Colour and human interaction
Sociable reds, oranges and yellows
Wavelengths of colour in harmonic proportions can create a sense of harmony.
Balance colour schemes with a proportionate combination of violet, indigo, blues, greens, reds, oranges and yellows, (the visible colour spectrum).
In their book The Secret language of Colour, Eckstut and Eckstut explain how the human eye perceives colours as a ‘result of electrical signals being sent from cones in our eyes to our brains’. It is our brain that translates colourless wave-lengths of light into a colour. Blues, indigo and violet are perceived by the human brain from high energy wavelengths of light; Greens from medium energy lightwaves; Reds, oranges and yellows from low energy.
Faber Birren, noted author, professional colourist and researcher in colour and psychology spent his life working out how and why humans respond to colour. He prescribed colour solutions for offices, factories, hospital interiors and even the army. Birren documented the psychological and physiological affects of colour on humans, i.e. how colour affects mind, body and spirit. Can colour increase the productivity of staff, or lower blood pressure or have beneficial and non-beneficial affects on humans. The answer, according to Birren, is yes.
My graphic colour compositions are experiments in colour harmony. I’m exploring ways to include Birren’s research conclusions – that colour is ephemeral and what might be beneficial for one person may not be for another person- into my design thinking. Birren writes that one colour may lower blood pressure for a person and twenty minutes later the same colour can cause stress and raise a patients blood pressure. My work looks at the balance of colours and how colour proportions reflect a more natural order, i.e. the colours in my compositions are linked to the energy frequencies of light waves and the proportions found in nature.
The natural order of colour
By looking to nature I’m hoping to create a more balanced response to colour, to create a more natural colour relationship by balancing colours proportionate to the energy levels found in the natural environment. For example blues, indigo, violet, greens, reds, oranges and yellows are both proportionate and ephemeral in the natural world. There is more blue, a high energy wavelength that travels farther (e.g. the sky) than there is red (e.g. petals of a flower), a low energy wavelength that does not travel very far.
Beyond the science of colour
My work looks to the science of colour and harmonic proportions but sits firmly in the realm of digital arts, it is a human response, not a scientific one.
Colour in digital arts and design
Colour light is subject to change and the human eye has evolved to translate the wavelengths across billions of different colours to support our survival. This may mean that a carefully selected range of colours of the right proportions may support a more balanced built/interior environment that allows humans a more natural response to colour.
Sources: Colour by Faber Birren (1963), From Ancient Mysticism to Modern Science. Colour for Interiors, Historical and Modern (1963) by Faber Birren. The Secret Language of Colour (2013) by Eckstut and Eckstut.