Nature of Color in Creative Designing
Color can evoke reactions, emotions or even action all without using words. So how do we know which colors look good together?
- Red Color Theory
In design, red can be a strong accent. They can have an overwhelming effect if they are used a lot in designs, especially in their purest form. It's a great color to use when you want strength or emotion to be reflected in a design. However, red can be very versatile, with brighter versions more energetic and darker shades more powerful and elegant.
- Yellow Color Theory
In your designs, bright yellow can bring a feeling of happiness and joy. Soft yellow is commonly used as a gender neutral color for babies (rather than blue or pink) and toddlers. Light yellow also gives a calmer feeling of happiness than bright yellow. Dark yellows and golden yellows can sometimes look vintage and can be used in designs where a sense of permanence is desired.
- Blue Color Theory
In design, the exact shade of blue you select will have a huge impact on how your designs are perceived. Light blues are often relaxed and calming. Bright blues can be energizing and refreshing. Dark blues, like navy, are excellent for corporate sites or designs where strength and reliability are important.
- Orange Color Theory
In designs, orange commands attention without being as overpowering as red. It’s often considered more friendly and inviting, and less in-your-face.
- Green Color Theory
It’s appropriate for designs related to wealth, stability, renewal, and nature. Brighter greens are more energizing and vibrant, while olive greens are more representative of the natural world. Dark greens are the most stable and representative of affluence.
- Purple Color Theory
Purple is a combination of red and blue and takes on some attributes of both. It’s associated with creativity and imagination, too. In design, dark purples can give a sense wealth and luxury. Light purples are softer and are associated with spring and romance.
- Black Color Theory
In design, black is commonly used for typography and other functional parts, because of its neutrality. Black can make it easier to convey a sense of sophistication and mystery in a design.
- White Color Theory
White is at the opposite end of the spectrum from black, but like black, it can work well with just about any other color. It’s also associated with the healthcare industry, especially with doctors, nurses and dentists. White is associated with goodness, and angels are often depicted in white. In design, white is generally considered a neutral backdrop that lets other colors in a design have a larger voice. It can help to convey cleanliness and simplicity, though, and is popular in minimalist designs. White in designs can also portray either winter or summer, depending on the other design motifs and colors that surround it.
- Gray Color Theory
Gray is a neutral color, generally considered on the cool end of the color spectrum. It can sometimes be considered moody or depressing. Light grays can be used in place of white in some designs, and dark grays can be used in place of black. In design, gray backgrounds are very common, as is gray typography.
A quick reference guide for the common meanings of the colors discussed above:
- Red: Passion, Love, Anger
- Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality
- Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Deceit
- Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature
- Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness
- Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth
- Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil
- Gray: Moody, Conservative, Formality
- White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue