What do you see when you think of white?

Close your eyes (but not yet, after you have read this) and visualise the colour white (now close your eyes).

Welcome back – what did you see?

I saw landscapes laden with snow, snowflakes, icy cars, my breath in the cold air and icicles. I then went on to see fresh sheets on a bed, bubbles in a bath, a christmas fairy, moonlight and stars, simple decor with space. It is December 6th, however had it been June 6th, I may have visualised something completely different; lace on a wedding dress, cottonwool, white washed buildings and the coolness of a marble floor.

On both occasions I visualised white as;

clean, simple, uncomplicated, stark, and cold.

White is the total reflection of light

It throws every colour at you – so it can be seen as forceful, strong, demanding and clinical – think of the importance of hygiene in a hospital; white will show dirt and grime.

Each colour is thrown in equal measure making it a good example of equality.

It can also be seen as elitist – for a society who don’t wish to get their hands dirty, such as the white collar worker.


White is complete and pure.

It has no other colour added or taken away.

White is commonly used to represent

  • purity
  • cleanliness
  • peace
  • sympathy
  • innocence
  • simplicity
  • ethereal
  • spiritual
  • virginal

 Colour Psychology

There’s more to colour than meets the eye, colour communicates feelings to the brain and how it’s perceived can vary from person to person.

Clear, hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency, uncompromising, ethereal, sophisticated, spiritual, refreshment, new beginnings, idea creation

Cold, sterile, barriers, stark, unfriendliness, elitism, isolation, emptiness, loneliness.


more shades of white are available commercially than any other colour


Continuing my theme on colour,
here’s a preview of my next post – Colour Terminology.

“…White, black and grey are known as achromatic, meaning they contain no colour. When a colour has white added it creates a tint. A colour with black added is a shade and a colour with grey added is a tone. The level of tint, shade & tone is dependant on the percentage of achromatic added…”


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