Color Selection

The colors you choose for your signage can say more than you might think:

Red say’s powerful, passion, love, heat & strength. Virgin, Vodafone and Coca Cola all rely on Red to stand out. It’s easy to remember these companies as soon as you see red.

Yellow is bright & optimistic and can suggest sunshine & warmth. The golden arches of McDonalds are recognised the world over as a welcoming place, but be careful, it can also represent cowardice!

Blue, the color of safety, truth & dignity. Many financial associations such as Barclays us the positive hues of blue to communicate a safe and secure place to place your money!

Green is the color growth & nature, and has been used by environmental agencies & charities alike. Oxfam, BP and Holland & Barrett all use the positive color in their branding.

Purple conveys wealth, intelligence & sophistication, which is why Cadbury chose it for it’s velvety yummy chocolate! It does have some spiritual associations too, the Catholic faith relate it to mourning.

Brown can mean trust, but is also seen as old fashioned and frumpy in some people’s eyes. Fashion & Interior trends have seen Chocolate Brown becoming increasingly popular. It’s especially used in coffee bars to simulate a relaxed atmosphere.

Orange is warm and autumnal, think pumpkins and walks in the forest. It’s reliable and safe, so it’s not surprising that Sainsburys, EasyJet and of course Orange have all used it to excellent effect.

Black is for strength, but also globally associated with death and mourning. Organizations can use it to indicate seriousness.

White is traditionally used with other colors such as black. It can portray purity, cleanliness & lightness, but avoid it in Japan & China as Eastern cultures believe it conveys death.

That might all seem a lot to digest but it goes to show color isn’t just about personal preference. Your choices will ultimately be influenced by your companies’ aims, goals & the image you want to portray.

A few things to remember…

  1. Use company colors to tie all your marketing material together.
  2. Use color for impact and emphasis but not too much at once.
  3. Use tints and shades for variety and stick to colors from within one color scheme as much as possible.
  4. BE CONSISTENT! This is extremely important when using color. If all your titles in a page are green, then that should be repeated throughout the whole document. Stick to the exact color chosen by your designer too. If your logo is blue, find out the CMYK value and use the same blue all the time.
  5. Have fun with color! Take the meanings of color into consideration, but remember it’s good to stand out from the crowd too.