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4 Ways to Improve Creativity with Color

25 de October del 2016 Productivity
The relationship between color and human psychology is well-documented. We see it in practice every single day as we go about our normal routines. Whether you like it or not, every time you see a brand logo, advertising or a well thought out website, the colors used in the design are impacting the way you feel about that brand, product or website.

You’re probably already familiar with some of the effects of color that are most relevant to business. For example, most people are aware by now that fast food and other types of restaurants use the color red to stimulate feelings of hunger. Conversely, serious dieters will sometimes switch to blue plates because this color has an appetite suppressant effect. Some research has shown that color can even affect conversion rates on your website.

We make many generalizations as far as the color/mood relationship goes. We draw yellow smiley faces, but angry faces are red; when someone is sad, they’re “feeling blue”; green means “go” and represents growth.

But each of these colors has more nuanced impacts on the human brain that are less obvious and perhaps even counterintuitive in some cases. In this article, we’ll focus on how these four colors can be used to improve creativity.

Four colors to boost your creativity at work

Whether your company consists of hundreds of people working in an office together or just you in the spare bedroom at home, you can harness the power of color to improve your creativity. Best of all, you don’t have to turn your workspace into a Mondrian painting to feel the benefits.

Red for detail-oriented tasks

Studies on color psychology done several years ago found that red was one of two colors found to boost cognitive function (the other color was blue, more on that below). Now we know that the color red boosts performance and responsiveness specifically when detail-oriented tasks are involved, like memory recall and proofreading. The color red can therefore be a boon to any creative project by improving memory for details and reducing errors. Use it sparingly, though, as an underline color for important ideas, for example.

Yellow for outside-the-box thinking

Yellow is a color proven to lift mood and make people more outgoing, which is important when you want to encourage people to think out of the box. A splash of yellow can subconsciously give people more courage to speak up with their impossibly crazy ideas. A soft yellow can be effective as a wall color for people who tend to be pessimistic; otherwise, try an accent piece, artwork or fresh flowers.

Blue for mind-opening tranquility

In the same study that found that red was beneficial for detail-oriented tasks, researchers found that blue improved overall creativity and free thinking. The color has calming effects that appear to reduce anxiety and make people feel comfortable while brainstorming. Blue is a good choice for your office wall color, and as a bonus, it’s almost universally appealing. If that sounds like a bit much, consider some blue office paper for brainstorming sessions.

Green for growth-centered innovation

It’s no surprise that we associate the color green with growth and positive change, even on a subconscious level. But it has also been directly associated with improved creativity. According to an author on the study, “Green may serve as a cue that evokes the motivation to strive for improvement”, which certainly sounds like a good thing to bring to any business. The power of this color appears to lie in its connection with nature, so the best way to bring some green into your office is in the form of plants, even if they’re artificial.

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