Color Relationships & Philosophy

The Color Effect:

“An executive for a paint company received complaints from workers in a blue office that the office was too cold. When the offices were painted a warm peach, the sweaters came off even though the temperature had not changed.” Pantone

Using the right colors can be an influential way to communicate our message and each color has a unique underlying meaning:
  • Red – adventure, aggressiveness, passion, strength, love, energy and vigor
  • Pink – gratitude, health, delicate, femininity, innocence and softness
  • Orange – adorable, creativity, fun, youthful, cheeriness and warmth
  • Yellow – happiness, joy, curiosity, positivity, playful, caution and cowardice
  • Green – tranquility, harmony, nature, renewal, crispness, health and freshness
  • Blue – loyalty, power, success, calm, authority, dignity, security and faithfulness
  • Purple – sophistication, fantasy, spirituality, costliness, royalty and mystery
  • Brown – utility, earth, natural, roughness, seriousness and subtle richness
  • White – simplicity, clean, innocence, purity, truthfulness, contemporary and refined
  • Gray – humility, respect, authority, practicality, stability, dullness and moody
  • Black – seriousness, conservative, tradition, distinctiveness, boldness and classic


Combining Colors:

There’s not a “set rule” about the amount of colors to use in a design, “IF” we look to interior and fashion designers for inspiration, they often follow the 60-30-10 rule, which means that three colors are used in varying degrees (60%, 30%, 10%) to create the perfect harmony.

With a little bit of color psychology, a color wheel and these color combination links, you should be off to a good start:
  • is the perfect place to start, if you want to test a combination of colors for your design project,. You can match colors exactly how you want them (in the Combo Tester or Combo Library). Once you choose your favorite colors, simply send the codes to your designer so that you will have these exact colors in your design.
  • Color Scheme Designer is one of our favorite color design tools! If you have a favorite color in mind and want to see which colors are analogic to it, this tool can help you in just one click! It lists a ginormous variety of palettes that display complementary matches that can easily be exported into color codes for your website project.
  • COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns. A perfect little spot to discover ideas.
  • is an excellent site with a basic introduction to color concepts, why color choices matter, how different combinations can affect the harmony of a design and which colors are complementary.
  • Logo Designer Blog and Logo Critiques are helpful links as both demonstrate how colors and different combination’s of colors will affect your logo and branding message.
  • Color Palette Generator – just add your favorite image and this sweet generator will generate a color scheme from the colors in the image.


Monotone and Monochromatic color scheme

A monochromatic color scheme consists of different shades of just one color and is easy to create. This combination of color can be very effective, soothing and authoritative. However, this type of color scheme lacks the diversity of hues found in other color schemes and may not be considered as vibrant.

Analogous color scheme

Analogous color schemes are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example: Orange, Orange-Yellow, and Yellow. Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are considered attractive and charming. The combination of these colors create a bright and cheery effect, and they can fit varying moods.

Complementary color scheme

Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow. Complementary color schemes have a more energetic feel and the high contrast between the colors creates a vibrant look, but this combination may also be harder to use in large amounts.

Neutral color scheme

A Neutral color scheme consists of colors that are not found on the color wheel such as beige, brown, and gray.

Credits: Information about Color Schemes

{All info gathered here courtesy of June Lily Web Design & Illustration.}

1 comment

  1. The websites have really interesting information! I just love reading about color! Thanks for the links...


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