Color Theory: Choosing the Right Mood

Aug 04th 2015

Color Theory: Choosing the Right Mood

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Even if you have basic color theory down to a fine science, it’s not all about painting a pretty picture on a white canvas. When choosing colors for your website, branding, or something as simple as a brochure, you have to remember that each color has different emotional qualities. There are also a variety of different ways to use a color to show many different feelings – It all depends on how you use them! Here are the basic qualities of our beloved set of colors:

 

Red

Red is danger, red is excitement, red is fights, fire and blood all in one! It’s a great color to use depending on the subject of your design, and can express many different emotions with a lighter or darker shade. It’s awesome to use in design to convey a strong message, and it is also proven to make people hungry. (You want a flaming apple now, don’t you?)

Design Tip: Design with power, and confidence. Don’t be afraid to use red. Try it out as an exciting background color, or mark important areas of your design.

Orange

An ambitious mix of red and yellow, it brings in emotional shades of both colors with a more well rounded appeal. It is strong like red, but it holds more warmth without losing energy. It is also more calming than a haphazard bright yellow. It can be attached to the fall season, from the beauty of changing leaves to a spooky Halloween surprise!

Design Tip: Orange and black don’t always mean Halloween or fall festivities. Try using different shades of Orange and pair it with a dark grey instead.

 

Yellow

A symbol of the sun, it is happy, warm, and bright. Yellow feel clean, cheerful, and bright, but can also be flashy and attention-grabbing. Keep in mind, yellow is also used for caution and can be an eyesore if overused.

Design Tip: Use as a highlighter! Don’t overuse it, or it could start to feel obnoxious.

 

Green

Green is naturally associated with being environmentally friendly. Designs featuring “natural” or “green” terms tend to follow in this color’s footsteps.  As well as being one of nature’s most abundant color, it is also a symbol of luck, tranquility and peace of mind.

Design Tip: Use for or a peaceful and low stress look. Vibrant greens are great for highlighting without being overly obnoxious and obtrusive.

“Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.” ~ Antoni Gaudi

 

Blue

Blue is used widely in every media due to its calm and professional qualities. It is used often in business media, capturing a trustworthy and peaceful aura. But blue can also often associated with being sad and depressed because of it’s calming effects.

Design Tip: Using too much of a dull blue can wash out your design, and create an unwanted sad mood toward your audience.

Purple

Everybody knows that purple is a color associated with royalty. Deep shades of purple can be luxurious, giving off that feeling of status or class. Many luxury items like jewelry or alcohol may be packaged in a deep purple.

Design Tip: Lighter shades of purple will feel the opposite of luxury and feel like a the soft spring time weather.

 

Black

It may come off as being strong and bold, but is very versatile when used in design. It is powerful, especially when contrasted against lighter colors. Black can be intelligent and sophisticated, but can also be eerie or melancholy as the color of death and mourning.

Design Tip: You can start off your designs in black and white. Visual elements like logos should always be able to work in black and white.

 

White

White is the ultimate symbol of purity, the empty canvas waiting to be painted. It is often used in design to create a sense of space and have a clean open feel.

Design Tip: White is great for minimal design. Use white space thoughtfully and with purpose instead of letting it reside in the background.

Color Inspiration

Sometimes you just don’t know what colors you want to use or pair your colors with. Or maybe you have a certain color in mind that you want to use, but just don’t know what other colors you want to pair them with. Try out Palettron with super customizable hues and shades to get the perfect pair of colors for your design. Adobe Color CC is another similar site, with an easy to use color rule and an easily-customizable color wheel. Though if you’re not particularly sure what color you want to use, Colour Lovers has tons of user submitted color palettes to browse through.

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The team at Iterate has helped us get off the ground during our first year in business. We went from 1 location and 5 employees to now 3 locations and a few dozen employees ( and counting! ). We were getting about 6 leads each week when we started and through the work Iterate has done, we are nearing 100 leads through our website each week.

Mike Horey

COO and Co-Founder of Active Recovery TMS

The new website is gorgeous! We love the design and Iterate turned it around quickly. We have appreciated working with Iterate over the years because they are accessible, data and results-oriented and overall just so easy to work with.

Kari McKinley

Business Manager - Blue Oak Dental Group

Iterate is a great company and we couldn't be happier to how professionally they manage our marketing and website. Thank you Iterate!

Jon Bonk

Marketing Manager - Centrifuge Chicago

Iterate Marketing has revolutionized our company. We have a modern, fresh look now that is far more optimized than ever before. We can’t thank the Iterate team enough for the work they’ve done for us so far and look forward to many more years in the future!

Laura Hall

CIO - Community Management Inc.

Iterate Marketing did a great job for us... we saw a conversion bump of 100%, and a traffic increase of 81%. Furthermore, our Cost Per Conversion dropped, saving us 17%. ..they delivered the increases we needed.

John Yoder

CEO - Funny Business

Great company to work with. Very flexible and attentive to our needs. Always trying to help us improve our business practices without being overly push or giving the typical "salesperson" impression.

Renee Kitchen

Marketing Manager - Hamilton Marine

Vibrant yet professional and great for my budget as the Marketing Campaign Manager of a medium-sized SaaS company. Experts in AdWords management and content promotion. Love their blog too!

Heather Blackwell

Marketing Campaign Manager

Super easy company to work with. Extremely knowledgeable. A great fit for my small but growing business. Highly recommend.

Dominick Farina

CEO - Trashcans Unlimited

What Our Clients Think

Quote image

The team at Iterate has helped us get off the ground during our first year in business. We went from 1 location and 5 employees to now 3 locations and a few dozen employees ( and counting! ). We were getting about 6 leads each week when we started and through the work Iterate has done, we are nearing 100 leads through our website each week.

Mike Horey

COO and Co-Founder of Active Recovery TMS

The new website is gorgeous! We love the design and Iterate turned it around quickly. We have appreciated working with Iterate over the years because they are accessible, data and results-oriented and overall just so easy to work with.

Kari McKinley

Business Manager - Blue Oak Dental Group

Iterate is a great company and we couldn't be happier to how professionally they manage our marketing and website. Thank you Iterate!

Jon Bonk

Marketing Manager - Centrifuge Chicago

Iterate Marketing has revolutionized our company. We have a modern, fresh look now that is far more optimized than ever before. We can’t thank the Iterate team enough for the work they’ve done for us so far and look forward to many more years in the future!

Laura Hall

CIO - Community Management Inc.

Iterate Marketing did a great job for us... we saw a conversion bump of 100%, and a traffic increase of 81%. Furthermore, our Cost Per Conversion dropped, saving us 17%. ..they delivered the increases we needed.

John Yoder

CEO - Funny Business

Great company to work with. Very flexible and attentive to our needs. Always trying to help us improve our business practices without being overly push or giving the typical "salesperson" impression.

Renee Kitchen

Marketing Manager - Hamilton Marine

Vibrant yet professional and great for my budget as the Marketing Campaign Manager of a medium-sized SaaS company. Experts in AdWords management and content promotion. Love their blog too!

Heather Blackwell

Marketing Campaign Manager

Super easy company to work with. Extremely knowledgeable. A great fit for my small but growing business. Highly recommend.

Dominick Farina

CEO - Trashcans Unlimited

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