What Color Represents

Colors have symbolism and meanings. As you design brochures, logos, and Web sites, it is helpful to keep in mind how the eye and the mind associate meanings with the colors you display.  It is also important to keep in mind the “age” of your target audience because color is perceived differently by different age groups.

Sometimes colors create a physical reaction (red has been shown to raise blood pressure) and at other times it is a cultural reaction (in the U.S. white is for weddings, in some Eastern cultures, white is the color for mourning and funerals). Colors follow trends as well. Avocado, a shade of green, is associated with the 60s and 70s in the minds of some consumers (anyone remember that shag carpeting?).

BLACK

  • Authority
  • Power
  • Evokes strong emotions
  • Can be associated with Evil
  • Can be overwhelming if used in excess

WHITE

  • Purity
  • Cleanliness
  • Plainness
  • Safety (away from things that go bump in the night)
  • Can also represent Mourning for some Eastern Cultures

 

GRAY

  • Practical (when used in moderation)
  • Timeless or Classic (when used in moderation)
  • Middle of the Road
  • Depressing (if used too much) lends a feeling of “nothingness”
  • Old Age / Death / Loss of Direction

RED

  • Energy
  • Excitement
  • Movement
  • Agitation (if too much is used in brightest shades)
  • Holidays (It’s Christmas or Valentines Day)

BLUE

  • Lighters shades often give a “calming” feel
  • Cool and Uncaring (for some bolder shades) or if too much is used
  • Steadfast, Dependable, Loyalty
  • Productive
  • The favorite color of visitors over 50 (can make a site look “dated”

GREEN

  • Growth
  • Nature
  • Money
  • Calming
  • Forest Green = Conservative, Masculine and Wealthy

PURPLE

  • Wealth, Prosperity, Riches
  • Sophistication
  • Mystery, Wisdom, Respect
  • Too much is perceived as being “Artificial” or Putting on Airs
  • A favorite color of women

YELLOW

  • Cheerful, Laughter, Happiness
  • Optimism and a feeling of better times
  • Too much causes babies to cry and tempers to flare
  • Speeds up metabolism and creativity, increases sales
  • Overpowering if over used – can be associated with cowardice

ORANGE

  • Flamboyant
  • Fun times
  • Happy energetic days
  • Ambition
  • New Dawning or beginning, Attitude

BROWN

  • Reliability
  • Stability
  • Friendship
  • Natural or Organic
  • Too much my symbolize Mourning