The Effect of Color on Learning: How 4 Different Colors Affect Student Moods and Behaviors

The Effect of Color on Learning: How 4 Different Colors Affect Student Moods and Behaviors

Author: Dr. Christina Counts

Choosing the color palette for a space is important––being exposed to certain colors influences different behaviors, mood, and perceptions (“Color Psychology: How Do Colors Affect Mood & Emotions?”, 2020). That being the case, choosing the color palette for learning environments is particularly important, as color is 1 of 6 design parameters that have a 25% impact on learning (Barrett, Davies, Zhang & Barrett, 2015).

While creating aesthetically pleasing learning spaces is one reason to utilize color in schools, the effect of color on learning is a much more compelling motivation to implement particular colors in school environments. Each color in a learning space can have a different effect on students’ behavior and moods, making it an important part of the learning color learning space

The effect of color on learning is an important consideration to make when designing a learning space. Here are some ways that four common learning environment colors affect student moods and behaviors:

Red in Learning Environments

Red is a very stimulating color and is often associated with strength and courage. Red in a learning space can increase alertness, creativity, and excitement. A learning environment with red in the color palette can be energizing, motivating students and teachers to act and increasing attention to detail.

Orange in Learning Environments

Orange is an energetic color that can increase alertness, excitement, and engagement. This hue signifies optimism and self-confidence, promoting happiness and energy. Orange may also promote collaboration in learning spaces.

Green in Learning Environments

Green is a natural color and brings a sense of balance and harmony into a space. The calmness of green can symbolize relaxation, healing, and stability. A learning environment with green in the color palette may help relieve stress and provide a sense of security.

Blue in Learning Environments

Blue is typically associated with trust, integrity, and peace. This color creates a positive, calming emotional response, generally reducing stress and making people happier. Blue in learning spaces may also inspire student creativity and exploration of new color learning environment

The effect of color on learning is an important consideration to make when choosing colors for a learning space design. Every color in a learning space can influence students’ behavior and moods, whether it’s on the walls, floors, furniture, or learning materials. By considering the impacts each of these colors makes, it’s easy to choose a color palette that can help accomplish the goals of any learning environment.

MiEN Company’s design team can help you create the perfect color palette for your learning space’s aesthetic and learning goals. Once you have a design and color scheme for your space, MiEN Company’s wide range of fabrics and surface materials are easy to explore by color using our furniture partners’ online materials libraries. With all of the material and color options available at MiEN Company, you can create an environment that supports your learning goals.


Barrett, P., Davies, F., Zhang, Y., & Barrett, L. (2015). The impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning: Final results of a holistic, multi-level analysis. Retrieved 1 February 2021, from http://dx.doi .org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.02.013

Color Psychology: How Do Colors Affect Mood & Emotions?. (2020). Retrieved 1 February 2021, from https://londonimageinstitute. com/how-to-empower-yourself-with-color-psychology/

Dr. Christina Counts, VP of Strategy and Development for MiEN Environments, is a proven leader with a successful background in transforming learning spaces to modern engaging learning environments. Dr. Counts has worked in education for over 17 years with experience as a classroom teacher, district instructional leader, school administrator, and digital and innovative learning designer. In her most recent position, Christina leads a team of professionals that support schools making the transition to a flexible, collaborative, & student-centered learning space.  She holds a doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership, National Board-certified, and Google & Apple certified. Dr. Counts envisions a learning space in which educators are empowered to transform education through design, technology and innovative instructional pedagogy to create learners ready for any future!