Which are the most creative colors? Which colors inspire creativity?
In Episode 11 of The Creative Life we look at the latest research on color psychology and creativity.
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In this episode you’ll discover:
- Which are the most creative colors?
- Latest research on color psychology and creativity
- Link between color red and accuracy
- Link between color blue and creativity
- Link between color green and creativity
Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Hi it’s James Taylor here. Which colors do you think will increase your levels of creativity? Colors, if you have around you, will increase the number of new ideas that you generate?
Well, there have been two fascinating studies recently on exactly this question. The first comes from the University of British Columbia, and what they did was they looked at two colors, blue and red. And what they found was that the color red is fantastic to have around you if you are doing work that requires attention to detail and accuracy. What they would do is they would run tests, where people were given tests where on the page they might have the color red or the color blue, and if they had the color re on that page, their levels of accuracy and attention to detail were increased.
Now, this isn’t totally a surprise because as a culture we’re used to seeing the color red, it’s a warning to us. Stop signs for example. Danger signs, they’re always in the color red. Companies have used this all the time in their websites, you’ll always see on their websites, the action button, the button they want you to click, is in the color red. Because there’s a higher chance that you’re gonna click, what they call, hawk colors, rather than the blue.
The interesting thing, is that when they started to look at the color blue, they found a difference in the results. And what they found was with the color blue, people, the number of ideas that were generated, or the creative outputs that some were generated were twice as much.
So, something about the color blue is affecting us as human beings and we generate more creative outputs. Now, whether those ideas are good, bad, or indifferent, is a completely different question. But in terms of having that color around you, in your work, for example, the color blue, can actually increase the number of creative ideas that you have. Again, it’s possibly no surprise because we often talk of blue sky thinking.
Something else they discovered in those surveys, is also how strong those reds or those blues are as well. The more vibrant those blues and reds are, the more that effect is in place. The more saturated, the more that you pull the color out of those, the more you drain the color out of those, the less effect it has.
So that’s the University of British Columbia with the red and the blue.
But then there was another study, and it was with University of Munich, in Germany. Adn they were testing the color green. And green outperformed both red and blue. Now, this is interesting because green is not often used as much in work environments, maybe you have a potted plant somewhere, but often when we go to work environments, they’re using grays, very vanillas, very plain and whites… those kind of colors.
But what they found, is that if you use the color green, it substantially increases the number of creative outputs. That is because, once again, they believe we’re hardwired as human beings that green is about growth. It’s about this idea of flourishing as well.
When we come back to all, one thing we should think about, is if we’re doing work that requires levels of attention to detail, you probably want to be in a place where there has more red, as an example.
But if you’re in a kind of job where you’re required to have lots of creative outputs, generate lots of ideas, then the colors to opt for would either be blue or green. And you might wanna experiment with these different colors as well, and see how they affect you.
One warning, is that the color green, unlike the color blue, actually reduces the amount of your short term memory, when you’re doing any kind of work. So, there’s a little bit of a trade-off there as well.
So, try out, if you’re in a workspace, have some kind of little bit of blue around you, a bit more green around you, and see what effect that has on your levels of creativity.