Friday, January 16, 2009

Colors and Color Combinations

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.

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 (remember that shag carpeting?) in the minds of some consumers.

In addition to understanding color meanings, it helps with mixing and matching colors to know the relationship of adjacent, complementary, and clashing colors.

Authority and Power
Evokes strong emotions
Associated with Evil
Overwhelming if used in excess
Purity - Cleanliness
Safety (away from things that go bump in the night)
Mourning for some Eastern Cultures
Practical (in moderation)
Timeless (in moderation)
Middle of the Road
Too much depressing / “nothingness” Old age / death
Depression / loss of direction
Energy – Movement – Excitement
Too much – overwhelming, agitated
Calming for lighter shades
Cold and Uncaring some shades or too much
Steadfast – Dependable – Loyal
Growth – Nature - Money
Forest Green = conservative, masculine and wealth)
Wealth – Prosperity – Riches
Mystery – Wisdom - Respect
Too much – Being Artificial – “Airs”
Cheerful – Laughter – Happiness
Optimism – better times
Too much causes babies to cry and tempers to flare
Speeds up metabolism and creativity increases sales
Overpowering if over used or associated with cowardice
Fun times, happy energetic days
Ambition – New Dawn - Attitude
Reliability – Stability
Natural or Organic
Too much - Mourning

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