THE MEANING OF COLOR
"Color in design is very subjective. What evokes one reaction in one person may evoke a very different reaction in someone else. Sometimes this is due to personal preference, and other times due to cultural background. Color theory is a science in itself. Studying how colors affect different people, either individually or as a group, is something some people build their careers on... Something as simple as changing the exact hue or saturation of a color can evoke a completely different feeling." - Cameron Chapman
Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow. These are the colors of fire, of fall leaves, and of sunsets and sunrises, and are generally energizing and passionate.
RED (PRIMARY COLOR)
In design, red can be a powerful accent color. It can have an overwhelming effect if it’s used too much in designs, especially in its purest form. It’s a great color to use when power or passion want to be portrayed in the design. Red can be very versatile, though, with brighter versions being more energetic and darker shades being more powerful and elegant.
YELLOW (PRIMARY COLOR)
Cool colors include green, blue, and purple, are often more subdued than warm colors. They are the colors of night, of water, of nature, and are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved.
GREEN (SECONDARY COLOR)
Green has many of the same calming attributes that blue has, but it also incorporates some of the energy of yellow. In design, green can have a balancing and harmonizing effect, and is very stable. It’s appropriate for designs related to wealth, stability, renewal, and nature. Brighter greens are more energizing and vibrant, while olive greens are more representative of the natural world. Dark greens are the most stable and representative of affluence.
BLUE (PRIMARY COLOR)
The meaning of blue is widely affected depending on the exact shade and hue. In design, the exact shade of blue you select will have a huge impact on how your designs are perceived. Light blues are often relaxed and calming. Bright blues can be energizing and refreshing. Dark blues are excellent when strength and reliability are important.
Neutral colors like Brown often serve as the backdrop in design. They’re commonly combined with brighter accent colors. But they can also be used on their own in designs, and can create very sophisticated layouts. The meanings and impressions of neutral colors are much more affected by the colors that surround them than are warm and cool colors.
Black is the strongest of the neutral colors. On the positive side, it’s commonly associated with power, elegance, and formality. On the negative side, it can be associated with evil, death, and mystery. Black is the traditional color of mourning in many Western countries. It’s also associated with rebellion in some cultures.
Black is commonly used in edgier designs, as well as in very elegant designs. It can be either conservative or modern, traditional or unconventional, depending on the colors it’s combined with. In design, black is commonly used for typography and other functional parts, because of it’s neutrality. Black can make it easier to convey a sense of sophistication and mystery in a design.
- Red: Passion, Love, Anger
- Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality Yellow:Happiness, Hope, Deceit Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature
- Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness
- Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth
- Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil Gray: Moody, Conservative, Formality
- White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue
- Brown: Nature, Wholesomeness, Dependability
- Tan or Beige: Conservative, Piety, Dull
- Cream or Ivory: Calm, Elegant, Purity