Design Tips: Communicating With Color
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Color Talks... Are You Listening?
Next time you want to make a bold statement, try saying it with color!
Depending on what type of message or meaning you wish to convey, the color combinations you choose can support, emphasize, or contradict your message. Color stimulates the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.
According to the Institute for Color Research, humans make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or item within 90 seconds of initial viewing, and the majority of that assessment is based on color alone. Because color delivers an instant impression that is generally understood universally, color is very important in conveying a mood or idea where verbiage is not used or understood.
The power of color combinations can also be seen on many levels of marketing communication, including corporate identification and logos, signage, television ads, billboards, print media and packaging, online web sites, and on point-of-purchase displays.
Here is a small sampling of dominant colors and the responses they elicit:
Red: Exciting, energizing, sexy, hot, dynamic, stimulating, provocative, aggressive, powerful
Bright Pink: Happy, attention-getting, youthful, spirited, fun, wild
Light Pink: Romantic, soft, sweet, tender, cute, babies
Orange: Fun, childlike, harvest, juicy, friendly, loud
Beige: Classic, sandy, earthy, natural, soft
Brown: Wholesome, warm, woodsy, rustic, durable, masculine
Purple: Royalty, powerful, expensive
Light Blue: Calm, quiet, peaceful, cool, water, clean
Bright Blue: Electric, vibrant, stirring, dramatic
Bright Yellow: Enlightening, sunshine, cheerful, friendly, energy, happy
Black: Powerful, elegant, mysterious, bold, classic, magical, nighttime
Silver: Classic, cool, money, valuable, futuristic
Gold: Warm, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious
by Leatrice Eiseman
This comprehensive and easy to use color guide presents nearly every major color combination you could think of. Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color is designed to help you understand the meaning of the colors and particular color combinations, which make it easier to "see" which connotations you want associated with your marketing materials or company.