The Psychology of Color

By Kate Riley March 16, 2013

Today is a holiday defined by tradition and also by the color green. We take liberties with color when decorating at Christmas and Easter, often incorporating unexpected hues to avoid the predictable, but when St. Patrick’s Day arrives, there is no other color than green that defines this holiday.

I spent last night at home doing some writing (tis the suburban life I lead) and my friend Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick pinned this succinct chart on the psychology of color. It came from graphic designer Carey Jolliffe and I was delighted to see someone had taken the time to condense colors and their associated moods into one referential chart.

So here’s a Sunday morning exercise for you. Before you read, close your eyes and think of your favorite color. The first one that comes to mind. What is it? I know mine, what’s yours?  Have you named it? 

Okay then… click here, zoom in, and read the emotions that surround your favorite color. What are they? Are those the reasons why you love it? Does your favorite color describe you? Mine does. 

psychology of color

My favorite color is Peacock Blue, but since there was no Peacock Blue on the chart I chose its closest neighbor Teal which conveys these traits and emotions:  “Serene, cool, tasteful, sophisticated, confident.” All the reasons I love that hue!

What’s your favorite color on the chart?  Do you love it for all the emotions or moods mentioned? 



  1. I also pinned this chart some time ago, and I definitely find myself in it. My usual colors are light pink and light blue, and that’s kind of the vibe I want my blog to have. =)

  2. For two years I have been obsessed with Aqua. After reviewing the chart, I realize why. All those positives are things that I value recently. Can’t wait to show my family.


  3. I L.O.V.E. ORANGE.
    My mom says I was drawn to anything orange even as a baby.
    I can’t remember when I DidN’t love orange. And I’m crazy about its earthy mate BROWN (which is ORANGE with black mixed in it).
    I can’t remember when I didn’t draw or create–any and everything!
    It’s ME, up and down!

  4. I love that this chart has so many color variations. In the past, I ‘ve only seen charts with primary colors.

  5. What is a PMS color ? Pantone ? Of course, Pantone is not the first thing I thought of when I read PMS ! ~ C

  6. My favorite colour is green – any shade and hue. Kate, do you have a place we can email question to?

  7. My favorite color is Mint Green so I went with the Aqua. Aqua seemed more cooling like Mint rather than the light green which I thought looked a bit yellow. Am I wrong?

  8. I find this so fascinating. My background is teaching so psychology is something that I have taken many a class in. Mine is purple and all of the shades of purple describe me. Now, if only I could convince the hubby to paint a room purple!

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