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Article :: Color Selection in Graphic Design

Color Theory plays an important role in Graphic Design. Not only is the design itself important but the selection of color is highly relevant.

A recent client, a life and business coach, needed a redesign of her logo. She was gravitating towards the color yellow while I was encouraging her to consider orange. Recognizing that her business has psychological aspects, I was certain she would appreciate how Color Theory would affect the perception of her clients and prospects.

Orange (my choice) reflects optimism, confidence, warmth and self-respect. It gives us the freedom to be ourselves. Orange is both mentally and physically stimulating and encourages two-way communication. In short, it encompasses positive qualities and motivation which is exactly what a life and business coach would want for her clients.

Yellow, on the other hand, is fickle. While it is cheerful and fun, it is also anxiety-provoking and leads to self-criticism. “Yellow” is slang for coward. It’s split between good connotations and negative ones. Add to that the difficulties of visualization of the color yellow on a white background and you have an unfortunate choice for a logo color.

My own logo for Page by Page Graphic Design is comprised of black, white and magenta. The color magenta is friendly, welcoming and unique. It is tied to intuitive thinking and helpfulness. It is considered to reflect creativity – a very good thing for a Graphic Design professional!

Black and white are polar opposites. Color Theory designates white as a clean slate or blank canvas. It leads to creativity and new beginnings. Black denotes elegance and discipline. While black has several negative connotations, it is the antithesis of white and, when used together, acts in a grounding fashion. Black is used for easy readability and evokes reliability. Black and white are the ultimate contrast couple.

While color choice may seem random, successful companies pay close attention to the message their color choices are sending. Check out some of your favorite brands and see what their logo colors are saying. Hint: companies that use red in their marketing are creating a sense of urgency which may lead to a stronger desire to purchase.

What does your color palate say about you?



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