Choosing Colors

Color Spectrum

Choosing Colors for Graphics in Marketing and Design

Colors have a huge impact on our psychology. If you are just starting a company or changing your branding, be sure to consider color. By psychology we mean how colors affect moods, feelings, memories and thoughts.

Your mind is strongly influenced by colors. Colors can be warm or cold. Generally the left side of the color spectrum is considered cool and the right is considered warm. You can also have the same color in warm or cool versions. Pastels are light tones of a color and they are all cool.

Every color has positive and negative connotations. To have the maximum positive effect, combine a color with a positive message conveyed by that color. For example the Dairy Queen Logo is all red which is often used to inspire passion or excitement. Their tag line is “Hot Eats, Cool Treats.” Used this way, the word “hot” has a positive connotation, so in combination with the color red their brand is more memorable. Choosing colors for graphics is a vital art of your branding and should done carefully.


PURPLE

Use of Color Purple in Graphic and Web DesignPurple is a mixture of red and blue and generally considered calming. Dark versions are associated with royalty and spirituality (think king’s robe) while lighter purples such as lavender are associated with romance and relaxation. You will increase energy with redder purples and have a calming effect with cooler blue ones.

BLUE

Use of Color Blue in Graphic and Web DesignBlue is a common favorite and is associated with trust and stability. It can seem conservative as it is a very corporate color (think power suit). Light blue is very serene and comforting. Many companies choose to mix dark and light blues to get the effect of both tones.

GREEN

Use of Color Green in Graphic and Web DesignGreen is incredibly popular because it symbolizes nature and cleanliness; brown and green are often combined to say “organic” as in the colors of plants and earth. Lime green is often used to say “fruity”, “flavorful” or “tart” (think organic).

YELLOW

Use of Color Yellow in Graphic and Web DesignYellow is warm and happy (think smiley face.) Yellow is also used for caution or warnings. It grabs your attention. Yellow is especially common in the fast food industry. Yellow and red combined stimulate your appetite. McDonald’s “golden arches” takes it a step further by linking yellow and french fries. If you have kids, you know it’s a very powerful message.

ORANGE

Use of Color Orange in Graphic and Web DesignOrange is a color commonly found in nature (fruit, peppers and flowers.) A light peach is very soothing. If you want attention, orange does it very well without alarming people like red does. Orange is also happy and healthy. Darker oranges are often used to symbolize fall or the harvest.

RED

Use of Color Red in Graphic and Web DesignRed has a variety of uses from romance and passion to alarm and fear. A deep dark red is associated with wine, blood and passion. Pink with romance. A bright red is hot and spicy or a very strong warning. Red demands action.


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