Monday, May 7, 2012

Color Theory 3: Harmony and Our World

Colors have such a deep connection to our history and culture that even beyond the physical reactions from our eyes to the different colors and color harmonies there is such a deeper meaning to what we see. The symbolism of colors and the harmonies make color theory an even more complicated subject. The basics, though, can be accounted for through how our eyes perceive and interpret colors.

The way we view color, or more specifically how we react to color is mostly based on our  the science behind what color actual is, how our eyes see it, and how our brains process the color.
While I won't go into the in-depth process of how our eyes receive different colors, some science facts helpful and interesting.

The human eye can see 7,000,000 colors. Based how our eyes are stimulated by the color that is how our brain interprets the color. This is why certain colors seem too bright or annoying, our eyes are being over stimulated. This is also why in nature we get signals of what's dangerous and what is safe, because of colors.

Also because of what we see throughout nature and what we use colors in our lives affects the reaction we would have when we see that color. Like when we see blue it connects with water; water can be connected to blue gloomy days or the peace and openness of the sea or sky. Plus your cultural background will affect how the meaning comes about.

With all the colors and the harmonies there are many different physical, natural, and cultural reactions


Warmer colors such as red, orange, and yellow appear warmer (just as they are called). More associated with happy, energetic, passion, intensity, wealth, and change. This is why, for example, that red can seen as sexy passion but also warning for dangers and stop signs.
Photo by me

Cooler colors such as blue, green, and purple give the appearance of calm and stability compared to the warmer colors, more reserved in nature also. This is why green is more associated with nature (go-green things) or why purple is connected with royalty.
Photo by me

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