How are you using colour to influence behaviour?

Published in: Career

How to Use Colour to Influence Productivity and Perception

  1. 1. HOW TO USE COLOURTO INFLUENCE PRODUCTIVITY AND PERCEPTION
  2. 2. DID YOU KNOW? THE FOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL PRIMARIES AFFECT YOU IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: Body RED Emotions YELLOW Mind BLUE Balance of Body/ Mind/Emotions GREEN
  3. 3. COLOUR CAN AFFECT ANYTHING FROM DAILY PRODUCTIVITY TO BRAND PERCEPTION AND DECISION-MAKING.
  4. 4. RED THE BODY
  5. 5. WHAT DOES IT DO? • Increases heart rate and blood flow • Attracts immediate attention • Triggers “fight or flight” response • Prompts automatic physical response RED THE BODY
  6. 6. USE IT TO • Encourage physical activity • Evoke a physical response • Drive action E.g. Stop signs and traffic lights DO NOT USE IT IN • Potentially stressful situations - red will emphasise that feeling (e.g. task management software, performance reports, etc.) RED THE BODY There’s method behind why Virgin Active uses red: it’s the colour that promotes being physically active.
  7. 7. YOUR RED STRATEGY Use red to draw attention, get an immediate reaction or encourage physical activity. 1 Identify what you need to draw immediate attention to e.g. emergency notices, important tasks, crucial reminders 2 Combine it with yellow, to inject high energy into creativity HOW TO USE IT PLANT-POTS STICKY NOTES AN “URGENT” PINBOARD RED PINS
  8. 8. BLUE THE MIND
  9. 9. WHAT DOES IT DO? • Creates calm • Encourages clarity • Enhances mental focus • Heightens productivity in mind-related tasks BLUE THE MIND Accountants, for example, undertake numerous mind-heavy tasks every day. Blue, therefore, could work for maintaining a calm but sharp focus. WANT TO FOCUS ON REMEMBERING ANYONE’S NAME?
  10. 10. USE IT IN • A situation that calls for mental concentration • A space designed for relaxing • Creative problem-solving DO NOT USE IT TO • Create energy • Signify urgency Did you know? Blue is overwhelmingly the world’s favourite colour, and almost nobody has a blue deficiency, which means that the majority of people can distinguish blue from other colours. BLUE THE MIND
  11. 11. YOUR BLUE STRATEGY If your mind is right, your body will follow. 1 Identify areas where you want to feel either relaxed or focused Remember: Intense variations of this colour lend more to focus and clarity, while softer variations encourage relaxation. 2 Combine it with green, to emphasise relaxation and reassurance. HOW TO USE IT FURNITUREBOLDLY-COLOURED PORTRAITS BLUE PEN
  12. 12. YELLOW THE EMOTIONS
  13. 13. WHAT DOES IT DO? • Inspires optimism • Creates happiness • Encourages self-esteem • Heightens creativity YELLOW THE EMOTIONS “It takes guts to be creative and come up with something new - that’s why yellow works in that (a creative) environment” - ANGELA WRIGHT, COLOUR PSYCHOLOGIST
  14. 14. USE IT IN • A space that calls for creativity (design studio, inspiration board) • A space that encourages optimism and happiness DO NOT USE IT • In a decision-making space, where emotion could cloud facts • In large amounts, as this can create feelings of frustration or irritation Did you know? It is widely accepted that babies cry more in predominantly yellow rooms. YELLOW THE EMOTIONS
  15. 15. YOUR YELLOW STRATEGY Optimising your emotions to positively affect your body and mind. 1 Identify areas that could benefit from creativity and optimism Remember: Use yellow in small amounts to avoid negative emotions. 2 Combine it with blue, to emphasise the creative element of problem-solving. HOW TO USE IT Use in moderation. Think of how something as simple as a sunflower can brighten the mood of a room. WANT TO LEARN 3 HOLISTIC CAREER HACKS FOR A HAPPY WORKING LIFE?
  16. 16. GREEN THE BALANCE
  17. 17. WHAT DOES IT DO? • Creates balance between colour responses (body, mind, emotion) • Reassures and calms • Encourages efficiency GREEN THE BALANCE Did you know? The colour green is known to place low stress on the eyes, and so can be used to combat eye fatigue
  18. 18. USE IT IN • Environments where eyes experience strain - i.e. where people stare at screens for long durations • Places where money changes hands (to create reassurance) • Urban spaces that could benefit from a link back to nature DO NOT USE IT • For people who are action-orientated (Those who respond to red) • In a situation that is potentially stagnant or bland GREEN THE BALANCE
  19. 19. YOUR GREEN STRATEGY Strike a balance. 1 Identify where you need to maintain a balance between body, mind and emotions. Remember: Too much green can create blandness, especially for people who respond well to action-colours 2 Combine it with blue, to create a feeling of calm efficiency HOW TO USE IT PLANTS IN YOUR OFFICE OR HOME WANT TO HEAR FROM A REAL PERSON ABOUT ACHIEVING WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
  20. 20. Improving lives through better education GetSmarter collaborates with the world’s leading universities to offer the highest quality, career-focused online short courses. Acquire new skills and advance your career with us today. www.getsmarter.ac

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