Chapter 10. Color

Color communicates, telling us things about the object bearing the color. Without color cues, we’d have a hard time guessing the ripeness of a fruit or distinguishing a poisonous mushroom from an edible one. And many animals would have a hard time figuring out when to mate, or with whom.

We associate colors with human emotions: we are green with envy; we’ve got the blues; we see red. Colors affect our emotions as well. Various studies suggest that we think best in a room of one color, and relax best in a room of another color.

What does all this mean? Color’s important. A rule of thumb in advertising is that a color advertisement gets several times the response of a black-and-white ad. Designers of mail-order catalogs tell us ...

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