William Lidwell

How Color Affects You: What Science Reveals

William Lidwell
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 201 mins
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Start exploring the power of hues as Professor William Lidwell explains foundations of color science and the groundbreaking color experiments devised by Sir Isaac Newton. Move on to learning about color's impact on human behavior and how it can shape our perception of what food tastes like. You'll even uncover the three concepts that explain how people perceive, interpret and respond to color.
From your brain's perspective, black and white are colors just like any other. In this lesson, you'll examine the meanings that black and white have come to hold. Find out how black signals aggression and white represents submission in a competitive context. Then, discover why these two colors each have a powerful moral association.
Red holds a unique role in the animal and human worlds. In this lesson, Prof. Lidwell will explain red's primal significance as a symbol for fear, strength, beauty, status and passion. Take your understanding of this color even further as you explore how red represents dominance in competitive situations; status and fertility in mating and courtship roles; and danger in general situations.
Why do we perceive yellow as the most vibrant color in the spectrum? When does yellow signal health or weakness, and when does it express happiness or danger? Can the color yellow really improve cognitive performance? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this highly detailed and fascinating lesson on a color that stands out unlike any other.
You've heard the phrase "green with envy." Find out why green is associated with this emotion as well as with the concepts of life, fertility and success. Prof. Lidwell will guide you through these associations as well as a variety of interesting lesser-known ones. Along the way, you'll see how green can help foster creativity, decrease anxiety and reduce mental fatigue.
In Prof. Lidwell's last lesson, you'll focus on a color that people across the globe commonly choose as their favorite: blue. Explore the unique properties that endow this color with such universal appeal. Find out how blue acts as a buffer for openness and creativity; promotes friendliness and peacefulness; and encourages alertness and well-being. You'll also explore how it this color can also represent sadness and melancholy.
6 Lessons
3  hrs 21  mins

Uncover the meaning of colors and how our brains are hard-wired to perceive and react to different hues in particular ways. With design expert William Lidwell as your guide, you’ll learn about the foundations of color science and how color shapes our perceptions. Next, explore the powerful status signals and moral associations hidden within black and white hues. Think red is always a signal for danger? Discover how this bold color can also signify fear, strength, beauty, status, passion and more. Spin the color wheel to yellow, and you’ll learn the answers to a variety of fascinating questions about the spectrum’s most vibrant color. Then, Lidwell will discuss how verdant hues can help foster creativity, decrease anxiety and reduce mental fatigue. Finally, explore blue hues, and find out how this color can promote creativity and well-being, but also represent sadness and melancholy.

William Lidwell

William Lidwell has worked on product design and user interaction for more than two decades. During that time, he has frequently consulted on design and consumer experience with leading firms, including Harrah's, IKEA, Merrill Lynch and Procter & Gamble. His books include the best-selling design guide “Universal Principles of Design,” which has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has also written and edited other works, including Deconstructing Product Design and the Makeshift column for MAKE Magazine.

William Lidwell
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