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Understanding the Meaning of Colors

Understanding the Meaning of Colors

Posted by: Matt | Categories:  Branding and IdentityDesignIndustry Research

For the longest time I’ve been fascinated by the “meaning” of colors.

As a graphic designer and art director, I always found it really neat how something as simple as a single color can communicate so much. Whether consciously or subconsciously, colors have a great impact on your audience's perception of a message or logo.

Can't decide which color is right for your brand? Use this quick reference to get to know your favorite colors and their “meanings”.


The color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. I find it interesting red’s the color of both anger AND love. It's also used frequently in restaurants and food packaging to stimulate the appetite.


The color of social communication and optimism. Orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.


The color of the mind and the intellect. Yellow is very optimistic and cheerful, but on the flip side, it can also suggest impatience, criticism and being cowardly.


The color of nature, balance, growth and renewal. Green also relates strongly to prosperity and abundance in regards to finance and material wealth.


The color of trust, honesty and loyalty. As a safe and non-threatening color, blue’s the most universally liked color of all. Very popular by corporations for these very reasons.


The color of the imagination, spirituality and the future. Purple is specifically associated with royalty and nobility, creating an impression of luxury, wealth and extravagance.


The color of compassion, nurturing and love. Pink’s a positive color inspiring warm and comforting feelings, a sense that everything will be okay – a sign of hope.


The color of success, achievement and triumph. Implying affluence and material wealth, Gold’s frequently associated with abundance, prosperity, luxury and quality.


The color of completeness, pure and perfection. White is the ultimate symbol of cleanliness and efficiency, but can unfortunately also give off the feeling of being sterile and cold.


The color of confidence, mystery and sophistication. Black can quickly become overpowering and negative, though. It’s best to compliment with some color to lighten and brighten.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a wealth of information out there about the psychology and "meaning" of colors. Hopefully this blog post intrigued you enough to learn a little more on your own!

Are you in need of a brand refresh or design overhaul? Improve the quality and consistency of your marketing using colors that reinforce your brand. 

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