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Graphic Designer's Essential Reference by Timothy Samara

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Job:07-26153 Title:RP-Graphic Designer’s Essential Reference PB Edn
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GRAPHIC DESIGNER’S ESSENTIAL REFERENCE
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Using Color to Enhance Messaging
Selecting Color for Meaningful Effect
Color, of course, can also mean something.
Very often, that meaning is tied to associa-
tions we make between colors and objects
or environments
water is blue, vegetation
is green, and so on. But colors also evoke
intangible feelings, whether by association
or by the biological effects resulting from
their perception. Red, for example, connotes
hunger and violence (because of the color of
blood), but provokes arousal and even anger,
because it takes more energy to process red
lightwaves
resulting in increased metabolic
activity. Further, colors carry cultural or social
meanings, related to their use in religious
ceremonies or iconography, or in heraldry,
in fl ags, or historically in clothing or art. For
Westerners, violet and gold signify nobility;
among Hindus, white signifi es death. Select
colors wisely with regard to specifi c cultural
and psychological associations to ensure the
messages they carry are appropriate.
RED Stimulation : Arousal : Hunger :
Anger : Violence : Blood : Biology
BLUE Water : Sky : Calm : Quiet :
Dependable : Intellectual : Spiritual
YELLOW Sun : Heat : Hap-
piness : Wealth : Clarity : Energy :
Alertness
VIOLET Mystery : Compromise
: Wealth : Nostalgia : Drama : Magic
GREEN Nature : Growth :
Energy : Safety : Fresh : Earthiness :
Toxicity : Illness
ORANGE Vitality : Friendliness :
Adventure : Luxury : Quality : Exotic
BROWN Earth : Wood : Comfort :
Timelessness : Value : Rugged :
Hardworking : Durability
WHITE Authority : Purity :
Clarity : Omniscience : Wholeness :
Spirituality : Restfulness : Quiet
BLACK Unknowable : Dominance :
Nothingness : Outer Space : Night :
Death : Exclusive : Superior : Dignifi ed
GRAY Formal : Elegant : Aloof :
Untouchable : Luxury : Technological :
Precision : Control : Competence :
Noncommittal
color psychology Western Culture
Be careful when assigning
unusual coloration to images
of people or food. While the
hue shift toward the warm
end of the spectrum (left)
may convey fun or vitality, a
shift toward yellow or green
(right) conveys a sense of
illness or toxicity.
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Job:07-26153 Title:RP-Graphic Designer’s Essential Reference PB Edn
#175 Dtp:204 Page:24
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7/12/11 10:30 AM

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