“Color Matters: Intro To Color Theory” – Digital Foundations 2 Lecture/Workshop Write-Up

Yesterday, February 9th, I attended Ivy Stevens-Gupta’s Color Matters: Intro to Color Theory – a lecture hosted in Alfred State’s Orvis Activities Center. Overviewed was the psychological and cultural properties associated with certain colors, how those properties affect marketing and why we should even be pushed to learn about color in the first place.


Ivy Stevens-Gupta

So who is our presenter? Some background; Gupta teaches color theory, marketing and painting. She’d initially gotten a degree in business, and went on to be an advisor for The Daily Gazette. When print media had begun to die down, Gupta returned to college and earned a degree in marketing. It was in this field she took an interest in color theory and the psychology attached to it.

Color has the ability to express moods and also influence physiological statuses. It’s important to grasp the concept of hue and saturation. Colors can increase your stress or soothe your troubled mind. They can improve your vision or impair it; make you feel at home or as an unwelcome visitor. Colors and their variations of tints, shades and tones make all the difference.

Gupta lets us in on an artistic secret – color is the prime focus of art. And we can observe this, not only from ourselves, but from other cultures. Color is universally utilized as a tool to draw people in; whether it be for advertising or furbishing. In China, red symbolizes fortune. Alternatively, in South America, it is used as a hue for death and mourning. There is mutuality however; most cultures see blue as a color standing for positivity, outlining characteristics like immortality, strength and dependability.

Opposing viewpoints among each society is what collectively makes us unique. Our lifestyles, our institutions and even our brands. Advertisers use many of the color properties listed above to help sell products. Pink, representing the femininity and tenderness of the prepubescent girl, wouldn’t be such a bad choice in regard to branding a barbie doll. People are drawn to certain colors and combinations of color.

Followed by her lecture, Gupta referred her attendees to her gallery of work, located in the campus’ Hinkle Library. Here I witnessed some examples of her color experiments.

These are but a few of the color studies Gupta presented at the gallery. Her familiarity with hue is remarkable, and she manages to capture various moods and symbols all under a single composition. She’s used just about every hue in the swatch stash, and will continue producing lively pieces like these ones for the time to come.

About Markis Lazarre

Currently attending Alfred State College for Graphic Design.
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