Visualizing the Psychology of Color

Psychology of Color [Infographic]


At National Geographic, we are dedicated to unique and engaging forms of visual storytelling. Colors, of course, can be a powerful medium to convey meaning and trigger emotions.

Think of the little girl in the red dress in the otherwise black and white Schindler’s List, or the captivating color of the young women’s eyes in the iconic National Geographic magazine cover. The invention of color photography was an important milestone in our shared visual language.

Now, when a photographer or designer chooses black and white, absence of color often conveys meaning.

Scientists have known for a long time that colors affect our emotions. Blue or lavender are often calming, red seems to stimulate our appetites, and so on.

A friend of mine who works for Nowsourcing produced this new infographic on the psychology of color. Since we spend a lot of time thinking about color here I thought it was interesting.

What’s your favorite color, and why?



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Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including,,,, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.

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