As designers, color is an important aspect in our daily work. Every color creates an emotional reaction in people. What evokes one reaction in one person may evoke a very different reaction in someone else. In design, we use color to help guide emotion and give people an immediate feeling the first time they interact with something. In the design world, colors are purposely selected to help meet a bigger goal. What are you trying to say in a company, product, or even a brand? A color can attract attention and convey a message without having to say a single word. To help you understand your colors and their meaning, we have provided a few examples and explanations!
We’re sure you’ve heard of warm and cool colors, so we’ll first explain what they mean. Warm colors include red, yellow, and orange, and variations of those 3 colors. These are the colors of fire, fall leaves, and of sunsets and sunrises and are generally energizing, passionate, and positive. Red and yellow are both primary colors with orange falling in the middle, which means warm colors are all truly warm and aren’t created by combining a warm color with a cool color. Use warm colors in your designs to reflect passion, happiness, enthusiasm, and energy! In the design below, we’re going to focus on how to incorporate warm tones to achieve an overall welcoming environment. Here, we can see a couple different shades of orange and yellows being used to create a friendly and inviting feeling. Orange is a very vibrant and energetic color that can be associated with health and vitality. It commands attention without being as overpowering as red, and is a lot less loud than using a red color. This interior shows that you can achieve a warm environment without using red, and instead using colors of the same family, while also adding spots of cool hues through your accessories. Because this room uses yellows and oranges, the space feels positive, energetic and cheerful, without being too overwhelming!
Of course the opposite of warm colors are our cool colors! Cool colors include green, blue and purple and are often more subdued than warm colors. These are the colors of night, water, and nature and are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved. Blue is the only primary color within the cool spectrum, which means the other colors are created by combining blue with a warm color. Moreover, this is why green takes on some of the attributes of yellow while purple takes on some of the attributes of red. By using cool colors in your design, you can begin to achieve a sense of calmness or professionalism. The design shown below uses a lot of greens and blues to achieve a refreshing and soothing environment. The background is a simple tone of gray as well as the rug, which also promotes a relaxed feeling. To achieve the color ambiance of this space, you can choose a simple wall color such as a soft gray, beige, or even a plain white, and then add in your cool colors through your accessories and fabrics. This way your color palette won’t feel overdone. Using these tones of greens and blues will bring a sense of renewal, stability, nature, and balance to your space.
Now that you know what the colors mean and how to use them to set the environment for your space, you can pick your colors accordingly! We hope our little tips have helped clear your understanding of the meanings and uses of these colors. Now you can have some fun with your designs!
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