When it comes to using multi-screen setups, content is the most critical part.  Think about it, we can spend all the time and money in the world getting the right screens, projectors, multi-screen processors, televisions and computers, but if we don’t have visuals that amplify our emotions and elicit a response, that stuff is nothing more than a flashy setup lacking purpose.

It’s content that takes our audiences to new places. It’s content that reminds us of the power of the cross. It’s content that takes our breath away when we see the magnitude and beauty of the heavens. It’s content that makes cool technology come to life! But it’s also content that ruins everything. That’s exactly why choosing the right content is so critical. Over the past few weeks I’ve written about motion, texture and today I write about one of the most important factors of creating an environment…. Color.


Tip #3: Color.

Psychologists have been studying color for a long time. In 1960 there was a breakthrough, a psychologist by the name of Charles E. Osgood conducted a series of tests that tested his theory that color effects emotion. After about a year of testing and hundreds of individual studies of all cultures around the world, Osgood wrote this in his final conclusions of results.

…specific assets of certain stimuli [including color] elicit distinct, innate and unconditioned responses.

Osgood went on to study the concept that color can actually elicit an specific emotional response and change your behavior and/or feelings. In doing so – he discovered that the length and density of a light wave (the characteristic of a light that determines color and brightness) is DIRECTLY related to specific emotions. For example, he found that white [which has faster wave forms] causes a higher energetic response of joy and freedom. That’s interesting, more wave forms produces more energy in our emotional state as well? He also found that Blue [which in contrast has slower wave forms] actually stimulates a peaceful and calm reaction. Which is exactly why in a good movie we associate a blue overtone with either peaceful or cold.

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Needless to say… psychologists will continue to study this color-emotion relationship for years… but there is no question that color affects our emotions. When used in an event with either multi-screen or environmental projection, the atmosphere, environment and emotion can be altered simply by the color of content or lighting we choose to use.  That is why this is such a critical thing to factor in when looking for new content.

Every color tells a story. And every color tells a different story. Take a look at this chart, it will help you understand which emotions can be associated with each color.

Color Theory for Video and Live events

When choosing content be aware of what color the piece of content has. It will help tell the story or emotion you want to express. Also be aware of how many colors that piece of content may contain. Do you want to have a rainbow of colors (which may lead to a weaker emotional reaction) or do you want rich color?

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One last thought. If you have someone that focuses on lighting, make sure your video team and lighting team are in constant communication about color. You don’t want one department throwing visuals of one color/emotion and another department showing the opposite. It will only lessen the amount of impact and association to your environments.


What story do you want to tell? What emotion do you want to amplify? Once you know the answers to those questions, you shouldn’t have any issue determining which color you want to choose.


In Short: Color elaborates and amplifies both emotion and energy to help create powerful environments.


Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

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