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How to Pick the Perfect Color for Any Purpose

How to Pick the Perfect Color for Any Purpose

According to research carried out by the Institute for Color Research, between 62% and 90% of the subconscious judgments we make about a person, environment, or product within the first 90 seconds are based on color alone.

We are constantly influenced by color, as primary and secondary hues create a color wheel that can stimulate our senses, alert us to danger, remind us of our favorite brands and even shape our mood. In nature, color changes can signal the onset of a new season, or offer a warning sign to keep predators at bay. In the modern world, color can be used to inspire and express creativity or to calm and control.

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    Cultural differences can also impact on how and when to use color: for example, in some countries red is favored as a choice for luck, romance or passion, but in other parts of the world it is a color for mourning. Used effectively in your home, business or work environment, or as a form of therapy, color can affect your experiences in ways that would be difficult to create by any other means. Let’s look at how color combinations and tone influence everything from psychology to décor.

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    Warm Colors: colors such as red, orange, yellow and brown are defined as warm, and are most often used to convey energy, passion, and strength. They stimulate the senses, especially your sense of hunger, which can be great for a restaurant branding, but less so for a living room. Be sure to use these colors sparingly in the home environment, as they can quickly tire the eyes.

    Cool Colors: shades of blue, purple, green are likely to create a calming atmosphere and are ideal for use where people need to be relaxed. Cool colors are also known for stimulating creativity and restfulness, which is ideal for an office or workspace.

    Color Schemes

    Combining tones to create a color scheme is an effective way of building a mood or style, but it can be difficult to pinpoint which hues will work well together. There are a variety of schemes to choose from depending on your taste or objectives but common variations include:

    1. Complementary: This scheme combines at least two shades from opposite sides of the color wheel and can provide an impressive contrast, however, care should be taken not to pick two equally strong hues. For example, pairing bright blue and bright yellow can be a little overpowering if not softened by white space or gentler tones.

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    2. Monochromatic: This kind of scheme typically takes a variety of tones within one specific color; for example, combining black with various shades of grey. When working with a strong shade like black, using it in a concentrated space may be preferable so as not to overwhelm.

    3. Analogous: The combination of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel is known as an analogous scheme. Interest is often added to such schemes with the use of tones, shades, and tints of the same colors, creating a layered effect that can work well with everything from web design through to interiors and clothing.

    4. Custom: Increasingly popular but tricky to pull off, implementing a custom color scheme enables you to bring together any hues in any combination irrespective of typical color rules. Probably best attempted by those more experienced in working with color, great results can be achieved so long as you consider chroma, value, and saturation.

    Making Color Work

    Whether you are considering color for business or personal use, you’d be wise to do your research. The internet is a rich source of information with a variety of tools available to help you. A great example is Shutterstock’s Color Spectrum. Spectrum combines a keyword search with a color slider to help you instantly group images by color and hue.

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      Color Lovers is a fantastic online community offering color ideas and combinations, patterns, and palettes and more for a range of uses including fashion, craft, business and even weddings.

      colorlovers

        Design Seeds provides users with a quick and easy way to view color palettes and get trend information, and is ideal for interior design or branding projects.

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        designseeds

          Color Scheme Designer is ideal for use by more experienced designers, offering a range of color schemes at the click of a button either at random or within your chosen hue.

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            In summary, use color wisely and you can create an eye-catching look that will stand the test of time. However, go over the top and you risk creating a clash that turns people off or gives the wrong message. Most of all, color is there to be enjoyed so go, explore and have fun!

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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