How Colors Affect Mood

September 14, 2020

We don't just see color, we feel color.

"How can we feel color?" You may be asking yourself. Well, we feel color by experiencing certain emotions based on the color that we're looking at. 

Colors can impact our perceptions, biases, and feelings. Because of this, the colors we surround ourselves with are essential. Keep reading to learn more about how colors affect mood and our perceptions!

How Colors Affect Mood

Choosing a color for your commercial walls is more complex than just choosing a color that looks nice to you.

The color that you choose is going to impact how you feel each day without you even realizing it! Colors can contribute to calming, happy, unnerved, irritable or impatient feelings. Here's how different colors can impact your mood:


Of all the colors you can choose for your walls, red evokes the strongest emotion.

Some of the most common emotions created by the color red are:

  • Feeling powerful
  • Anger
  • Love or passion

Many of us associate the color red with feelings of anger, aggression, or hostility because we often get red in the face when we feel these emotions. Since blood flow to the face is increased when we feel angry, the color red often makes us think of these strong, negative emotions. 

Red also creates feelings of passion or desire. In fact, when men are asked to choose the more attractive woman between two women, they often choose the woman wearing red. 


Blue is often viewed as a color that is non-threatening.

Blue is actually the color that is most commonly favored. Nearly 50% of people choose blue as their favorite color. 

The color blue has also been linked to feelings of calm or serenity. This may be because it is considered non-threatening and because many people favor it. In that same vein, blue contributes to feelings of safety and security. 

This is why many companies selling security systems choose blue for their logo. In offices, many companies also choose to use blue for cubicle colors or wall colors. Blue leads to more productivity in an office since it is considered calming.


Similar to blue, green creates feelings of serenity and peace.

This is because plants are green, so it makes people feel like they're closer to nature. Flowers, trees, bushes, and grass naturally make us feel calmer, so using green in a room replicates those feelings.

Green can also create feelings of excitement. While muted shades of green such as olive green create calm feelings, brighter greens like lime green make people feel energetic and excited. 

Brighter greens can also make a person feel as though they're recharged or inspired.


Many of us associate the color yellow with feelings of happiness.

Yellow reminds most of us of bright sunshine, which naturally increases endorphins and makes us feel more optimistic. Since the color yellow replicates those positive feelings that we feel when we see the sun, using it on a wall will encourage people to smile more.

Yellow also makes us feel spontaneous. It's one of the most energizing colors out of all of the warm color options.

While yellow is great when used sparingly, it can begin to irritate the eyes if it's used too much. Since the color is so bright it reflects more light than many other colors. This increased level of light reflection can cause irritation to the eyes.

If you're choosing to use yellow as a color on walls, consider creating an accent wall that's yellow rather than the entire room.

How Color Can Impact Perception

While color can impact our moods, it can also impact how we perceive others. 

In color theory, we may base our biases around a color that we see a person or organization using. Here's how color can impact our perceptions:

Warm Colors

Warm colors make us feel that a person or area is warmer than it actually is.

For example, if someone is wearing an orange shirt, we may assume that they are friendlier or more approachable than someone in a purple shirt. If a building is orange or yellow, we may feel like the area the building is in is warmer than if it were a cool color.

Feelings of Trust

Believe it or not, the level of trust we feel for a person or organization can be influenced by the colors they use to represent themselves.

For example, we associate the colors blue, white, and green with trust. This is why these colors are often used on police vehicles or ambulances.

Feelings of Security

Similar to trust, how secure we feel when in the presence of a person can be impacted by the colors they're wearing or driving in.

Colors that make us feel more secure are blue, black, or green. This is why security guards often dress in black and why police officers often wear blue.

Our Perception of Speed

Colors can even impact how fast we believe something is.

Colors associated with speed are red, yellow, and white. This is why taxis are often yellow and why many racecars use these three colors.

Feelings of Fear

The colors we're seeing may contribute to our level of fear as well.

For example, black, red, and gray are associated with feelings of fear. While black can also be considered a "secure" color, the other colors that it's paired with will influence our perception.

A great example of this use of color is in firetrucks. When we see a firetruck while we're driving, it's important to pull over so it can safely pass. The bright red color of the firetruck immediately grabs our attention and alerts us that there is a dangerous fire. 

What Mood Are You Trying To Create?

For commercial purposes, choosing a color that creates positive, calm, or optimistic feelings is often desired.

Think about the walls you're looking to have painted and how you want them to make others feel. Now that you understand how colors affect mood, reach out to us today for commercial painting services!

The Author | Melissa Petrusse
Melissa Petrusse, President, Petrusse-Norris Painting - Licensed Painting/Decorating Contractor and Color-Expert. Please feel free to reach out to Melissa with any painting project questions, as she is happy to be of service. Simply fill out the Contact Form found on our Contact Page, as Melissa personally receives each request. View More Post from Melissa Petrusse