Psychology of Colour – Green


psychology of green

Green is a reassuring colour. Why so? Because when we see lots of green we know that plants are growing and food is abundant, nothing to worry about!

True green is neither warm nor cool – as it’s made from mixing blue (cool) with yellow (warm).  This makes it very balanced and calming.  But there are so many versions of green.  Unlike the colour red (which we only associate the name with a small section of the whole red spectrum which goes from burgundy through to pinks), we call all shades of green by that name.

There are warm yellow greens, and cool blue greens.

If you want to make people feel comfortable and relaxed, wear green. If you want to gain consensus wear greens or teals in low contrast to your neutrals.

Green also has a lot of cultural references which influence how it’s perceived in those countries:

In the USA – the greenback (money)
In Australia – the Greens (political party)
In Japan – Green Day (Emperor Hirohito – nationalism)
In Ireland – clover (luck)

These days we talk about being “green” meaning that we look after the environment and recycle etc.

Yet we can also be “green with envy” – it is the colour of jealousy. Every TV station has a ‘green room” where they put their guests before the come onto the show. Though these days most aren’t painted green, the green is supposed to keep you calm.

There are so many shades of green. From tranquil very pale misty greens to bright, zesty lime green, to deep forest greens. Each has it’s own message attached.

Green is the colour of growth and abundance (green thumb), but can also be the colour of decay (the yellow end of the green spectrum) or illness (looking pale and ‘green’ when you’re feeling like vomiting).  The fresher soft greens have been found to aid in healing and speed recovery from surgery.   It is the colour of being fresh and new and inexperienced too!

But you may also like to ‘get the green light’ and go forth and prosper!

Which is your favourite shade of green?


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  • Teal. Turquoise. Cooler greens. I’ve avoided wearing green but now (thanks to your discussions of color) I realize I can wear a muted, cool green and it looks really good too! Bright, vibrant greens are good–in small doses, but not on me, just to look at.

  • I love green! I gravitate towards cooler greens, usually darker ones like forest and teal, but this summer I’m having a love affair with mint (pastel cool green). I want everything to be mint right now. It looks nice with my dark brown hair. The only warm green I can wear is a dark olive.

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