The psychology of color in design and branding, Peter Lucking, Content Branding Solutions, Denver Colorado

Color Symbolism in Design and Marketing – Part 2 Read  Part 1

Warm Colors

Warm colors in their pure shades tend to have an exciting and energizing effect on the viewer.  When used alone, they can over-stimulate, so they are often mixed with cool or neutral colors to balance this.


Red is the color of fire and blood and symbolizes strong and intense emotions such as war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love.

Dark reds – Pinot Noir, Anger, Danger, Warning, Defiance, Aggression, Pain, willpower, rage, tenseness, vigor, leadership, courage, yearning, malice, and wrath

Light reds – Merlot, Power, Passion, Energy, Fearlessness, Strength, Excitement, Joy, Sexuality, Passion, Sensitivity, and Love

Pinks – Pink Champagne, Romance, Love, Friendship, Femininity, Passivity, Emotional Healing, Peace, Calm, Affection, Emotional Maturity, Caring, and Nurturing

The Patriotic Branding Color Scheme

A lot of political organizations use darker reds on their websites, mixed with blue and whites that speak to Americans and British people of patriotism, country, and nationalism.  Look at the flags of those nations to see why.

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Color Symbolism in Book Covers, Graphics, and Design © Peter Lucking, Content Branding Solutions, Denver, Colorado.  Graphics can tell a story – This is a draft for an upcoming book that we have edited and researched![/caption]

Many sports teams use varying shades of reds conjuring up fearlessness, excitement, and power. The New England Patriots hit all the buttons; patriotism, with their red white, and blue logo, and dare I say it as a Bronco fan, New England Patriots have the best logo, and presently, almost, an unbeatable team in the NFL.

Color in Web Design and Logos – The New England Patriots logo – patriotism, with their red white, and blue logo
The New England Patriots logo is patriotic.


Image Source: Logo © The New England Patriots |


Charitable organizations and those websites targeted towards women use pinks, how long that will last in our present era we will see.

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Color in Web Design – Hot to cold colors in web design Graphic Peter Lucking, Content Branding Solutions, Denver Colorado
Color Symbolism in Web Design – The Psychology of Color Graphic Peter Lucking, Content Branding Solutions, Denver Colorado


Orange is an energetic color and symbolizes emotions such as joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. It is also great in small sales buttons ‘buy now’ or ‘order now’ on websites on websites.

A Orange By Now button
Orange is the color of sales!

Then there is Broncos orange; positive, courage, confidence, warmth, innovation, friendliness, energy.

Color Symbolism in graphics and Design © Peter and cheri Lucking, Content Branding Solutions, Denver, Colorado
Love the Orange Crush!

Love the “Orange Crush!”

Image Source: Logo Cap © Denver Broncos |


Dark orange – Deprivation, Frustration, Frivolity, Immaturity, Ignorance, Sluggishness Deceit, and Distrust

Red-orange – Oranges-Thirst, Desire, Pleasure, Domination, Aggression, and thirst for action and Chocolate. Terry’s chocolate orange!

Bright orange – Positive, Courage, Confidence, Warmth, Innovation, Friendliness, Energy, Health, Activity, Wellness, and Youth

Light orange – relaxing, sophisticated, and calming

Gold – prestige, illumination, wisdom, wealth, happiness, humor, meaning, attainment, concentration, and high quality

Orange often found on a lot of sports team websites because of its energetic conations.  We see it used on websites relating to food and nutrition, to drive our cravings subjectively.

Orange is the color of loving life and vitality.  Adolescents love the color; it’s used in everything from gaming computers to go- fast strips to target young kids and teens. It certainly gets you noticed.

Spa and travel websites often use lighter shades of orange, which is almost golden to symbolize the sun’s warmth and the calming qualities of those destinations.  The COMO Shambhala Estate and  Health fitness and travel website is a great example.

Many spa website themes and prebuilt websites themes for Spas use orange, perpetuating the myth.  Spas would be better off utilizing sparkling colors to refresh and invigorate their look, perhaps with a touch of clean white text, with fresh yellows touched with gold.

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Gold is often used as an accent color by financial and academic institutions on blue and grey backgrounds.

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Yellow is the color of sunshine and daffodils in the spring and sunflowers on a hot summer’s day, silhouetted against a blue sky.  Bright yellow often symbolizes optimism, warmth, creativity, joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Dark yellow – Caution, Fear, Anxiety Frustration, Cowardice, Decay, Sickness, and Jealousy

Light yellow – Warmth, Happiness, Creativity, Intellect, Extraversion, Intellect, Freshness, Vodka Tonics, and Joy

Yellow can be difficult on the eyes. Use yellow sparingly as an accent or for very specific purposes pared with a turquoise blue it is very festive with a flavor of the Caribbean and Mexican beaches.

It is a color seen frequently on websites to promote children’s products and health and wellness, as well as more whimsical websites.

Be sure to keep away from the dark festering decay of sickly yellow colors.


Please join us next week when we will look at “COOL” Colors from rich reds to champagne pink… the impact that color has on marketing and advertising.


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Come back next week when we talk about Cool Color Symbolism in Design and Marketing


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