The Meaning of Color



Colors are non-verbal communication. They create a physical and emotional reaction. Understanding the meaning of color as well as the cultural use of color and how colors interact is important in print and electronic design in order to convey the right tone, message, and evoke the desired response to the brochure, newsletter, ad, Web site, or other publication.

The Meaning of Cool Colors: Cool colors tend to have a calming effect. At one end of the spectrum they are cold, impersonal, antispectic colors. At the other end the cool colors are comforting and nurturing. Blue, green, and the neutrals white, gray, and silver are examples of cool colors.

Postive Attributes of Cool Colors:

The Meaning of the Color Blue - strong, important, peaceful, intelligent The Meaning of the Color Green - growth, health, environment, harmony The Meaning of Warm Colors: Warm colors convey emotions from simple optimism to strong violence. The warmth of red, yellow, pink, or orange can create excitement or even anger. The neutrals of black and brown also carry attributes of warm colors. Positive Attributes of Warm Colors: The Meaning of the Color Red - love, passion, heat, joy, power The Meaning of the Color Pink - sweet, nice, romance, playful, delicate The Meaning of the Color Yellow - happy, joy, cheeful, remembrance The Meaning of the Color Gold - riches, extravagance, bright, traditional The Meaning of the Color Orange - energy, warmth change, health The Meaning of Mixed Warm and Cool Colors: Colors with attributes from both the warm and cool colors can calm and excite. These are colors derived from a mix of a cool and warm color such as blue and red or blue and yellow. Typically considered cool, green is really more of a mixed warm and cool color. Positive Attributes of Mixed Warm and Cool Colors: The Meaning of the Color Purple - royal, precious, romantic, sacred The Meaning of the Color Lavender - grace, elegance, delicate, feminine The Meaning of the Color Green - growth, health, environment, harmony The Meaning of the Color Turquoise - feminine, sophisticated, retro The Meaning of the Color Beige - conservative, relaxing The Meaning of Neutral Colors: Neutral colors help to put the focus on other colors or serve to tone down colors that might otherwise be overpowering on their own. To some extent blacks, browns, tans, golds, and beige colors are considered warm. While white, ivory, silver, and gray are somewhat cooler colors. Yet these warm and cool attributes are flexible and more subtle than that of reds or blues.


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