Monday, October 17, 2011

Color me skeptical

Are you one of those people who like to take  personality quizzes like What Harry Potter Character are you and What dog breed are you? What about What hue are you?
Aquamarine, the March birthstone

In our studio we have five different color quizzes that claim to know you inside out. Actually "quizzes" may be a bit too low brow, they like to call themselves Color Systems. They come with headlines like "What Color is your Personality " and "Choose your colors, Change your life"

So I decided to take them all and then bare my soul to you all here, or at least the color of it.

Most of us are familiar with birthstones, mine is either jasper or aquamarine depending on the system you subscribe to. Colorstrology is similar but vastly more complicated. Michele Bernhardt's book Colorstrology assigns a special color and list of personality traits to each and every day of the year. For March 4th, my birthday, the color is "Reseda."

Reseda Alba, my birthday colors name sake via Flora Italiana
What does Reseda mean about my secret inner life? I am apparently spiritual, private and productive; frankly not the first three words I would use to describe myself. I flipped to a random page later in the year, July 7th, to be greeted by Persian Jewel, a pleasantly rich blue, and the description intelligent, seductive and sensitive. Frankly theirs not a bad day in the book. No one is ever grumpy, dull, or prone to addiction. Eye-roll

Color Energy
"Trust your body knows the color it needs, just as it craves orange juice when you need vitamin C"

This one is is part auras/part chakras. To give your self a "color reading" you lay 12 colored cards out in front of you, rub your hands together till they get warm, shut your eyes, hover your hand over the cards till there is a buzz like sensation then pull one card (if this doesn't work for you they encourage you to use a pendulum). Yes I did actually do all this sitting at my desk in our studio, luckily I was alone with my embarrassment. I pulling the yellow card.                        

Now comes the interpretive phase. Apparently the electromagnetic frequency of my third charka is exactly the same as this yellow card, which means my intellect is buzzing. Wait what does that mean exactly? Oh right, my yellow is too high or too low or needs a back rub. I am lost on this one. Can I do an eye-roll twice in one post?

The Dewey System
In the Dewey system we move from fairly random oriented systems to the seemingly more accurate use of personal preferences. The system can be boiled down into several steps of picking color cards, which ones you love, which ones you hate, and what they mean when they are combined. I ended up with a blue-purple-black palette. When combined,  these colors apparently mean others see me as a Pioneer but I see myself as a Thinker. Now if I am being honest I  like those results, they feel true, or at least I really want them to it be true.  But that is the point of these systems right? Make it you feel good about the results or demonstrate that you can use a non verbal medium, the stimulus of color to gain personal insight. I would need to see this one tested on lots more people before I became a believer.

The Luscher Test
Want to try one of these systems for yourself? Try out this online version of the Luscher Test, a well respected color psychology test. Developed by a Swiss physician in 1947 to aid in diagnosing  disease, the test was believed to offer insight into  treating the whole person.

My results? Apparently,  I am having difficulty making progress won't put out any effort, even though I just got a new job. I am egocentric and quick to take offense, which I immediately  think is  totally insulting but also must be true since I just wrote an entire post about my personality (does my sarcasm drip from those words or politely cling?).

We do not subscribe to each of these systems, some are more research based and some are just pop culture.  However there may be an underlying value to knowing how you respond to color in your environment, your clothes, your psyche.

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

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