Defining the Complex Emotional Experiences of Depression through Visual Language – Colour as Expressive Tool

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Carla LoboPuja KumarLuisa Barreto

Abstract: According to survey reports by World Health Organization, depression was ranked as the third leading cause of the global burden of disease in 2004, moving into the first place by 2030. Considering this scenario, a research project has been conducted focusing on the potential of graphic design in health care as an opportunity to communicate complex emotional experiences of depression. Using colour as a design strategy, conceptualizes a methodological approach that can be adopted to develop colour palettes in graphic design by considering the focal parameters relevant to the specific project, in this case, connect the emotional dimension of colour experience with depression to visualise the illness in a new light.All works of graphic design establishes a visual communication with its audiences by connecting directly or indirectly on an emotional level, establishing a visual communication with their audiences, connecting directly or indirectly on an emotional level. This paper proposes a methodological approach that can be adopted to derive the appropriate colour for any design, based on the message it is intended to communicate.The development of the tool is based on the importance of the relationship between the relative degree of each emotion and the specific cultural symbolism for the derivation of colours, aiming to capture an individual's emotional attention and produce flawless results in the final design work.The work is based on a transversal approach, correlating different graphic design strategies, including colour and its symbolism, in this case with reference to Indian culture, with the aim of identifying and subsequently portraying the different types of depression, motivating depressed people to express themselves, and the population in general to change their perception about the disease, promoting greater sensitivity and sympathy towards the subject. The proposed colour tool ambitions to create a solution for the inability of people to put together words for their emotional experiences/ feelings when they are going through depression. The colours chosen by them would give a clearer understanding of the emotions/ feelings they might be going through and would play an indicative role to determine the type of depression.Hence, the project is an effort to channel appropriate color as a design tool to talk about depression, spread information and ultimately enrich humane diagnoses and treatment when it comes to fight depression.The development of this interactive visual medium to express complex emotion is fulfilled by incorporating colour variations as a paramount feature in the design strategy. To effectively portray depression as a serious illness using the expressive potential of colour to convey right emotions when used aptly, a colour code was designed, considering the variations in colour dimensions (saturation and light scales) as ways of expressing the degree of severity of the disease.The colour palette was achieved by theoretical research of colour concepts crossed with analytical study of survey results, which allowed the most significant associations between colours and emotions to be identified, and from these to build a functional colour code, providing a visual expressive tool to those going through depression.

Keywords: depression, color, communication, methodology, graphic design

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001408

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