From the hues of our traffic lights to the shade of poisonous frogs, color has a significant purpose in life. Some colors are given meaning by people, for example “green means go.” Some colors seem to have inherent meanings, such as the bright skin of a poisonous frog. Other animals have the instincts to understand that means “do not eat.”

What I take away from all this is that, in theory, living beings give color its purpose both consciously and subconsciously. The colors we see in the world around us have two meanings: the definitions assigned by other human beings, and the definitions assigned by nature over many generations. This means that, at its core, the purpose of color, for living beings, is communication.

The Odyssey Online

This is one reason color can impact our moods so strongly. We’ve given meaning to various colors.

Some interpretations are personal.
Your grandmother might have dressed in yellow for every Sunday church service. Your mom might have made blue icing for every one of your birthday cakes. Your best friend might have given you a purple pencil in first grade that you used every day til it disappeared.

Some interpretations are psychological or societal.
Orange and yellow often signify warning. Blue can have a calming effect. Beige may bore you.

As The Odyssey Online so accurately put it, the purpose of color for living beings is communication.

Think in these terms as you decide what colors to use in your paint choices and home decor. What purpose are you giving the colors you choose? What do you home to communicate when a guests walks into your home?

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