Color is a magical element that gives feeling and emotion to art, design and advertising. By understanding the symbolic meaning of color you can choose the right color to support your marketing message and emphasize your design. You should always use color as a functional design element. A dominate color or overall color scheme can determine the tone of your message. Certain colors will help your product, marketing piece, corporate document or advertisement attract specific target markets and evoke desired responses. The information below will give you some generally accepted guidelines on the symbolic meanings of color and how you can use it in your marketing materials, logo or packaging design.
Symbolic Meaning of Color: Yellows — Coral, orange, amber, gold
Symbolizes: Energy, caution, warmth, cheer, joy.
Use yellow for signage in work situations warning of danger. Yellow is also good for any project that needs to evoke feelings of lightheartedness, humor or friendliness. Yellows are often associated with the following characteristics: homey, friendly, soft, welcoming, moving, excitement or adventure. Good for press kits, stationery and shopping bags.
Symbolic Meaning of Color: Reds — Mauve, magenta, crimson, scarlet, poster red
Symbolizes: Power, romance, vitality, earthly, energy.
Reds evoke highly charged emotions such as aggression, danger or love. Red makes us pay attention and catches our eye immediately. Use reds on items that need to grab attention. In the financial arena, red symbolizes a negative direction.
Symbolic Meaning of Color: Greens — Lime, leaf green, sea green, emerald, teal, sage
Symbolizes life: Foliage, grass, trees and water.
Greens are sensuous and alive. Green is associated with the following characteristics: friendliness, dependability, freshness, nonthreatening, safe, secure, healthy, strong, expensive, primitive. In the business world, green symbolizes growth and prosperity.
Symbolic Meaning of Color: Blues — Cyan, sky blue, ultramarine, violet, purple, azure
Symbolizes: Peace, law and order, logic, analytical, intelligent, honest, calm, clean, good will, tranquility, compassionate, serious, thoughtful, quiet, reflective, regal, classic, dependable, trustworthiness, tradition, magical.
Blues are often used for older, more mature audiences and situations. Blue is common in financial institutions, hospitals, legal and medical professions. Purples have long been associated with magic, spirituality and royalty.