Somebody told me the other day; “I’m very visual, can you show me how it will look and then I can make a choice.” Well, it’s not only some people who are visual, we all are. In fact, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. That’s a whole lot of percentage to ignore.
Being visual does not mean you know how to combine things to go well together, it simply means that is how you will take it in or interpret the information. For example–Ever had somebody read something for you, and you asked them to send it to you so you can read it yourself?
Another example is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or Frequency Illusion. It is seeing more of a certain item, when on a quest to buy it. Or deciding you are purchasing a white sweatshirt and now all you see are white sweaters. There isn’t more than before you decided to purchase it but now that you have determined it is important, your brain is cataloging all the times it shows up.
We are exposed to so much stimulation daily that our minds actually weed through a lot of it.
Visual information is absorbed and synthesized faster than any other stimuli, which makes visual content an incredibly effective and powerful medium. Another reason why marketing, art and design are so important.
This is why I think visual perception is extremely fascinating. It is how we take in, interpret, act and make sense of the world around us. In other words, there is much more to the reason why you like a certain color or why you see things more frequently when you are looking to buy a certain item.
In the late 1600’s, the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors, like the rainbow, when the sun shows up after a rainy day. Newton also found that each color is made up of a single wavelength and cannot be separated into other colors. However, it can be combined to form other colors, like red and yellow will turn orange.
Unfortunately, there has not been that much research in the color world, which is fairly peculiar since the presence of color is quite prevalent in our daily lives. But, there have been discoveries on how color affects mood, feelings and behaviors which is powerful information.
Although it can be subjective and cultural, there are some universal meanings like:
Warm colors (orange, red, yellow) evoke emotions ranging from warm and comfy to anger and hostility
Cool colors (blue, purple, green) are associated with calm, trustworthiness but can also be described as sad and indifferent.
Here is an idea of what colors typically mean if you are living in Europe or North America:
White: A fresh and clean color, often associated with purity and innocence, light and goodness
Black: It’s associated as powerful, elegant, formal, luxurious, sexy and mysterious
Red: Describes bold, attention-getting, confidence, action, passion, desire and love
Blue: The dependable, trustworthy, wise, loyal and faithful color
Yellow: Happy, energetic, joyful, intellectual color
Gray/Neutral: These colors are more balanced, neutral, calm and peaceful
There are of course, many variables to consider when you pick colors, but this can serve as a great foundation and then you can play around with how they are combined to create your own favorite palette, for marketing, styling your home or finding your next perfect car.