Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the bad news lately? G.F. Smith, a paper manufacturer in the UK, just completed a study where they believe they have discovered the world’s most relaxing color. According to G.F. Smith, just looking at this color can relax you!

The research study involved guaging participants emotional responses to specific sets of colors. They found that the most relaxing hue is dark blue. The research doesn’t specify the exact Pantone color, but it’s very close to navy in color. They also found that a mid-navy blue evokes more of a tranquil feeling, rather than a relaxing one. From what I know, tranquil and relaxing are about the same thing, so I’m unclear on the distinction made by G.F. Smith.

The World’s Favourite Colour Project was a massive undertaking performed by G. F. Smith, and it included other insights, such as the color green having an association with the future, and oranges and purples associated with a sense of luxury. Participants also strongly felt that deep reds and hot pink shades evoke a sense of passion, a long-held belief by many.

“The story of colour maps a particular history through our cultural development – telling a much larger story about the way we perceive, value and cherish colour … Colour has always had an intrinsic relationship with our culture and is woven into our consciousness,” stated G.F Smith’s managing director, John Haslam.

“The study underlined that colour is as much about substance as it is about beauty. The fascinating results and their relevance are shared in the report – inspiring the world to think differently about the role and value of colour in our lives.”

Results from this type of color research are often affected by the sampling of participants. However, we do know that there are some distinct feelings associated with color, and we use them to our advantage in design as part of the research involved in discovering who your target market is.

Images courtesy G.F. Smith.