Communication through Color

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in ComLead, Integrated Marketing Communication

Communication through Color

ROY.G.BIV. Remember that guy from your elementary school art class? Well he’s back and he’s here to teach us a few things about color. The way that colors interact with each other and how we perceive them as human beings is fascinating. As a Master’s student studying Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), I am especially interested in how colors talk to me and to others when creating event flyers and other promotional pieces. 

 There’s a whole lot of science behind color and the way our brains understand and interpret them, known as chromatics or chromatography. This concept includes the understanding of color perceived by the human eye and brain, how color originates, the theory of color in art, and the physics of color in terms of its visible range in light. 

If you check out the color frequency chart in the top left corner, you will notice that the color red has the highest frequency, and violet has the lowest. Red’s high wavelength enables it to stay in the human brain for much longer than the other colors. This is why emergency signals are always red. Think about it. Stop signs are red. Red lights are red. Ambulances are red. This is so that we can remember it better and longer, signaling our brains to take red seriously. For more information on the science behind color, take a look at this article in The Physics Hyptertextbook

If you look at a color wheel, you’ll notice complementary colors are those that are opposite each other, and they’re the ones that often look best together, but not always. It really depends on the mood that you’re trying to convey, and it’s important to think of these concepts when you’re designing. How do you put red and green together without automatically signaling Christmas? Or how do you use red and blue together without giving it an American flag look? 

What do you think about the colors we used for this poster? Is red talking to you? It’s talking to me. Consider red when you’re looking to make a statement or catch people’s attention. It works. Science proves it.

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