Emily's Blue Period & the Power of Color in Business

So I've come across the book Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly with illustrations by Lisa Brown.

It's a clever combination of my favorites: art, family, heart-felt emotions and perseverance. Without giving away too much Emily goes through a "blue" period to mimic her temporary obsession with Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and to counteract the upheaval in her family.

On a personal aside, I LOVE Picasso. Who else but he could divide his work into these distinct periods: The Blue Period (1901-1904), which were sad looking paintings using blue and blue-green colours. The Rose Period (1905-1907), which was a more happy style with orange and pink colours. The African-influenced Period (1908-1909) and The Cubism Period (1909- 1919).

In my 30 seconds Book Talk: Emily's a young artist. She's impressionable in ways that make her uniqueness shine bright. However, she begins to mimic famed artist Pablo Picasso's "blue period" just when her life turns a bit blue with her parents divorcing. How will she identify herself now that her family's changed? More importantly will she make it through the "blue-gloom" of depression with her artistic voice still in tact? Find out the woes and wins of a family conquering divorce in Emily's Blue Period.

Since the story-line deals with the topic of divorce, here's a quick lesson activity that students could truly benefit from as their personal life transitions: Brain Pop Lesson Divorce Ideas. Additionally, here's their Word document lesson with helpful strategies.

Additonally, for those of you brave enough to venture out, here are some questions that I created for a podcast discussion. They are based on the readings from Psychology Today

1. Did you feel like one parent was the "good guy" and the other the "bad guy?"

2. Do you recall where you were when they told you? Explain some of the feelings you went through.

3. Did you talk to anyone else about the divorce? If not, why not?

4. If you have siblings, did you all find out together?

5. Did you have any help as you went through the divorce?

6. Any advice that you'd give other kids?

Here's a book trailer and reading of the story:

But I can't just stop there. What is it about the color "blue" that denotes the negative vibe? I immediately think of "Eeyore" from Winnie the Pooh, who was usually "blue" in humor and depressed. Remember?

So being the librarian that I am I had to do a little research into the historical background of the color blue. Here's some interesting tidbits that I discovered regarding the color blue as it pertains to personality and business marketing from Empowering Yourself Through Color Psychology:

The Color Blue as it Pertains to Personality:

Communication: Blue relates to one-to-one verbal communication and self expression.

Peace and calm: The color blue induces calm and peace within us, particularly the deeper shades.

Honesty: Blue is the colour of truth.

Authority: The darker the color blue, the more authority it has.

Religion: Blue is the colour of devotion and religious study.

Wisdom: Blue enhances the wisdom of the intellect.

Effects of Blue

Conservative: The color blue is a safe colour - the most universally liked colour of all.

Predictable: Blue is not impulsive or spontaneous and it doesn't like to be rushed - blue needs to analyze and think things through, and to work to a plan.

Orderly: Blue needs to have direction & order- untidiness and unpredictability overwhelms it.

Rigid: Blue likes familiarity. It doesn't like change and will stubbornly do things its own way, even if there is a better way.

Blue in Business

In using blue in business, you need to understand the traits, qualities and mood of the color along with the psychological meaning.

Blue is the most universally favored color of all and therefore the safest to use. It relates to trust, honesty and dependability, therefore helping to build customer loyalty.

Blue indicates confidence, reliability and responsibility. It relates to one-to-one communication rather than mass communication. It inspires wisdom and higher ideals but is also conservative and predictable.

Physiologically, blue is calming, reducing tension and fear. It slows the pulse rate and reduces appetite. Being a cool color it creates a sensation of space.

Blue adds strength and unity, and is therapeutic to the mind and body. It brings harmony to the spoken word.

Blue works well for the corporate world and is often used for more conservative types of businesses such as accountants, insurance companies, banks and other financial companies where trust and reliability are important.

Younger people see blue in general as a color relating to maturity and the adult market, unless it is a bright electric blue of course.

Too much blue can encourage boredom, manipulation or a rigid outlook.

Did it increase your level of rigidity when this whole section was in blue? ;)

Here's some logos from businesses...do you agree that the color blue denotes trust with business logos?

Hmm...don't ask my father about his experience with Ford trucks...so not a good idea! Let's just say that he drives a Dodge now! :)

To learn more about the power of color check out this info-graphic featured on Motoblog:

And, because I'm in my last days of summer vacation, here's my "blue state of mind:"


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