In part one of our Basic Color Theory series, we went over warm colors and the meaning that range often inspires in people. In this part, cool colors (green, blue and purple) will be broken down.
These more subdued colors are called “colors of water, nature or night” and are usually relaxing, reserved and calming. Out of these colors, blue is the only one that is a primary color. Blair Stover explains more below.
- Green – This color represents growth and new beginnings and also signifies abundance and renewal. However, it can also represent lack of experience, jealousy and envy. It can have a harmonizing and balancing effect though, and it is great for designs related to stability, nature, renewal and wealth. Bright greens are perfect for exerting a vibrant and energizing feel, while olive greens are great for a natural look.
- Blue – Associated with sadness in the U.S., blue can also mean responsibility, calmness and peace. Light blue is friendly and refreshing. In religious and cultural aspects, blue has religious and spiritual connotations. The meaning behind your blue will depend on the shade and hue you use. Bright blue is refreshing and energetic while light blue is calming and relaxing.
- Purple – When you think of purple, think of royalty. However, that is not the case in all countries. In Thailand, it is a color of mourning. Darker purples are associated with royalty and wealth, while the lighter purples are romantic.
Even though it may seem like the information above is a lot to take, in the end it can be broken down into short snippets. Here is a quick reference guide:
Red: Love, Anger, Passion
Orange: Happiness, Vitality, Energy
Yellow: Hope, Vitality, Happiness
Green: Abundance, Nature, New Beginnings
Blue: Responsible, Sadness, Calm
Purple: Royalty, Wealth, Creativity
Black: Elegance, Evil, Mystery
Gray: Conservative, Formality, Moody
White: Cleanliness, Virtue, Purity
Brown: Wholesomeness, Dependability, Nature
Beige or Tan: Piety, Dull, Conservative
Ivory or Cream: Elegant, Purity, Calm
What colors do you plan on using next time you design a website?