7 Color Wheels

It’s no secret how much I love color. I’m looking forward to my year-end post series highlighting my best photos of 2013. I categorize them by color, like this post, Things That Are Green. More on the Oklahoma Color Project here.

Here are five color wheels that present color in a fun way.

Emotion Color Wheel Plutchik

Emotion Color Wheel

Plutchik Wheel

In 1980, a psychologist named Robert Plutchik created this color wheel of emotions as part of his psychoevolutionary Theory of Emotion. He identified eight primary emotions — remorse, disapproval, awe, submission, love, optimism, aggressiveness and contempt — and then coordinated them their opposites:

Anticipation versus Surprise

Trust versus Disgust

Joy versus Sadness

Anger versus Fear

The colors deepen the closer you get to the center of the wheel, which correlates with an increase in the intensity of the emotion. Likewise, intensity decreases as the colors lighten around the border. For example, apprehension leads to fear and fear leads to terror.

What I love about this chart is that it combines primary emotions with secondary emotions that so often control peoples’ lives. By memorizing the chart, you can be better informed about the oft-changing winds of public opinion. If an audience starts out with strong acceptance of an idea the chance of reaching admiration for that idea are even better. But, if an audience is bored with an idea or message or personality, be on the look out for increased levels of loathing.

Psychology Of Color In Logo Design

Here’s another fun graphic that assigns emotions to specific colors and then correlates them to specific brands. If you pay attention, you see emotion-coded colors play out in web design all the time.

 Psychology Of Color In Logo DesignSource: The Logo Company

Blue Dogs, Brown Bears, Yellow Sponges, Purple Monkeys

Check out this 2011 Cartoon Color Wheel from Slate. Lots of favorites across the generations here including some of my personal favorites: Shaggy, Dino, Gumby and Gazoo.

Cartoon Color Wheel

Here is an infographic about color science. It highlights the responses people in the Western Hemisphere have to color.

What colors mean

     Food Color WheelFood Color Wheel Source: Daily Super Food Love

Burned ToastHues of Burned Toast | Source: Food Beast

This next one is my favorite: The Rotted Color Wheel. (Source: The Hairpin) It features 10 colors that faded away for a number of different reasons. Some were toxic, featured lead, were difficult to make or did not hold their color.

Colors no longer available or used

Wired published a series of infographics by Jaz Parkinson featuring colors mentioned most in famous books. Here is the one for The Color Purple.

infographic books color[subscribe2]

2 Responses to “7 Color Wheels”

  1. Barbara

    What an eye-opener. I never realized how much color effects our lives. Thanks for the interesting post. Love you–


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