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10 Fun Facts About Color

Color can be both amazing and complicated, but how exactly does it work? At its most simple, different wavelengths are reflecting off an object and back to our eyes, where they hit the eye’s retina. Yet, this simple reflection of wavelengths has an effect on people that is far from simple.

Color can change a mood, set a scene, or attract you to a person (or not!). We use color to create a home we feel safe and comfortable in. We dress ourselves in colors before we present ourselves to the world and we use color in pigments or dyes to express our most complicated emotions. Color’s influence over all of us is powerful and endlessly fascinating and there are many fun facts about color that surprise us.

Here are 10 fun facts about color you might not know!

1. Men and women see the color red differently.

Researchers at the University of Arizona discovered the ability to see red comes from a gene that is attached to the X chromosome. Since women have two X chromosomes, the two copies of these genes help women perceive the red-orange spectrum better.

Design Pool pattern String Together printed on upholstery and photographed covering a square ottoman.
Pattern String Together (P1986)

2. Pink soothes the nerves and is often used for anger management.

Pink has been known to suppress anger and anxiety and have an overall calming effect. It is often used in mental health care institutions and even prisons to help create a sense of calm. Check out the book Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter for more pink details!

3. Worldwide, blue is the most common favorite color.

Studies conducted by various global marketing firms show that blue is the most common favorite color worldwide, followed by purple.

Design Pool pattern In the Loop printed on upholstery and photographed on a stool cushion.
Pattern In the Loop (P1989)

4. Some people have a phobia of color.

Chromophobia, or chromatophobia, is an ongoing and irrational fear of colors that can have a negative impact on a person’s daily activities. This fear often stems from a traumatic event associated with a particular color.

5. Yellow and red together make you hungry.

Fast food chains figured this out years ago and use this color combination over and over in branding, advertising and restaurant decor.

6. Isaac Newton invented the color wheel.

Around 1665 Isaac Newton used a prism to turn white light into a rainbow and identified seven colors. He felt the last color, indigo, was a recurrence of the first color, red and decided to arrange the colors in a circle.

7. Red is the first color a baby sees.

Red has the longest wavelength of the colors and scientists speculate this makes it easier to process in developing receptors and nerves in a baby’s eye. This definitely helps explain every baby’s love of Elmo!

8. Color has a big impact on a first impression.

62 – 90% of a first impression is based on how someone is recognizing color in the situation. For those who want to make a strong first impression, avoid neutrals. Heading out on a first date? Add a pop of bright color to be more memorable.

9. People are more likely to forget something when it’s in black and white.

A black and white movie, or photograph is often not as easy to recall as a color image. Scientists believe this may be because color has a stronger appeal to the sense and as a result makes a more lasting impression on the memory.

10. Wearing black makes you appear more powerful.

The power suit, the little black dress, graduation gowns, and judge’s robes; wearing black comes with a gravitas perceived as powerful. Going on a job interview or into a meeting to ask for a raise? Wear that black outfit!

Next time you’re walking outside, meeting with friends, or shopping for a new item in your home, think about how your perception of color is influencing your mood or decisions. Do you notice any of these fun facts about color out in the wild?

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. She writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving on her Macomber loom, standing over a vat of indigo dye or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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