What does the colour white do for you? Does it have an effect on you? Here we are going to talk about the psychology of the colour white, its symbolism, what it is usually associated with and many other details that we are sure you will find interesting.
White is clean, simple and pure. It is the opposite of black and its meaning is unambiguous. As white light contains all the colours of the spectrum, it is an inclusive and impartial colour, favouring no hue and refusing to take sides.
In light, using the RGB colour model, white is created by combining red, green and blue, the additive primary colours. The sun produces white light. When painting, using RYB colours, white is the absence of colour tint, like a blank sheet of paper, or a blank canvas.
What effects can the colour white have on us?
White brightens, helps our mind to focus and contributes to organisation. White is definitive, brings clarity and sets clear boundaries, but too much white can be uncomfortable, even blinding.
Symbology of the colour white and its associations
White is totally reflective, it awakens openness, growth and creativity. You can’t hide behind it, as it amplifies everything in its path.
White is cleanliness personified, the ultimate in purity. That’s why it’s traditionally worn by Western brides, and why doctors wear white jackets.
White is a colour of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping to alleviate emotional upsets. It creates a sense of order and efficiency, a great help if you need to de-clutter your life.
White offers an inner cleansing and purification of your thoughts, emotions and ultimately your spirit, refreshing and strengthening your entire energy system.
It implies a feeling of sterility, detachment and disinterest, providing little stimulation to the senses.
In other cultures it is traditionally associated with death and mourning. In these cultures death often signifies the end of one life and the beginning of another, the passage to a new life, so the psychological significance of the colour of new beginnings is still relevant.
White may indicate the completion of a cycle in your life: you may have a desire for white clothes or white in your surroundings at a time when you are moving in a new direction in your life, for example, planning a trip abroad for the first time, or moving house after a long time in one place, or looking for a new relationship or a new career direction.
Many people use white as a reminder of their youth and innocence. It reminds them of a time when their lives were easier and less complicated.
White is used in many medical practices, such as dental offices and doctors’ offices, as an indication of cleanliness and efficiency; however, it can also give a sense of sterility and coldness of emotion and can lead patients to think that the doctor or dentist will not relate to them on an emotional and personal level. It can be overly clinical and sterile.
Too white can lead to feelings of isolation and emptiness; it can be too pristine and immaculate, which will make you feel you can’t make any moves for fear of upsetting them or creating a mess.
Since ancient times, high priests used the colour white in very important rituals. It is still an imperative colour in the marriage process, used to represent the purity of the bride-to-be.
Psychology of the colour white
Positive keywords include: innocence, purity, cleanliness, cleanliness, equality, complete and whole, simplicity, spotless and tidy, self-sufficient, pristine and open, new beginnings.
Negative keywords include: sterile, austere, fastidious, tiresome, empty, isolated, cautious, simple, aloof, unimaginative, critical, and boring.
The Colour White in Spirituality
White is considered a powerful colour in feng shui, a system of organising the environment to create harmony. Colours are linked to certain elements of feng shui and, in the case of white, the element it expresses is metal.
Wood and glass go extremely well with white, as does black to balance it. White is also ideal for kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms, and white flowers in white pots are an inexpensive way to incorporate white into your surroundings.
Marketing and business
White is associated with feelings of cleanliness, purity and safety. And it can be used to project an absence of colour or neutrality. White space helps to spark creativity, as it can be perceived as a clean, unaltered slate.
It may not be the best colour for every company. But the use of white in marketing can be effective for a branding or minimalist approach.
What personality traits are associated with the psychology of the colour white?
If white is your favourite colour, you may identify with some of these characteristics that relate to people who have white as their favourite colour:
- You have an open book mentality, nothing to hide.
- You have a balanced and stable personality and are able to control your emotions.
- You like cleanliness and are very hygienic, it may bother you when others don’t pay as much attention to cleanliness.
- You are a perfectionist and if you have imperfections you will try to hide them.
- Your quest for perfection can lead you to be very critical of others and also of yourself.
- You tend to think things through before you act, you are often not impulsive.
- You have a desire for simplicity in your life.
What do you think about the psychology of the colour white? If you want to know in depth about each of the main colours, their symbolism, their associated personality characteristics, their uses in marketing, the effects they have on people, etc, take a look at our articles on the sychology of the colour white, where we analyse each colour.