Color as Cognitive Artifact: A Means of Communication -- Language and Message

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Title: Color as Cognitive Artifact: A Means of Communication -- Language and Message
Author: Puhalla, Dennis M.
Advisors: Meredith J. Davis, Committee Chair
Martha Scotford, Committee Member
Bryan Laffitte, Committee Member
Anne L. Schiller, Committee Member
Abstract: Color is an intrinsic visual attribute of form that functions as language and message. The purpose of this study was to investigate objectively structured color combinations as a means to communicate visual order for the purpose reinforcing information hierarchy. Controlling the visual relationships of hue, value and chroma contrast can significantly assist a person's cognitive ability to assign impor-tance and dominance to a controlled color structure. This research study provided significant findings supporting the hypothesis that intrinsic color struc-tures can be formulated objectively; represent a visual hierarchy; and be perceived in an understand-able order. The documented findings of this study presented explicit evidence that addresses specific mechanisms for objective color ordering. The independent variables in the study were the attributes of color that form a color combination within each of the three attributes of color. The interconnection of these attributes was compared by contrast and similarity through a grouping of colors in derivative structured patterns. Variables of size, shape, space, position, signs, symbols and motion were constrained. Facilitating color represen-tation and presentation, text and type were utilized as controlled variables. In order to determine if color combinations could be identified and objectively qualified and quanti-fied, an experimental research design strategy was operationalized. Six hue, value and chroma con-figurations produced eighteen color structures. To determine the predominant tendency in viewers' perception of color organization a statistical analysis was calculated. For task effectiveness, statistical analysis was computed in ordinal scale measurements and Chi-Square analysis for 99 participants. For task efficiency, minimum, maximum, mean and median scores were calculated. To analyze task efficiency, three distinct ANOVA calculations were made for time variations within the value, hue and chroma structures. Chi-Square and ANOVA analyses verified significant probability results in each hue, value and chroma structure. The natural inferences of the study support the proposition that there is a natural relationship between objective color ordering principles and human comprehension. The study offers an alternative to cur-rent methods and techniques for color selection anchored in subjective psychological intentions and marketing tactics. Color can be assembled according to objective rules or 'codes.'
Date: 2005-03-14
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Design

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