Understanding the Meaning of Colors

This is an update of an article originally from April 28, 2016.

As a graphic designer and Creative Director, I always found it fascinating how something as simple as a single color can communicate so much.

Color is a form of non-verbal communication. Every color has meaning and feeling that it evokes. Whether consciously or subconsciously, colors have a great impact on your audience’s perception of a message and 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”.

Red

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

Orange

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

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 cowardice.

Green

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

Blue

The color of trust, honesty, and loyalty. As a safe and non-threatening color, blue is the most universally liked color. It is popular with corporations for these reasons.

Purple

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.

Pink

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

Gold

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

White

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

Black

The color of confidence, mystery, and sophistication. The color black can become overpowering and negative, so it’s best to compliment it 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.