Design is everywhere, We all know this. But, its whats behind the design that we fail to see the majority of the time. Emotion is the Driving force behind most if not all our decisions and actions. Whether from a designers stand point or from the eyes of the client/viewer, Emotion is the difference in how something is received. Emotion is what makes our creations come to life.
I've thought about this a lot lately, as my emotions have been bouncing off the walls. My mood directly influences what I do that day, even if i don't recognize it right away. If I am agitated I find that I work with wire and jewelry more, its calms and makes me focus, and the occasional stings of wire piercing my fingertips is a reminder of the work that is required to make life great. If i am happy The colors shift in my paintings or designs, if i am sad... well you get the idea. Think about it. How many times has your artistic endeavor taken a dark turn during a moment of emotional release?
Now to play with your emotions a bit. Take a look at this image...
This is a google standby, one of the first images you see when you search for color and emotion, It shows the different colors and what they do to the viewer. It gives you the logos that follow that code and helps you get an idea of what does what. This is one of my most used guides. But, those are the positives. Look at this one.
Not everything is black and white, Get it? Each color has an emotional appeal but its all relative... someone may see that purple shade and think royalty, creativity and Pride while another person sees disgust, bruises, loathing. To each their own.... right?
What is not often thought about in design is that each person is their own person. Instances with high emotions create memories, whether we remember them at the time or not. Each memory is triggered by different things... Sight, sound, taste, feel, and emotion.
ok, here is an example.... A young woman is driving across a bridge late at night, its rainy and dark and the radio is playing "Dream Weaver". She glances at the child sleeping next to her and smiles thinking of the little girl in her yellow dress jumping after a frog in the front yard earlier that day. In the few seconds it took her to glance at the child, a lime green car in the oncoming lane decided to attempt to pass a vehicle and it veered into the womans lane. The bright flash of lights before her brought her to attention and she swerved, overcompensated and spun the car out, waking the child. No Crash, No injures. The little girl really didn't see or know what happened, but the young mother did and the scary circumstance has just permanently embedded itself in her mind. Anything in this instance is a trigger, The song could evoke panic in the years to come, she may never listen to it again. The Color yellow or lime green could now cause terror from this day on, even if she doesn't recognize what memory it is triggering. Driving at night may scare the woman from now on or rain may make her cry. Funny thing is, She may never know that those things are triggered from that late night drive and the over emotional near miss she had. Does this make sense?
Every person, has a different response to colors and triggers which in turn create different emotions. Those emotions are what drives us in our day to day lives and decisions. Our memories are fickle and funny machines. But Those emotions are what fuels each of us as individuals. You may create something with a dark scheme on a day you just wish you could hide. Someone else may see that creation and it could instill hope and uplift them asa reminder of something hard they overcame or fought. Never be scared of what you create, someone will always hate it and someone will always love it.
Emotions may dictate what you create and they may cause various reactions depending on the individual. Its ok like that.
Ok, Click that link and read the article. NOW, Read the comments below it. Do a little research on your own, In every blog post about what emotions you are expected to feel from an image, read the comments! Everyone feels something different based on their lives and experiences.
You have no control on these people and their lives, No real way to guide them on an emotional journey thru your design or creation.Creating something with the express purpose of eliciting a particular emotion will only work part of the time. Even the greatest logo or design meant to appeal to a certain demographic and intended to create a certain response will NEVER work with 100% accuracy.
Don't Fret and Don't be scared. Just know, that when working with a client it is about their emotions, when working for yourself it is about your emotions. Some people will love it and some will hate it. It doesn't determine if it is good or bad and it doesn't determine what emotions you should feel. Never stop Creating because someone feels differently than you do. Accept those differences and Accept that when dealing with the effects of emotions in design, You Have No Control!