Color Theory

Review research and scholarship on color theory so you ensure your designs communicate clearly and persuasively.
Color Theory by wowmakers, CC BY-SA 2.0 Color Theory by wowmakers, CC BY-SA 2.0

What is Color Theory?

Color Theory refers to ongoing scholarly conversations regarding the color and its role in communication and design.

Why Does Color Theory Matter?

Declarative knowledge about color theory can help you make wise design choices. Scholarship on color theory provides you with a perspective about how other cultures, discourse communities, use color.

Research & Scholarship on Color Theory

One example of a scholarly conversation on color theory is whether or not people across the globe perceive color in a shared, universal way. Another topic is whether people in different historical periods perceive color differently.

One interesting empirical observation in this scholarly conversation is that anthropologists have found cultures that have no words for color (Jones 2017). These findings add substantive evidence to the argument that the perception and signification of color is cultural construct.

There is, in fact, quite a bit of evidence to suggest that color tends to denote different things in different cultures. People in the western world, for instance, may associate the color red with with anger, violence, bloodshed whereas people in the easy may associate red for communism, love, and good fortune.

Recommended Readings

  • The Fundamentals of Color Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from