What's in a colour?

Design

I think that it is well understood that colour is important in design, but do we understand why?

Do you have a favourite colour?

Many individual have strong preferences for specific colours, however understanding why and what these colours mean is critically important when designing for a specific audience.

Colours and their meanings

Every colour has a hidden meaning. For example, blue is the colour from sky and water and is most often associated with a business, as it is perceived to be a calming, reliable colour. Green is the most common colour in nature and we perceive this colour to be the second ‘favourite colour’. It often provides a backdrop colour for design, and this is often used when an image of ‘natural goodness or sustainability’ is to be suggested. Every colour has a very specific physiological meaning and it is certainly important to understand the underlying meaning.

Don’t miss a design trick

A good designer will be able to advise you on the meaning of colour and should produce design with this in mind. Every aspect of design carries a deep-rooted physiological response; if you do not consider these within the design process, you are missing a trick!

Getting hung on a colour

The worst thing you can do is to start the design process with a specific colour as a prerequisite for the design. Many companies have corporate colours, which are fine as long as they have been well thought out, and this should be clearly understood.

Just remember

It’s worth considering that not all colours are perceived the same across each culture. It’s a classic one but in the west, black is the colour most often associated with death, however, in Japan it’s white. If you are developing a brand that has an international reach, remember to think how the colour is going to be received in all markets!

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