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The Power of Color

Red is an engaging and emotive color. Best for restaurants. It is considered more disturbing by anxious subjects, and more exciting to calm subjects. Triggers the pituitary and adrenal glands and releases adrenaline. May increase blood pressure and breathing, and stimulate appetite and sense of smell.

Yellow is the first color a person distinguishes in the brain. Associated with stress, caution, and apprehension, yet it stimulates an overall sense of optimism, hope, and balance. Excellent for use in classrooms.

Orange has the characteristics halfway between red and yellow. It is one the best colors for stimulating learning.

Blue is the most tranquilizing color. It calms tense subjects and increases feelings of well-being. When you see blue, your brain releases eleven neurotransmitters that relax the body, and may result in a reduction of temperature, perspiration, and appetite. Blue may be a bit too calming for most learning environments.

Green is also a calming color. In response blood histamine levels may rise resulting in reduced sensitivity to food allergies. Antigens may be stimulated for overall better immune system healing.

Brown promotes a sense of security, relaxation, and reduces fatigue.

Gray is the most neutral color.

Dark Colors lower stress and increase feelings of peacefulness.

Bright Colors such as red, orange, and yellow spark energy and creativity. They can also increase aggressive and nervous behavior.

For optimal learning, choose yellow, light orange, beige, or off-white. Those colors seem to stimulate positive feelings.

The Power of Color
Source: Walker, Morton. 1991. The Power of Color.