A Web Designer`s Guide to Colors - The Meanings of Individual Colors to End Users
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Red is the color of fire and the color of blood. It can also be associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determination as well as passion, desire, and love. The color red brings text and images to the foreground. Using red as an accent color is a good way to stimulate people to make quick decisions, so use it for action words.
Orange is associated with joy, sunshine, and tropical themes. Psychologically it can evoke feelings of enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention. You should use it to highlight the most important elements of your design, as an accent color instead of a background.
Yellow is the color of the sun. It evokes feelings of happiness and energy. It can also be associated with intellect. Yellow is often associated with food. Brighter shades of yellow are an attention getter; that is why city cabs are yellow, to help them stand out from the crowd.
When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect and can be visually displeasing. It has been found that babies cry more when they are placed in yellow rooms, so you may want to keep large amounts of this color off of sites for younger children. Yellow text, when placed on a black background, is often used to advise caution, like on the bio-hazard symbol.
Green is the color of nature. It can be associated with growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has a correspondence with safety, most likely because of the green on modern traffic signals. Darker shades of green are also commonly associated with money and the fiscal world because it gives an impression of stability.
Blue is often associated with depth and stability as well as trust, loyalty and intelligence. It is a preferred color for corporate America because of these values. Lighter blues are associated with health, healing and tranquility.
Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. This makes it ideal for children's sites.
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It can also be used to give a clean impression. Be cautious if you pair it with browns.
Black is associated with power, elegance and formality. It can also be death, evil, and mystery. Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth. Just be aware that a black background can diminish readability of text.
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