Wednesday, November 19, 2008

dr. roy g. biv.

In my Text/Type/Layout class, we spent a night being lectured on color. I am not ashamed to admit that I was absolutely loving every second of it. However, my nerdiness is beside the point.

All the colors were broken down into emotions and "reasons" that we seem to relate to different hues in different ways. For example, purple (or violet) is associated with royalty and nobility because wayyy back when, the only way to achieve purple dye was extremely expensive and only royalty could afford it. They would wear purple robes, as it was a sign of wealth. I believe, more specifically, it came from some sort of sea creature and they could only collect the dye in tiny amounts at a time.. but I may be mixing up my stories.

A lot of thoughts kept popping into my head throughout the class, relating - of course - to the treatment world. We discussed how orange is a color that tends to evoke hunger in a person. (Ah, and suddenly, my blog takes on all new meaning, doesn't it.) It is also an "approachable" and optimistic color. Red is also associated with food as many of the most appealing foods are some shade of red. I'm the kid that picks through the Skittles and the Starburst for all the red and pink ones, I'll admit it. And we all know the best fruits are red. Come on, now.

Blue, on the contrary, tends to turn the mind off to food. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no natural food that is colored blue. (And no, blueberries are actually purple.) There is bleu cheese, but that only further backs up my point. The only natural foods that show any hint of blue.. are rotting. If blue makes you hunger, you've got a different problem on your hands.

I find yellow to be one of the most interesting hues. It is strongly associated with anxiety, which I can understand. You almot get anxious just looking at it, especially if it's used to color a font on a white background. Damn, I hate when people do that.. (heh). It also symbolizes caution and awareness, as well as intellect and concentration. Probably a good classroom color, besides that whole anxiety thing.

You have really got to wonder if someone takes all of these things into consideration when they put together a treatment center. Maybe the dining room should be painted orange. Maybe there shouldn't be blue or yellow anywhere. Purple tends to have a spiritual and contemplative feeling; that might be a good one. Maybe that's why treatment centers often go with one-flew-over-the-cukoo's-nest white (new Crayola color), because then they don't have to think about all the effects colors might have. Who knows.

Just something to think about.


Kyla said...

this would be great info to pass on to treatment centers

Tiptoe said...

Interesting Emmy. I always thought yellow was a happy color? Isn't that one reason why many people paint yellow rooms for babies and young children?

Anyway, I do think color analysis can evoke thoughts and feelings.

emmy. said...

it's funny you say that.. you're actually not supposed to paint baby rooms yellow because it *does* evoke anxiety.

my teacher said it in a rather non-effective way, of course. the conversation went something like:

"you're not supposed to leave a baby alone in a yellow room, because they'll get anxious!"
"um.. i'm pretty sure you're not supposed to leave a baby alone in any room.. that alone would probably make them anxious."

purple is a good color, because it's supposed to be very calming and spiritual. of course, it's also considered rather feminine, but i plan ignoring the rules of color&gender when my baby comes along :P

lucky said...

sorry, I'm a nerd, too, and I had to look it up!!

kj_zoheret said...

I think people's reactions to colors have more to do with their individual coloring, which influences their color preferences. I'm a Winter (pale skin with blue undertones, dark hair, dark eyes) and I can feel physically attacked by rooms with lots of yellowish-green and orange. A family member recently redecorated her whole house in orangey-yellows -- "shades of pollen and snot," I groused unpoetically -- and it was almost impossible for me to stay in the house overnight. My golden-toned family members had no problem with it at all.

My two kidrens have totally different coloring. The Summer kid prefers blue; the Autumn kid prefers yellow and orange. It's been this way since they were very very small. Just sayin.'

DontPukeInMyWellies said...

this is interesting, I used to have a yellow room at the start of my ED - maybe i just enhanced the anxiety, hmmmmmmm...... I doubt the colour of my room was the reason for my ED though, but yeah....

Reagan said...

This stuff is very cool to explore. Personally, though, orange and red make me start to panic...

I've also read a few articles about painting a baby's room yellow to foster intelligence, actually.

And yes, the number one place(s) that need to get their hands on this idea are hospitals and treatment centers!

Just welcoming colors, that's all I ask... :)