The Meaning of Color

Color is a strong psychological tool. The use of color can send positive or negative messages, calm or excite a crowd, encourage or disenchant a sale. In marketing the psychology of color plays a very important role, for example: let’s take a look at “Campbell’s Soup”. Why do you think this branding image has never been revised through the years? When Campbell’s soup is mentioned this image instantly comes to your mind.

Different cultures have different interpretations of color; not as we understand the meaning of color here in the Western hemisphere.

Let’s take a look at how our world views color, starting with the absence of color or neutrality – WHITE. The color white is a compressor of all colors in the color spectrum. In the Western Hemisphere, white is associated with purity (wedding gowns) and cleanliness (Doctors’ lab coats). In the Eastern Hemisphere white has a complete different interpretation than the Western Hemisphere. It is associated with mourning and sadness.

When you think of power and authority what color comes to mind? If you said black, that is correct. Black also represents strength and stability, along with intelligence. Black is a somber color and has been associated with “the bad guy” or evil. As we know in the Western Hemisphere, Black is associated with death and grieving.

Red, well, think about the RED cars you see flying by you on I-95, usually a sports car. Why do you think these cars are ticketed more frequently? Maybe because red is a more predominate color, thus more noticeable. Thus, if you want to draw attention, utilize red! Red is associated with movement, excitement and energy. In China, “Red” symbolizes “Life” this is why in China many brides’ gowns are “red”. In the Western Hemisphere Red symbolizes “love” i.e.: red roses for Valentine’s Day.

However, a study conducted showed that Pink was the true color of Love. Did you know that Pink is the most calming color of all colors? The judicial system has been known to utilize pink cells to create a calm and non aggressive energy for the inmates.

What is the most favorite color in the majority of the population? Blue, yes blue. Why you say? Seeing the color blue causes a chemical reaction in the body which is calming. Blue has been associated with dependability, loyalty and wisdom. It has been said that all sports are enhanced in blue surroundings.

Green, as we all know is the “color of money”. It is also a calming color, thus is utilized in Medical design such as hospitals and medical offices. Green is harmonious, comfortable and nurturing.

Want “a new Attitude”? Wear Orange! It is the most flamboyant color on the planet earth! Orange is associated with energy and ambition. So if you want a“new attitude” utilize orange.

Purple, is the noble color associated with the Kings and Queens robes of past centuries. Purple is a color associated with royalty, representing integrity, wealth and prosperity. Another interesting fact is that purple has been known to stimulate the brain in problem solving.

So, now that we have reviewed color and what it means, let’s take a look at some ways color is utilized in the Hospitality Industry. For example, a fast food chain will usually select vibrant colors such as red,yellow and orange to stimulate the customer to eat faster and not linger.

What about fortune 500 Hospitality Facilities? When patrons dine at a four star restaurant, usually the atmosphere will be more calming and elegant with the use of greens and blues along with royalty colors such as a mix of purple and reds (utilized sparingly) to enhance the atmosphere and welcome guests to relax and stay awhile.

Thus, color has a huge impact on our daily lives..

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