The Color Effect – Red Capures Attention, Blue Relaxes & Yellow Represents Happiness

the color effect

The use of color in movies, television and commercials has evolved tremendously. Although the popularity and obsession with the moving picture has never changed, color science has made what we see and experience increasingly more lifelike and affecting.

In the early days of television production, paying attention to color was simply unnecessary. These days, television viewers expect color, or the lack thereof, to play an essential role in what they see on their high-definition television screens. The use of color can create alternate universes, portray feelings or symbolism, tell a story or evoke certain emotions, making the roll of color a vital element in each final masterpiece.

Video and movie producers often pay close attention to the colors in their final production. This often happens through the use of cutting edge color editing digital software and visual effects that helps construct images with perfect coloring.

All colors are not created equal. Here is a little food for thought concerning the psychology behind several basic colors.



Red is a highly visible color and captures attention easily. It is the first color we recognize as infants, and it is internationally known as the color for stop. When our eyes see red, the lens of the eye grows more convex to pull it forward; therefore one perceives red areas as though they are moving towards them.

Most of red’s strong symbolism today comes from the strong associations our past ancestors had. They saw red as the color of fire, blood and energy. Today, red is still the color of extreme feelings and emotions such as love, passion, violence, danger and anger. For some, it can also represent magic and religion.

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This lively color represents sunshine, warmth, creativity and spring, and almost every culture agrees it represents happiness. However, challenging these cheery feelings, yellow can also represent cowardice, madness, egoism and betrayal. Furthermore, it plays a bad roll in physical illness, as it’s the color seen in malaria, pestilence and jaundice.

Yellow is the first color the human eye processes as well as the most luminous color in the entire spectrum. Therefore, it is used for cautionary signs all around the world.


This color symbolizes cheer, energy, excitement, adventure, warmth, vigor and vitality. Orange is not ranked highly among the general population. This vibrant color is either loved or hated. Its popularity can ebb and flow with the changes of how trendy the color is at any given time. However, children are often drawn to orange.


All over the world this fresh color is associated with nature and the environment. It signifies growth, rebirth, fertility and ecology. It is also the universal “go” sign for traffic lights around the world. Most western cultures view this color as lucky.


Blue is the relaxing color of the sky and ocean. When eyes see the color blue, the lens flattens to push the blue image back, creating the illusion that blue areas are receding and smaller. Perhaps this is why so many ladies love to wear blue jeans.

Blue is a favorite color for many people. Depending on the shade of blue used, a variance of meanings can be found. Dark blue represents trust, dignity, intelligence and authority. Bright blue can portray cleanliness, strength, dependability and coolness. Sky blue often evokes thoughts of peace, serenity and calmness.

Blue can also be used as an appetite suppressant. Since blue is not commonly found in nature, people do not regularly associate good food with the color blue.

The colors we are able to see have made this world a beautiful place just as the color science behind film making processes has made the motion picture world a more beautiful and affecting one too.


About the author: Jared Jaureguy is an independent technology consultant. He writes for many of the top tech blogs, follow him on twitter @jaredjaureguy.


photo credit:

unleashingmephotography via photopin cc

Ernesto Lago via photopin cc

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