What is color psychology or chromatic psychology?

Of the five senses that we have, sight is the main one for the human being. Color plays a fundamental role in our relationship with the world and has a more or less conscious influence on our decisions, interpretations or emotions.

The objective of chromatic psychology or color psychology is to analyze how colors influence us emotionally and what effects they have on behavior . It is important to bear in mind that certain aspects of this psychology are subjective, since they respond to previous associations that we have created from our experiences. There may also be variations in interpretation in different cultures , for example, in Asia the color of mourning is white, not black.

Some colors can have physiological effects , such as increasing heart rate or adrenaline, improving memory, or influencing us when making decisions. But, not all of us perceive colors in the same way . An example would be the color blind or people with synesthesia (able to feel or hear colors).

Since it is known that colors influence our mood, it is often used in different areas of our life to cause certain effects in a person:

  • Graphic design, interiors, fashion …
  • Marketing and advertising.
  • Art (painting, cinema, etc).
  • Business
  • Art therapy

Meaning of the colors


It is the favorite color for most people and is often associated with the sea and the sky. It is the color of harmony, serenity, security, trust and sympathy.

It is used by different social networks and companies, except those related to food, as it reduces appetite . It can also appear cold and distant, which is sometimes linked to spirituality and fantasy .


It is associated with heat, strength, passion, love, and blood . It alerts us and captures our attention immediately. It is the color of urgency , so it is used in sales or emergency systems such as firefighters.

It is also associated with danger and bravery . We associate it with vitality and extreme sensations. Increases the heart rate and stimulates the appetite. In dress, it makes us behave in a more outgoing way.


It is the color of nature and ecological, in fact environmentally conscious people call themselves “green.” It reminds us of vegetation, growth, freshness, healing and resurgence, for something it is considered the color of hope .

It is a color used by interior designers to create relaxation, tranquility and well-being .

It is also associated with money and poison , hence the “green jokes” or someone staying “green with envy” or “turning us green.”


It is the color of the sun and gold and is associated with happiness, vitality and optimism . The “yellow day” (June 20) is considered the happiest day of the year. It is related to enlightenment, creativity, wealth and abundance, strength and stridency .

However, it is a contradictory color as it also represents anger and betrayal , lies and warnings. Due to its intensity it can become irritating or fatigued, that is why in marketing it is applied on small surfaces.


Represents sweetness, delicacy, sensitivity and innocence . In our cultural context it is associated with the feminine due to gender stereotypes, which makes it abhorrent or corny for many. In marketing it is associated with the world of children, but also with romanticism (“pink novel”), since it reminds of the color of meat.


It is a color that attracts attention, symbolizes energy, extravagance . It also reflects emotion, warmth, although in an intense tone it can also be associated with aggression . It is also associated with transformation, enthusiasm, the divine and exaltation , which is why it is used, for example, by Buddhism.

It encourages the purchase, which is why it is widely used in marketing.


It is one of the least appreciated colors. Although on the one hand it reminds us of autumn and feelings of warmth and comfort, it is usually associated mainly with negative elements such as dirt, ugliness, laziness or vulgarity . Hence popular expressions such as “eat a brown.”


It is an enigmatic color and less common than others. It is associated with the feminine, magic, imagination, spirituality, religion , luxury, power, elegance and sexuality .


Like white, there are those who defend that it is not a color. According to physics, black absorbs 100% of the incident light, therefore, it does not reflect any wavelength of the color spectrum. It is related to night, death, evil, destruction, the unknown or sadness , but also with elegance, power and sobriety .


Represents innocence and purity , understood as the opposite of black. Represents the beginning, goodness, cleanliness, healing, serenity and virtue .

What you should know…

  • Some colors can have physiological effects (increase heart rate or adrenaline), improve memory or influence us when making decisions.
  • Chromatic psychology has different fields of application: graphic design, advertising, art, business branding, art therapy …
  • It is important to bear in mind that certain aspects of the psychology of color are subjective, and respond to previous associations that we have created from our experiences.

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