Tips 4

Colour Symbolism

 

Red  redcrayon_rouge

Red is the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense colour. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, 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.

Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.

Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.

Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.

Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.

Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall. 


Orange  orangecrayon_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 fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

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 symbolizes high quality.


Yellow  yellowcrayon_jaune

 

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 honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.

Yellow is very effective for attracting attention. Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, '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. Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.

Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.

Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.


Green  greencrayon_vert

Green is the colour of nature. It symbolizes 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.

Green is directly related to nature, so it can be used to promote 'green' products. Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.

Dark green is associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.

Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.

Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.

Olive green is the traditional colour of peace.


Blue  bluecrayon_bleu

Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes 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 tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

As opposed to emotionally warm colours like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.

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 America.

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 is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.

Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.


Purple  purplecrayon_violet

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes 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 evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.

Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.


White  whitecrayon_blanc

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. White is an appropriate colour for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility.


Black  blackcrayon_noir

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 humor, '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. 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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