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Guest Column: Common Colours


March 24, 2008
By Karen Saunders

Colour is a magical element that gives feeling and emotion to art,
design, and advertising. By understanding colour meaning, (or the
psychology of colour) you can choose the right colour to support and
emphasize your design.

Colour is a magical element that gives feeling and emotion to art,
design, and advertising. By understanding colour meaning, (or the
psychology of colour) you can choose the right colour to support and
emphasize your design.

A dominant colour or overall colour scheme can determine the tone of
your document. Certain colours will help your product, corporate
document, or advertisement attract specific target audiences and evoke
desired responses.

The information below provides generally accepted guidelines on the
symbolic meanings of colour and how you can use colour more effectively
in your marketing pieces.

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The meaning of the colour yellow (including coral, orange, amber, gold)
What it symbolizes: energy, caution, warmth, cheer, joy Yellows are often associated with the following characteristics: homey, friendly, soft, welcoming, moving, excitement,
or adventure. Good for press kits, stationery, and shopping bags.
Use yellow for signage in work situations warning of danger. Yellow is
also good for any project that needs to evoke feelings of
lightheartedness, humour, or friendliness.

The meaning of the colour red (including mauve, magenta, crimson, scarlet, poster red)
What it symbolizes: power, romance, vitality, earthiness, energy Reds evoke highly charged emotions such as aggression, danger, or love. Red makes us pay attention and catches our eye immediately so use reds on items that need to grab attention.

In the financial arena, red symbolizes a negative direction.

The meaning of the colour green (including lime, leaf green, sea green, emerald, teal, sage)
What it symbolizes: life, foliage, grass, trees, water Greens are sensuous and alive. Green is associated with the following
characteristics: friendliness, dependability, freshness,
non-threatening, safe, secure, healthy, strong, expensive, and
primitive.

In the business world, green symbolizes growth and prosperity.

The meaning of the colour blue and purple (including sky blue, ultramarine, violet, purple, azure)
What it symbolizes: peace, law and order, logic, analytical,
intelligent, honest, calm, clean, good will, tranquility,
compassionate, serious, thoughtful, quiet, reflective, regal, classic,
dependable, trustworthiness, tradition, magical.

Blues are often used for older, more mature audiences and situations.
Blue is common in financial institutions, hospitals, and legal and
medical professions. Purples have long been associated with royalty,
magic and power. Purples are often used with feminine, rather than
masculine designs.

Make sure the colours you use in your marketing materials attract the
attention of your target market. Check colour resource design guides or
swatch books to discover what colour combinations work best to make
your designs pop.


Karen Saunders is the owner of MacGraphics Services, a unique design
firm for today’s entrepreneur. Whether you outsource your promotional
pieces or are a do-it-yourselfer, Karen takes the mystery out of
marketing. Learn the Top 5 Mistakes that can cost you money by signing up for her free e-course, available for a limited time. To take advantage of this e-course and find out how easy
it can be to attract more clients,
http://macgraphics.net/FreeStuff.php. You can also contact her at
888-796-7300, or Karen@macgraphics.net.


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