Image Orientation & Color

Yesterday’s post examined the effect of line and shape orientation on how likely a viewer may be expected to remember an image. How about color?

 Vertical orientation has 81% probability of being remembered

Drops to 63% if rotated 90 degrees CW
D300_091102_182416__DSC9978_nx2 cep4bas brdr

Note: The orientation that matters is the orientation of the subject (i.e., the silhouette) and not the frame. This results from the visual design implications of horizontal vs. vertical shapes and lines:

  • Horizontal lines suggest tranquility and rest
  • Vertical lines suggest power and strength

The effect of orientation, for some images, is significant. How about color?

          87%                            68%

tree branch 1         tree branch b&w

The increase from the original image’s 81% to the brightly colored’s 87%, and the decrease to 68% with the grayscale, seems intuitive. I’d certainly be more likely to remember the left image than the grayscale on the right. But – are there general conclusions related to color beyond the obvious ones seen in this example? More to come….


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