Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Color is a very powerful thing. Even when we do not realize it, color speaks to us subconsciously. Believe it or not, colors can create feelings of emotion. What we associate certain colors with can make us perceive things entirely different. Because of the weight that color bears, how do you know which color would be most effective for your signage? To answer that question, we will break down each color to help you have a better understanding of what color would be most effective for your situation.
Red - One of the most powerful of all of the colors, red definitely makes a strong impression. In fact, red has been shown in studies to be powerful enough to have physical effects on people by raising blood pressure, metabolism rates, and respiration rates. Red can give people feelings of aggression, passion, danger, or importance. Red has a knack for attracting attention, and for this reason, red is a valuable design tool for signage applications. If red is used in excess, it can be overwhelming. However, using red in moderation or using variations in shades of the color can prove to hold a lot of impact. Brighter versions of red are more energetic while darker shades are powerful and elegant.
Orange - Orange can be as a friendlier, more inviting option to red. While orange still holds the strong energy of red, it does not carry the weight of the intense emotions felt with red. Orange is seen as a more energetic, playful color and can be associated with good health, vitality, and creativity. Duller shades of orange can be associated with nature and can create a feeling of calmness.
Yellow - The brightest of all colors is yellow. Yellow holds an extreme amount of energy and can create feelings of both happiness and anxiety. Because it is commonly used for warnings, yellow should be used sparingly and as more of an accent piece. Lighter shades of yellow emphasize the feelings of happiness, while darker shades hold more weight and create feelings of permanence.
Green - Because green holds energy and also creates a feelings of calmness, it has a very balanced, harmonized, and stable effect. This holds true also due to the fact that green is the bridgeway between warm and cool colors. Green is most commonly associated with nature and holds an organic quality to it. Lighter shades carry out the more energetic side while darker shades carry out the more stable side and represents prosperity.
Blue - Blue creates strong feelings of security, serenity, trust, and comfort. Because of this reason, blue is one of the safest colors and is seen as friendly and inviting. On the flip side, dark shades of blue can also create somber feelings. Blue is an excellent color option to convey professionalism. Food industries are the only ones that should use caution when using this color because blues are not commonly found in natural foods and studies have shown blue to act as an appetite suppressant.
Purple - As the royal color, purple provides a sense of wealth, luxury, romance, and mystery. Using purple for signage applications can create a sense of elegance and high-end appeal. Since purple is a combination of both blue and red, it carries some attributes of both colors.
Neutrals - Neutral colors include tans, browns, grays, black, and white. Neutrals are most often used as background colors to more vibrant accent colors, but they can also be used without accent colors to create simplistic, sophisticated, and modern designs. Neutral colors are very mild with creating emotion, and are usually dependent on the accent colors to convey a certain emotion.