Colours can set the mood and tone of your design. Below we have included terms and meanings of colours to help you make decisions to your design.
Red Red is the colour of blood and fire, so is associated with war, energy, danger, power, strength, determination as well as love passion and desire. Red can be an emotional intense colour. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It is great to use for which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a colour found in many national flags. Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent colour to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect colour for 'Buy Now' or 'Click Here' buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, 'Lady in Red', etc). Red is widely used to indicate danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights). This colour is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, and items related to sports and high physical activity.
Light red Represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink Signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Dark red Associated with vigour, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Brown Suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
Reddish-brown Associated with harvest and autumn.
Orange Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. To the human eye, orange is a very hot colour, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus colour, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the colour of autumn and spring. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
Dark orange Can mean deceit and distrust.
Red-orange Corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Gold Evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolises high quality.
Yellow Yellow is the colour of sunshine. It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this colour. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow is seen before other colours when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning. In heraldry, yellow indicates honour and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice. Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children's products and items related to leisure. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design. Men usually perceive yellow as a very light-hearted, 'childish' colour, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes. Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous colour, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark colour to highlight it. Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.
Dull (dingy) yellow Represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Light yellow Associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.
Green Green is the colour of nature. It symbolises growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money. Green has great healing power. It is the most restful colour for the human eye; it can improve vision. Green suggests stability and endurance. Sometimes green denotes lack of experience; for example, a 'greenhorn' is a novice. In heraldry, green indicates growth and hope. Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the colour of free passage in road traffic. Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products. Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote 'green' products. Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, and banking.
Dark green Associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
Yellow-green Can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Aqua Associated with emotional healing and protection.
Olive green The traditional colour of peace.
Blue Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolises trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolise piety and sincerity. You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, and air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colours like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products. Blue is a masculine colour; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males. Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred colour for corporate Australia. Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite. When used together with warm colours like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect colour scheme for a superhero.
Light blue Associated with health, healing, tranquillity, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue Represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
Purple Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolises power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colours. Purple is a very rare colour in nature; some people consider it to be artificial. Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children's products.
Light purple Evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Dark purple Evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.
White White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity. In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it's the colour of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate colour for charitable organisations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.
Black Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious colour associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humour, 'black death'). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious colour (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief. Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or grey background to make the other colours stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colours. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colours – black gives a very aggressive colour scheme.
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