colour psychology… the meaning of black

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

How do you feel when you see black? Do you see black as mysterious and eerie, sophisticated and glamorous? Perhaps serious and a mark of excellence, or maybe even draining and tiring?

Black means all these things and depending on your own personality, aspirations and how you are feeling any of these associations to black can be expressed.

positive psychological qualities of black
Black communicates glamour and sophistication. It adds substance and a level of gravitas, to be taken seriously. It also offers emotional safety and security by cloaking the personality. It does this by creating a protective barrier as black absorbs all the energy coming towards it without reflecting anything back.

negative psychological qualities of black
Black is one of those colours that truly only resonates with one personality type (known as Winter). Being surrounded by black if it is not your personality type or if it is and you surround yourself with too much black for too long and you are likely to experience feelings of heaviness, oppression, hiding your true personality. Black can be seen as menacing, scary or overly serious and heavy.

weighing up black
Black gives the perception of adding gravitas and weight. Black is the total absorption of all light and along with it, colour (as colour is light).  Therefore if something is black it is dense, making it look heavy.

The very opposite to a colour that would make something look light, and therefore slim.  You may be interested in reading my article Personal Colours – Is Black Slimming…?

How do you feel when you wear see the colour black. How does black make you feel when you wear it?

If you found this blog post interesting, you may also be interested in other blog posts relating to the psychology of colour.

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  1. Tanya Rennick on September 3, 2012 at 7:21 am

    As the founder of the Black Pearl Club, I tend to wear black to my dinners as it continues the branding idea through. This is helpful because a great deal of my dresses are black! I must admit that I am most comfortable in black, I enjoy the mystery and find it most flattering. I also think it is terribly chic; and works well with my other signature colour, tan, another elegant staple.

    • admin on September 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Tanya,

      The Black Pearl Club has a really strong identity and wearing the brand colour you are representing your brand, as you say, continuing the branding idea through.

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