July 30, 2016

The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color

Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. However, different colors affect us differently. Have you ever wondered why people wait in a "Green Room" before they appear as a guest on a talk show?

Scientists have found that actual physiological changes occur in human beings when exposed to specific colors.

The study of color is known as chromodynamics, and this type of research is extremely useful in marketing because colors affect our decisions.

'Color' is a visually subjective experience based on life experiences, gender, age, and culture. It visually communicates, each has literal or word associations, catchphrases, symbolizes, representing the seasons of the year or different environments, which will be covered in a later post on each color.

These interpretations vary from culture to culture worldwide and may change over time. Nevertheless, some general and universal reactions to color seem to be noted in most people.


RED is the most vibrant, compelling color in the spectrum. It attracts immediate attention and causes the pituitary gland to spring into action. It brings a feeling of warmth and stimulates appetite. It is a bold color. Many revolutions may have been planned within a red room.


ORANGE is an energizing color associated with sunshine. It makes us feel warm and happy and gives us a feeling of enthusiasm. It is a citrus color, related to healthy food. People who wear orange appear friendly, outgoing, cheerful, and adventurous. It is a favorite of children, teens, and athletes because of its playful, active qualities.


YELLOW is the happiest color in the spectrum because it is associated with optimism, joy, and warmth. Visually, it appears soft to the touch; however, it pops out at us, making it a striking color. It stimulates clear thinking and aids in memory retention.


GREEN is the color of nature and the easiest color on our eyes. It is calming and has a neutral effect on the human nervous system. Green is also a favorite color in hospitals because it relaxes patients. "Green rooms" are designed for people to sit, wait and relax before appearing on a talk show or before an interview.


BLUE is strongly associated with the sky, a constant in our lives which gives us a feeling of trust and integrity and inspires confidence. It is also related to water which can be a tranquilizer.


PURPLE is a sensitive color that encourages us to daydream. It may also give us the feeling of nostalgia, mystery or inspire meditation. According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors; however, purple can appear artificial to adults because it is rarely found in nature.


PINK is the most romantic color. Research suggests that pink makes people feel soft-hearted and calm. It is a tender and tranquilizing color. When rooms are painted pink, it reduces aggressive behavior.


BROWN is the color of earth and wood. It makes us feel stable, reliable, or sheltered. It communicates credibility, strength, and maturity and creates a neutral, comfortable and open atmosphere.


BLACK is the absence of color and is the color of night, darkness, evil, or death. It may bring feelings of despair, loneliness, or fear because it is associated with black holes, haunted houses, or villains. Marketing gives us a sense of perspective and depth related to formality, sophistication, elegance, or any luxury item.


WHITE is the color of the clouds and feels lightweight. When all colors are present in perfect balance, we see white. White clothing reflects light and keeps us cool. It is also the color of snow and may create a cool refreshing feel; however, all-white walls create a sterile or stark feeling that lacks warmth in an interior.

Color affects individuals differently based on their childhood experiences, gender, age, and culture. A visual experience may subconsciously affect the person's functions, controlled by the brain or emotions affecting behavioral aspects.

From infancy, we begin to formulate feelings about colors that invariably carry over into adult life. 'Color' is a personal experience. Everyone has their own unique experiences with color. The color we see is influenced by what we feel.

The field of chromodynamics is still not well understood. Studies are complex because human emotions vary from person to person, their physical biology changes, and their past experiences in life may be unique.

Do you find your feelings on each color different from your friends or family?

July 24, 2016

What is the Job of Line?

What is the Job of Line?

What is the Job of Line?

Lines have strength, claA and simplicity. In a drawing, they are the most basic form of communication.

Artwork by Christy Olsen

Think of a bird on a wire, 'line' has a pretty fundamental job, to hold up the bird and represent the wire; however, without that one element of visual communication, the bird has no place to rest and would appear to float in the air, leaving the viewer to question the context.

In a comic strip, lines can create the illusion of motion or persuade us based on their characteristics or types, but what other jobs can lines do?

Here's a list of some of the jobs that lines can do.

Contour & Form

Contour is defined as an outline, especially one representing the boundary of a shape. 

In drawing we use lines to describe the edges of a particular object. We also use lines to communicate where there is a higher contrast in tone or value.

Form is the visible configuration of a shape within a spatial context. Shapes are flat. Forms communicate where objects are in space with regard to the viewer.

A cylinder, for example, appears as a rectangle when viewed at eye level. However, when the viewer changes their position and looks down upon it, the boundaries change from straight lines into curves.

We can also use a cross contour line within the object to further communicate this idea. It defines the cylinder's top plane.


Is a course along which someone or something moves.

Lines may lead a viewer's eye throughout the composition or two-dimensional space.


Is the action of separating something into parts or the process of being separated. A dividing line may limit an area or force a divide in space.

A border, grid, or rectangle may be used to organize objects on a page in a drawing or help the draftsperson plan out a composition.

Decoration or Rhythm

Lines may also create a sense of rhythm, a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement that visually affects the viewer.

Lines may also be ornamental, such as decorations or motifs. For decorative purposes only, these lines are sinuous, graceful, cursive lines inspired by flowers & plants, typical of the Art Nouveau style.

Hatching or Tone

Lines close together produce a tonal gradation, shade of gray, or a single tone depending on how close the lines are together. These can be loose and gestural or structured and controlled.


Lines that repeat predictably create patterns.

They are pleasing to the eye or may have a chosen effect on the viewer.

Patterns can be radial or linear, depending on the type of lines.


Lines that do not repeat predictably create the appearance of a texture or a textured surface.


Or sometimes referred to as a 'schematic,' it is a representation of a plan or theory in the form of an outline or model.

A schema may serve as a structured framework or armature to build a drawing or other lines.

When drawing symmetrical objects, a schema or construction line guides the draftsperson and will help them to determine or correct the proportions of a symmetrical object. 

Construction lines, such as using an imaginary box around an object, may help the draftsperson determine how an object turns in space.

Symbols or Text

Lines may also create symbols or text within a language, which articulate thoughts, memories, or ideas without speech.

Most are familiar with Egyptian hieroglyphics, or the writings of ancient Egypt, where they used pictures to communicate words and syllables.

The more you study what lins can do, the more confident you will become in using them.