Colors play an important role in our lives, both consciously and unconsciously influencing us on multiple levels. From the clothes we choose to wear to the food we eat, to the way we decorate our homes and even the success of brands, the power of color should never be underestimated. Here, we’ve gathered for you the most mind-blowing facts about colors that even the color-lovers among us didn’t know.

The Science Behind Our Perception of Color

There’s much more to color than meets the eye. Ever wondered why you perceive certain colors differently from others? Here are a few scientific pieces of information about the way our brains process color.

• The human eye can differentiate up to 10 million different shades or hues.

• Our perception of color is influenced both by light and darkness. For example, when a light-colored dress appears blue in daylight and black in the evening.

• Color can be categorized in two ways: by hue (the dominant wavelength of the visible light spectrum) and by value (the brightness of a particular shade).

• Colors can also be described as warm or cool. For example, blue is considered a cool color, while yellow is a warm color.

• By combining different shades, hues, and values, any color can be muted, brightened, or intensified.

• Color is the most potent way to induce a desired emotion or feeling in your audience.

The Evolution of Colored Perception

We don’t always perceive color the same way. In fact, it can vary significantly from culture to culture and even over time. Here’s a quick rundown of some interesting facts about the evolution of our perception of color:

• Ancient civilizations had a more limited range of color perception than today. For instance, the ancient Romans only had four distinct colors: white, black, red and yellow.

• The perception of color also changed over time, with new dyes and pigments being introduced. The invention of aniline dye in the 19th century, for instance, gave us access to a full spectrum of vibrant hues like cobalt blue, magenta and lemon yellow.

• Humans have always ascribed cultural and emotional meaning to certain colors. For example, red used to depict joy and celebration in Ancient Rome, while in China the color is associated with luck and happiness.

• Even today, attitudes towards color largely depend on cultural context. In western culture, for example, white is associated with purity, while black symbolizes death. In many eastern countries, it’s exactly the opposite.

• Color associations also depend on the current trends and fashion. Turquoise, for instance, enjoyed a surge in popularity after the legendary singer and actress, Audrey Hepburn, sported a bright turquoise dress in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

• Colors are also highly meaningful within corporate branding. For instance, taking into account the cultural context, red hues are typically used to signify passion and energy, while blue hues are often associated with trustworthiness and loyalty.

Color and Your Health

Recent studies suggest that color can have a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. Here are some examples of how certain hues affect us:

• Red increases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

• Blue has a calming effect and can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

• Orange enhances creativity and encourages people to be open and optimistic.

• Purple is believed to improve spiritual awakening and promote introspective thinking.

• Green is the most restful color for the human eye and can help relieve anxiety and stress.

• Yellow is believed to boost the metabolism and promote mental clarity.

The Psychology of Color

Did you know that different colors can evoke different feelings and emotions? Here are some of the psychological effects that colors can have on us:

• Red is the most powerful color, associated with passion, power, excitement, and strength.

• Orange is seen as stimulating, cheerful and friendly.

• Yellow is often associated with optimism and joy.

• Green is perceived as calming and peaceful, and is often used in hospitals and therapeutic settings.

• Blue evokes feelings of serenity and is seen as reliable and trustworthy.

• Purple elicits feelings of luxury and sophistication.

How Color Affects Our Purchasing Decisions

When it comes to business, understanding the power of color is key to success. Here are some amazing facts about how color can influence our purchasing decisions:

• Studies show that up to 90% of buying decisions are based on color alone.

• Red is the most attention-grabbing color and can elicit a feeling of impulse buying.

• Yellow and orange are considered energizing colors and can encourage vitality and enthusiasm.

• Blue shades convey trustworthiness, reliability, and security.

• Purple stimulates a sense of sophistication and luxury.

• Light-colored backgrounds often appear more relaxed, while bright colors can make an image appear busy.

• Darker colors often evoke a sense of professionalism and stability.

Colors are essential not only in our daily lives but also in the corporate world. From influencing how we feel to how our audience perceives us, color can be a powerful tool when used appropriately. This article has uncovered some of the fascinating facts about colors that even the avid color-lovers among us didn’t know. Now the next time you use color, you’ll know exactly why you’re doing it.