Color Psychology - White

color psychology of white
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How does the color white make you feel? Many people find white serene and pure, while others feeling that it is stark and cold.

One thing to remember is that such color associations are not necessarily universal. Colors can have different meanings, symbolism, and associations in other cultures.

In Western cultures, the color white is often associated with weddings, hospitals, and angels and is often used to convey a sense of purity, cleanliness, and peacefulness.

In many Eastern cultures, however, white is symbolically linked to death and sadness. It is often a color used in funerals and other mourning rituals.

The Color Psychology of White

  • White represents purity or innocence. Consider how white is traditionally worn by brides. While this was often thought to convey the bride's virginity, blue was once a traditional color worn by brides to symbolize purity.
  • White is bright and can create a sense of space or add highlights. Designers often use the color white to make rooms seem larger and more spacious.
  • White is also described as cold, bland, and sterile. Rooms painted completely white can seem spacious, but empty and unfriendly. Hospitals and hospital workers use white to create a sense of sterility.
  • Some of the positive meanings that white can convey include cleanliness, freshness, and simplicity. The color white often seems like a blank slate, symbolizing a new beginning or a fresh start.
  • On the negative side, white can seem stark, cold, and isolated. Consider how a large, white, empty room might seem boring, bland, and stark.

Look at the image that accompanies this article and consider how the color makes you feel. Do you feel inspired or refreshed, or does it leave you feeling cold and lonely?

Explore the following reader responses we have received over the years with regards to the color white.

White Is Cool and Reserved

"This color represents purity and has a very ethereal quality. Think of a white bird flying above a plain of snow. A tinge of blue makes it a little easier on the eyes."- Guest TheOddStrange

White Is Clean and Modern

"White resembles the purity of childhood and cleanliness. White is the prettiest color that can coordinate with any color. White makes my house looks organized, clean and modern. White reminds me of angels too.. and white is the color that shows hygiene. I love the color white!" - Nadia

White Is Peaceful

"White keeps my mind pleasant. It just brings to mind very relaxed feelings. I always used to wear a white dress during the evenings. I think this was probably because white always seems to help me recover from all the tensions of the day." - Rammee

White Is a Blank Slate

"When you first look at the color white its boring then your imagination starts to set in. The color white is anything you make it to be." - Angie

White Is Pure

"I've always loved white. I know that it's not technically a color, like black, but it's used as one. Pure, snow-white is used as a symbol of the freshest of starts - all our sins being washed away and people being made whole.

I always feel cool when I'm wearing white. My bodily temperature's always so warm that anything to cool me down's a blessing, and white pretty well always helps with that. It's an ultimate in innocent colors because, to me, the whitest and brightest of whites is pure and unblemished. It's the ultimate in clean. I know that colors other than white can be clean, but there's something about the purity of new snow white that evokes the ultimate in cleanliness and innocence to me. It's a wonderful thing, being this clean, and I relish it." - margopego

Famous Words not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black...God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. - G. K. Chesterton

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