BUILDING BLOCK dimensional to 8-level


Area proportion

The relation with area proportion (size of the coloured object) appears to be most significant for the heavy / light colour emotional scale. This creates a relationship of meaning between the colour quality heavy / light and the shape quality large / small. (Wang, 2007)

Colour weight

Light colours eg. pastel shades, are felt lighter in weight than dark colours.

(Meerwein, 2007)

Colour weight and synaesthesia

T-tests indicated that black was judged significantly heavier than the modulus assigned to white. Apparent weight is a decreasing non-linear function of value. Value and chroma are the major determinants of colour weight. Apparent weight is a decreasing function of value and an increasing function of chroma. These results support the earlier qualitative findings that “dark” colours appear heavier than “light” colours, while providing quantitative meaning to the terms dark and light. The reason that colours appear to have different weights is not clear. Bullough (1907) first offered the reasonable suggestion that the apparent density of colours determines their apparent weight just as the actual density of objects determines their physical weight. Colour weight would then be another example of a synesthetic interaction between sense modalities, in this case between vision and kinesthesis (see Marks, 1975). According to this scheme. hue, value. and chroma would interact to determine colour density; then colour density would determine colour weight by a process of synesthesia. An appropriate test of this model would involve sensory scaling of the various attributes of colour. (Alexander & Shansky, 1976)

Colour weight on the lightness axis

Black and white are the most extreme examples of heavy and lightweight colours. The movement is in the height. Heavy colours, when applied above the viewer, tend to press down. Because of their heaviness, the weight is literally felt. A black ceiling will be estimated lower than a white one. Heavy is also connected to hard and large, while lightweight is felt rather fine, small and soft (Osgood, 1957). If colours have the same intensity such as red and green, red will outweigh green. (Meerwein, 2007)

Heat, weight and activity in multicolored images
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The findings of this study show that people in general perceive color emotions for multicoloured images in similar ways, and that observer judgments highly correlate with the predictive model recently proposed in image retrieval. Images were judged by observers on three emotion factors: heat, weight, and activity. Interobserver agreement obtained for the heat factor are 0.099, 0.079 for weight, and 0.160 for activity. Comparing the results with other studies involving single colors or two-color combinations shows that the agreement is good, especially for heat and weight. (Solli & Lenz, 2011)

Heavy, lightweight and their correlations

Osgood’s Research (1957) made a significant correlation between heavy and hard with big, while lightweight is sensed rather fine and small. “Now we know, from our factor analytic work, that up, small, light-weight and white tend to go together in meaning and metaphor as opposed to down, large, heavy, and black.”

Heavy, tight and hard

Rooms painted black appear much smaller than white ones. Black furniture dominates the space. In the most positive case they appear representative, in the most negative case they are oppressive. A black sofa appears to be harder than a white one. Colours influence the impression one gets of size, weight and material. Boxes with a light colour will be assessed less heavily than dark ones. The impression of the weight is not only due to the colour. The material usually gives the deciding factor. Every effect is the sum of all experiences.
(Heller, 1989)

Three colour factor emotional values

Li-Chen Ou et al. (2004) who investigated colour combinations identified three colour factors with the method of factor analysis that gave the best cross-cultural results, in particular colour temperature, colour weight and colour activity. This results in three groups of antagonistic pairs, which prove important when it comes to emotional values, nml. cold / warm, heavy / light and passive / active. This model is confirmed by Wang (2007).