Visual Alchemy

Maria Chiara Fagioli

Every color is emotion, every emotion is persuasion.

It is interesting to understand how colour can affect the emotional sphere according to factorial analysis models, given by experimental observation on scientific basis. Often in advertising, tonalities are chosen based on what they want to communicate, so feelings up to an epistemic vision that is stimulated in the spectator.

This is the case of a research conducted on 31 volunteers to understand how they responded to 20 colour stimuli on a given preference scale of colour-emotion, thus taking into account the activity-weight-temperature degree for single colours categorized by Osgood and observed by Kobayashi and Sato, until the development of a fourth factor to be analysed, the hardness. The significant differences in the data obtained were not so much of gender, as those of chroma and brightness, directly connected to the fifth factor that is the dynamics hypothesized by Hogg, and possibly of appreciation. Tense and liking indicators responses underwent significant variations between British and Chinese people. Specifically, British people intended tension as active and like was cool as well as cool colour, while for Chinese tense coincided with hard, masculine, heavy, and like with cool, modern, clean and so applied in colour.

Despite different conditions and data, however, such colour-emotion factors can be reached, partly demonstrating that there can be a universal reading key, independent of geography and local culture. Sato studied the likes of the Japanese, and so on. It turned out that green and blue as primary colours, but also white were the favourites.
The factorial evaluation of the elements before the analytical collection is comparative: the classic hot-cold basically, although in this research this is considered an indirect emotional attribute. Subsequently, data are parametrized in the three-dimensional hue-lightness-chroma CIELAB colour space, the result of which is given by the relationship between the accuracy value of the interviewees and a negative-positive coefficient of correlation. The highest accuracy was estimated in weight and then weight-hardness. There are also interrelations and proportions among the factors and attributes.

From the factorial analysis, a predictive model of a couple’s emotion-colour combinations is realised, given by an equation that approaches the average idea of the intensities of each colour-emotion. The same applies to the various factors, which generate harmony-disharmony from the pleasure or less that arise in the observer, and attributes, such as chroma and luminosity. Certainly, a method with strong limits and inaccuracies.
Hence, the colour preference method based on values belonging to the CIELAB colour space, thus modelling a multi-variable system.
The model shows a certain preference based on hue, and in the subspecies on lightness, from the most appreciated blue to the lesser yellow, then the combination and quantification of the chromatic elements.

The perception of colour significantly impacts the human experience. The colour psychology and its persuasion that comes from these considerations is also a marketing aspect. Think of the red Coca Cola, which easily is associated with the brand.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, Anaesthesia series, 2017-2018, Digital photography, 50 × 75 cm


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