Core colour

The core colours. How do they apply to colour analysis? And is there a link to personality?


The energy of red symbolizes a daring, forceful spirit. Red is active. Red is a warm colour. It comes towards you. In an image, red objects will appear closer. Red commands attention. Red can also symbolize vitality, confidence, power and is assertive, result oriented and has willpower. Red is the colour of action, impulsiveness and strong emotions, both positive (red hearts) and negative (red faced rage and anger). Red is very physical. Red-type personalities are assertive, strong-willed and determined, also self-reliant and goal-driven, can also be seen as argumentative. The core colour red is traditionally associated with the Winter seasons in colour analysis. But because red is inherently warm, perhaps red is the core colour of the Winter seasons more for the forceful nature of red than for red that you would wear in clothing 


Yellow is bright, radiant energy. I have a whole blog post on Yellow here. Yellow stimulates thinking, understanding and knowledge. So yellow is the colour we should surround ourselves when we want to study. Yellow is also cheerful and light-hearted, innocent. It's a colour that is in movement, almost restless, always moving towards the future, there is nothing pensive about yellow. It symbolizes following the road of imagination (the yellow brick road). However, the restlessness of yellow and the ned for variety and spontaneity can lead to lack of concentration. A yellow-type personality is casual, outgoing, charming and loves to communicate, is likable and with a strong need to be liked. Yellow is the core colour assigned to the Spring seasons in colour analysis, and this core colour is easy to relate to the Spring seasons because the spring palettes appear to be bathed in lovely, warm sunshine.


If Yellow is the colour of extrovert, blue is the colour of pensive introversion. Blue is most commonly picked as favourite colour. Blue is calming, refreshing and peaceful. If red is active, blue is passive. Red is coming at you, blue pulls back, recedes, and draws you into the distance. Red is about the physical world, and blue is spiritual. The virgin Mary is always portrayed in a blue cloak in traditional paintings. Blue-type personalities are said to be reserved, reflective and very ethical and have integrity, and describe themselves as controlled, deliberate, and cautious. Blue is the core colour of the Summer seasons in colour analysis, and one can understand why, because the summer palettes seem to be viewed through a blue haze.


Orange is not a primary colour, but is red and yellow blended together. So, in a sense, orange is a mixture of the very physical red and the intellectual yellow, an interesting blend. Like red, orange has a rousing effect on people. Very few people list orange as a favourite colour, at least not pure, clear orange. However, when it comes to variations and nuances of orange like peach, salmon and warm coral, these are variations of orange that we might see more often. Orange is happy and optimistic, and stands for strength and vitality. Orange can be seen as a most useful combination of self-development and concern for others. The orange personality is a non-assertive peacemaker and a mediator, with a strong tendency to be devoted and loyal. The core colour Orange is the one associated with the Autumn seasons in colour analysis, and the warmth of the Autumn palettes seems to be radiating from an orange campfire flame rather than the brilliant sunshine/daffodil yellow of spring.

These are the core colours of the four main colour analysis seasons. They are useful when it comes to describing certain properties of the seasons, but have limited value when it comes to creating a link between colour analysis and personality.

If we put too much emphasis on the connection between personality and colour analysis, we can get sidetracked.

Colours as they relate to psychology is fascinating, but is of no use as a tool to finding out what season you are.

Your colour analysis season is a practical way to use certain nuances of colour to appear more refreshed and vital.

Colour as it relates to personality is also interesting, but the connection between personality and season is yet to be resolved, if indeed there is one. 

About the author, Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn is a Certified Personal Colour Analyst, founder of Nordic Simplicity and Scandinavian Style Academy™, the fresh, simple, Scandinavian approach to getting dressed. Jorunn will avoid social settings with more than three people but can be lured out with snacks and the promise to talk about books.

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