One of the first choices people make when planning an event is the color scheme. Often it is based on personal preference of either the hosts or the guest of honor. Planning Grandpa’s 90th birthday party? The logical choice is masculine colors rather than pink, lavender or baby blue. Planning Grandma’s 90th birthday party? Any of those colors may be just right. Planning a corporate event? The colors most often used are those in the company’s logo, signage and/or marketing materials.
The psychology of color is a huge industry. Restaurants use it to subliminally influence diners’ time spent at the restaurant and the ambiance created. Businesses use it when creating marketing materials. Whether we realize it or not, color affects us and our decision making.
Like blue? It is a calming color; the color of the sky and water. It has been proven to lower stress and blood pressure. It is associated with loyalty, trust, wisdom and truth.
Red, on the other hand, is exciting, denoting energy. It is the color of fire trucks, fast cars and movement. Restaurants use it to influence the amount of time patrons spend while enjoying a meal. It is associated with passion, strength and power.
Purple, the color of royalty, symbolizes power, dignity, wealth and extravagance. It is also the color most often associated with magic (does that conjure up visions of purple capes?) and mystery.
Green symbolizes growth (think green grass), harmony and freshness. It is the color of leaves and grass and can be combined with most other colors as a pleasing secondary color. It is also the color of money, denoting prosperity and wealth.
Yellow denotes sunshine, happiness, joy and energy. Orange, a combination of yellow and red, represents, enthusiasm, happiness, creativity and energy. Both colors may evoke a feeling of the tropics.
Black is a severe color, denoting dignity, solemnity, formality and death. Combining black with bright splashes of color, such as bright pink or turquoise, reduces the formality and stuffiness, adding a touch of playfulness.
When one thinks of brown, nature comes to mind – trees, rocks and autumn leaves. Like green, brown can often be combined with other colors as a secondary color to add a more masculine feel.
Pastels invoke feelings of femininity, spring and flowers. They are best used for spring and summer events unless one lives in a warm climate year round.
Gold and silver are the colors of precious metals, invoking a feeling of wealth and prosperity. Silver is most pleasing to the eye when combined with blue, purple, red or pastels. Gold is most pleasing when combined with yellow, orange, brown, rust and other yellow-based colors. When planning your special event, choose the colors that most appeal to you but do think about the subliminal effects. Use red and orange together and the energy level goes up, causing your guests to stay a shorter time than they might if you used blue or purple in your decor.