The Impact of Colours Part 9: Grey


Grey is the colour of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom.


How the colour grey affects us physically: Unsettles, creates expectations.

It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. It is a colour that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Grey is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a colour of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Grey is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background colour. Pure grey is the only colour that has no direct psychological properties. It is, however, quite suppressive. A virtual absence of colour is depressing and when the world turns grey we are instinctively conditioned to draw in and prepare for hibernation. Unless the precise tone is right, grey has a dampening effect on other colours used with it. Heavy use of grey usually indicates a lack of confidence and fear of exposure. The human eye can distinguish about 500 shades of gray.


Grey around the globe:

  • The New York Times is sometimes called “Gray Lady.”

  • Grey is representative of mourning and repentance in Christianity.




Sandra – Image Consultant

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