Ever since man understood fiery red meant danger and those purple berries were poisonous, colour has been associated with moods and feelings.
Religious artists used colour as a form of shorthand – people looking at a stained glass window or a heraldic coat of arms would have instantly known blue equalled contemplative faith or green meant hope. Even saints were associated with different colours.
The colours used in layout design can affect the occupants’ moods. Find out why:
Associated with: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism
Best for food page designs as it promotes sociable and lively feelings, and stimulates the appetite
Pitfalls: it can be overpowering and lead to headaches. Way forward is to vary the shade. It’s not a good idea to use deep red in children’s design.
Associated with: love
Best for: layout of bedroom pages and love portrayals as it can be peaceful and restful.
Pitfalls: can be appear to be very girlie and sickly sweet. To counteract this, introduce hints of dark charcoal or black
Associated with: stability, reassurance, warmth, and is thought to aid digestion
Best for: food page layout as it stimulates appetite.
Associated with: nature and energy, calming and restful, balance (halfway between red and blue) security, stability
Associated with: calming and soothing; promotes intellectual thought; believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative.
Pitfalls: can look cold and unwelcoming. Make sure it doesn’t look too chilly by choosing a blue with a warm undertone.
Associated with: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect
Pitfalls: Yellow is thought to enhance feelings of emotional distress
Associated with: spiritual matters – suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine.
Pitfalls: can be insipid. Liven it up with black or silver, or both
Associated with: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex
Pitfalls: can be overpowering.
Associated with: security, stability and very practical.
Pitfalls: introduce a livelier colour for mental stimulation such as green or blue .
Associated with: death, eccentricity, drama. It’s a non-colour that absorbs colour and
reflects nothing back.
Best when: used in moderation
Pitfalls: depressing. Use it to temper the sweetness of other sugary colours such as pink, but don’t use it as a base colour