The power of colour

From mood to perception of time, color subconsciously influences emotion and behavior on a daily basis. While our reaction to specific colors is largely subjective—informed by experience, culture, and context—there are some universal truths that transcend bias. Color theory attempts to explain the connection between color and human behavior, touching on psychological, biological, and creative elements

Invented in 1666 by Isaac Newton, we commonly use the color wheel as a map of the color spectrum to show us the relationships between different colors. The basic color wheel is divided by hue and temperature, further classified by primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. More complex color wheels incorporate tints, tones, and shades—created by adding white, grey, and black, respectively, to a base hue. Alongside hue, colors contain two other components: saturation, denoting vividity, and value, referring to brightness. Our basic understanding of color associations centres around hue, however, it is widely accepted that saturation, temperature, and value tend to have a greater influence on emotion.

Colors induce biological reactions that differ depending on their temperature, saturation, and value. Cool colors decrease arousal, promoting relaxation; warm colors increase arousal, stimulating excitement. These responses are further influenced by saturation and value—thus, a high value, low saturation blue is likely more relaxing than one with high saturation. Outside of experience, culture, and context, our biological reactions to colors sway our conscious and subconscious associations. For example, as red increases arousal—and with its heart rate and adrenaline—we tend to associate it with feelings of excitement, passion, and anxiety.

Applying color theory in your space

Applying color theory in your space

Taking these biological reactions into account, you can create spaces that positively affect the people who live and work within them. For example, offices can be busy, high-anxiety spaces; if they’re painted or furnished with a palette of stimulating colors, there’s nowhere for staff to take a break. To support a healthy, comfortable working environment, it’s important to have a balance of cool and warm colors in the workplace—with cool colors taking precedence in spaces designated for focus, contemplation, and relaxation.

Color theory is both a science and an art. Your palette has the power to influence human behavior and evoke emotion; how you use said palette within your space is entirely discretionary.

Refresh your palette with six new colors

Our six new Cube colors span the full chromatic spectrum, offering a selection of warm and cool hues.

A deep, warm red, Sargazo is deliciously enticing—evoking feelings of passion, and stimulating conversation.

Light, earthy, and natural, Parthenon’s subtle, timeless aesthetic is perfect for contemporary spaces. Walking the line between cool and warm, Parthenon is both peaceful and optimistic—tipping the scales either way with context.

A confident, honey-yellow, Beehive evokes feelings of joy and enthusiasm with a touch of nostalgia.

Cavalier is a dusky purple, gentle, and effortlessly cool. Sophisticated without striving, Cavalier feels luxurious, yet grounded—a hue known for sparking creativity and spiritual connection.

A rich, twilight blue, Muralla conjures a sense of pensive tranquility. Associated with logic, intelligence, and integrity, this hue is perfect for spaces designed for contemplation or concentration. On a biological level, this deep blue is said to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate.

Gherkin is a lush, jade green with a hint of warmth, despite being a naturally cool hue. This delicate balance offers both serenity and vitality with a touch of opulence. The color of leafy foliage, Gherkin is grounding and familiar.

“To support a healthy, comfortable working environment, it’s important to have a balance of cool and warm colors in the workplace.”