Colors are inherent in nature, making them an integral part of everything. Our planet is known as the Blue Planet due to the color of its oceans. Colors are a way of conceptualizing, interpreting and expressing the reality in which we live.
It’s challenging to envision a world without color; from psychology, marketing, political campaigns, fashion, automobiles, architectural design, food, graphics, sports, printing and many other areas of life, they would all be incomplete without the vibrancy and impact of color.
Color is a natural way of communication for humans, plants, and animals. There is a lot of information and research that arises when we talk about colors. That’s why, in this post, we aim to explore basic concepts about color perception and its potential meanings.
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What is the color? How is it perceived?
Color is perceived by an impression that light generates on the human retina.
The human eye, along with some animals, possesses photoreceptors known as rods and cones. These receptors are capable of measuring electromagnetic wavelengths that reflect light, communicating with the brain through nerve signals that it interpreted as colors.
We can see thanks to two properties of light: reflection and absorption on objects. Cone photoreceptors, responsible for color vision, and perceiving hue, are divided into three types, forming the primary colors:
- sensitive to red light
- sensitive to green light
- sensitive to blue light
The value is called the amplitude of the light that defines the color’s luminosity. There are only two: the white, representing the maximum perceived value of light waves frequencies, symbolizing fullness of color, and the black, signifying the total absence of light perceived by the human eye, representing the minimum value. They are used on the chromatic scale to lighten or darken colors.
The saturation in the color corresponds to the intensity to the degree ofvividness with which we perceive a color.
Therapeutic meanings of colors
In philosophies like Yoga or Ayurveda, colors hold vital importance. As colors originated from sunlight, it is believed that through the use of colors vital energy or prana is incorporated.
In the realm of Western science, hospitals often have blue or green blankets, along with white and very light colors. Since blue symbolizes healing and therapy, while white symbolizes peace, cleanliness and tranquility.
In kinesiology and physiotherapy, for several years the therapeutic bandage technique called ‘taping‘ has been used, which is effective in analgesia, being applied to the skin and activated by movement.
Various colors are utilized to introduce diversity in therapy, and the choice is guided by the principal of chromotherapy. This method is rooted in the idea that warm colors focus focus temperature, while cold ones disperse it.
Colors in the animal and plant world
If we talk about colors in nature, flowers are experts in the art of color. Colors are an advantage, a virtue in the animal and plant world, and one of the typical examples that we can observe is pollination, where color plays a fundamental role in attracting bees to flowers.
Not all animals have complete vision of all colors; some see black and white. However, colors in animals serve various purposes. For some, like the chameleon, it is a form of defense against predators, while for others, it helps them interpret information about the food they can eat.
Don’t miss the next blog posts on The Power of Color.