colour psychology… the meaning of brown

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Colour psychology - the meaning of brown.

“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.” – Winston Churchill

Oh poor brown does get a bad rap. Did you know brown is actually dark orange…?

positive psychological qualities of brown
Brown represents the earth and nature. Like green, we feel reassured and feel safe. Think about how you feel when you see wood – solid and reliable, supportive. It’s cosy and warm – wooden floors, logs in the fireplace, comfortable brown sofa…

Brown is a mix of red and yellow with quite a bit of dark added.  It is serious like black, but in a softer way.  Brown supports whereas black can come across as suppressive.

positive psychological qualities of  brown
When we see green our eye requires no adjustment. This is because it is at the centre of the colour spectrum, making green very restful, creating balance and harmony. It provides reassurance, restorative and refreshing. In nature the bright light fresh green represents new life and new growth.

negative psychological qualities of brown
Brown, like any colour also has negative traits. Too much brown or being surrounded by the wrong shade of brown can bring up feelings of heaviness, dull, lack of sophistication.

How do you feel when you see the colour brown? If you have any questions you’d like answered about the colour brown, I’d love to hear from you.

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 November 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I absolutely adore brown and am very drawn to it. My association with black is part of the Oyster Club branding. But, if black is what I externally present, I like to think of my personal or internal self as rich, warm, velvety brown, like comforting melted chocolate. The earth tones are reassuring and symbolise a return to more natural things, the perfect antidote to a city life. I have a stunning ball gown in chocolate duchess satin and I feel like the Galaxy Girl when I wear it! I love your posts Karen, they really get me thinking; thank you x

    • admin on November 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      and I love your comments, always very insightful and thought through. That dress must look like liquid chocolate.

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