Colors communicate without saying a word

Whether you're planning your social calendar, looking for a new job or planning to drape your living room in a fresh tint, colors can help you communicate.

Here's what they say, according to Margaret Walch, director of the New York-based Color Association of the United States:

  • White. The color of purity and cleanliness. "There's nothing like a white crisp T-shirt," she says.
  • Yellow. Represents visibility, the future, the East, hopefulness. It's very much connected with youth and movement, Walch says.
  • Orange. A color of motion, activity. "Orange has had, for a long time, a very bad press. It was associated with fast food, road construction -- things not very glamorous," Walch says. "The '90s and the last couple of years have glamorized orange."
  • Red. The quintessential color of women. It suggests love, energy, hate, blood and war. "It elicits very strong reactions," Walch says. "Women either love red or they don't like it at all. There's a certain aggressiveness about red."
  • Green. It's the color in the middle of the warm and cool tones. "Maybe that's why green has stayed on so long," Walch says. "It's had an extraordinary run in terms of popularity, and it is still forecasted for the future." It evokes nature, environmentalism and money.
  • Blue. It's everybody's favorite color, Walch says. Some people find it calming; others find it cold and chilling. It evokes the sky, water, respect and trustworthiness.
  • Purple. Suggests royalty. "It's a color of the mind," Walch says. "It's very much a color for the 21st century in the sense that things are very cerebral and virtual."
  • Black. "It has gone from a kind of color, in olden times, of royalty to becoming a funeral color to becoming a fashion color," Walch says. "It has dominated, truly, 20 years of fashion." Black is a fashion industry favorite because it travels well and goes with everything. It can be stunning, Walch says, but "it's been overdone."

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