What Statement are You Making with Color?

by | Mar 11, 2014 | Creative

Spring is here! Soon trees will be blossoming and our flowerbeds will be as colorful as the rainbow. After a long cold winter the bright colors renew our spirits with energy and excitement. And much like spring, the color scheme of your organization will set a tone with your audience.

When we think of our favorite spots in our homes, we may feel a sense of comfort and warmth or maybe energy and brightness. My favorite spot is in the basement, a little nook in the corner, filled with brushes, acrylic paints and a variety of pencils.

Just as many people redecorate the interior and exterior of their homes to fit their personal taste and interests, companies should also decorate and develop a color scheme that best describes their mission and personality. A well-developed color scheme can set the mood, attract attention, and make a statement.

The Color Wheel

Understanding the multiple components and endless possibilities of the color wheel is helpful when developing your own color scheme. When certain sets of colors are combined, the eyes perceive color combinations differently than when the colors stand-alone, they produce distinctive moods and effect how easily copy is read.

Here is a list of basic color wheel definitions:

Primary Colors – red, yellow, and blue

Secondary Colors – green, orange, and purple – created by mixing two primary colors

Tertiary Colors – six more colors created by mixing the primary and secondary colors

Warm Colors – think autumn: reds, oranges, and yellows produce energy and tend to advance in space.

Cool Colors – think ocean: greens, blues, and purples give a sense of calming and soothing

Neutral Colors – white, black, and gray

Color Arrangement

Now that we know the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors as well as warm and cool colors, it’s time to dig into how color combinations are categorized.

Complementary Color Scheme: colors that are opposite on the wheel–colors pop but are bad for text (ex: red and green)

Analogous Color Scheme: colors that sit next to each other on the wheel–create a serene atmosphere and are pleasing to the eye (ex: blue and green)

Triadic Color Scheme: three colors that are evenly spaced on the wheel–very vibrant, let one color dominate (ex: purple, orange, and green)

Split-Complementary Color Scheme: a base color and two colors adjacent to its complement on the wheel – same strong contrast as the complementary scheme but less obtrusive (ex: green, pink, and orange)

Rectangle Color Scheme: four colors that are arranged into two complementary pairs – carefully balance the rich colors (ex: blue and red, green and orange)

Square Color Scheme: four colors spaced evenly on the color wheel–works best with one dominant color (ex: red, blue, green, and yellow)

After reading about the color wheel close your eyes and picture yourself in your favorite spot of your house again. You may have a book in your hand, cooking your favorite meal, or enjoying the outdoors. Whatever the case think about WHY it is your favorite spot and how it makes you FEEL. The nostalgia and environmental color brings an additional sense of happiness and comfort.

How does this apply to your organization?

The same emotion grabbing can happen when your customers, clients, or congregants search your website or walk in your door. The right color combination has the ability to help describe the personality of your organization.

Get outdoors and use the natural color combination of spring to inspire the color scheme of your organization!