Colour meanings and the art of using colour symbolism

Happy Holi - Indian Festival of Colours

The sense of sight that we have is significant. It not only allows us to see the things around us but also allows us to experience the vivid colours of the things that we see. These things make us feel all sorts of emotions from within. The colours that we see every single day tend to have an impact on you, whether you realise it or not. Sometimes it could have a calming effect like the soft blue skies or the lush green fields or even those delicious bright dishes that will make you instantly hungry.

Each colour that we know has its meaning. There is a whole science and art behind the meanings of colours. Similarly, color symbolism is also the art of using the colors as a symbol to represent the meaning of something specific or particular. Nowadays, as a designer or an entrepreneur – both the color meaning and symbolism are essential to help you choose a color that will best suit your message.

Colors can become a powerful tool, that is only if you utilize them in the correct way. For any sort of business, be it yours or your clients, all sorts of colors will come into play for various purposes, such as making logos, business cards, stationery, and much more.

Certain associations between colors and the emotions or objects have been created, and understanding these associations will help provoke specific emotions and sometimes even behavior. No matter how rational a person is, the intuition created due to colour will always be much more powerful. So, applying color meanings and symbolism to your branding and designs will be much more effective. Some color meanings are deep-rooted in the brain as they are visible all around us, such as green for nature, blue for water or cool temperature, red for fire or warmth, and more. Biologically, we are wired to pay attention to bright colors, so color meaning also stems from not only psychological effects but also biological conditioning as well as cultural developments, with many other colors developing cultural meaning over time which have been adopted by the society.

There are some features that will have an impact on the meaning of the colors, such as cultural differences, i.e., for the same color, two different cultures might have separate meanings that can often contrast. The other factor is time, as the colors may change in their significance over time. Shades and tones also have an impact on the meaning of the colors. Color combinations can influence thoughts and feelings. The meanings of colors used must blend together for that particular message.

Some of the color meanings:

Red – energy/passion/danger

Orange – creativity/youth/enthusiasm

Yellow – happiness/hope/spontaneity

Green – nature/growth/harmony/wealth/stability

Blue – calm/trust/intelligence

Purple – luxury/mystery/spirituality

Pink – feminity/playfulness/romance

Brown – wholesomeness/warmth/honesty

Black – elegance/power/sophistication

White – minimalism/simplicity

Gray – professionalism/formality/conventionality

Multicolor – diversity/fun/optimism

Metallics – wealth/prosperity/success