As a follow-up to our previous post, The value of color in the workplace, we know that color can be a powerful element in a designer's tool box. Color plays an inherent role in each of our lives, and profoundly affects how we experience the world around us. For a general understanding, here are some basics on the effects and meanings of each color. It's key to point out that of the thousands of shades of each color, sometimes varying shades/tones often have complex and contradictory meanings.
Red - associated with energy, aggression, war, danger, strength, power, determination, as well as passion, desire, and love. Red captures attention. It is one of the most visible colors, second only to yellow.
Yellow - associated with joy, optimism, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. It is also the universal color for caution and physical illness. Yellow is the most visible color of the spectrum.
Orange - associated with joy, sunshine, and warmth. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Orange is symbolic of strength and endurance, vitality, cheer, excitement, adventure, warmth, and good health.
Green - associated with nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. It also has strong emotional correspondence with safety.
Blue - associated with depth and stability, as well as tranquility and calmness. Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Purple - associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. It symbolizes power, wealth, nobility, luxury, and ambition.
White - associated with light, goodness, innocence, and purity. White suggest simplicity and safety.
Black - associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black contrasts well with bright colors.