The Language of Color

The Symbology of Colors and Their Effects Upon Us


Color Speaks a Language

Did you know that color speaks a language? Human beings respond emotionally to color. They make subconscious choices and decisions in reaction to color. When designing your craft projects, take color and its meaning into account. You can give a message that you might not have intended merely by your color choices. An example would be Kraft paper. Brown coarse Kraft paper gives the impression of comfort, the country, and handmade appeal. Shiny black paper gives your...MORE project a feeling of elegance and sophistication. You certainly would not use Kraft paper to make invitations to an event that is sophisticated and vice versa.

Color in the Marketplace

Businesses have known this for years. Products are packaged in specific colors to appeal to consumers. Do you know that food that is packaged in black containers is considered upscale or high end? Consumers believe that this food is of higher quality and will pay more for the product because of the packaging. They are reacting to color on a subconscious level not realizing why they are making the purchases. People make many of their daily choices on a subconscious level, totally unaware of the underlying reasons for the decisions they are making.

The Meanings of Color

So what are the meanings of color? I have listed various colors and their positive and negative implications below. Take these definitions into account when you design your projects. It might make a difference if you are trying to sell your craft projects. Your color choice will make a difference when you are trying to express a particular mood or message.


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    The Meaning of the Color Red

    The color red
    The Color Red. Rita Shehan

    Red is a color that symbolizes excitement and high energy levels. Do you know that when a person looks at something that is red there is an actual physical response in the brain? The hormone epinephrine is released stimulating faster heart rates and breathing. The color red connotes love, passion, and excitement. The color red is negatively associated with anger and aggression, as in the term “seeing red.”


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    The Meaning of the Color Pink

    The color pink
    The Color Pink. Rita Shehan

    Pink is a lighter version of red. Pink symbolizes youth, femininity, and romance. Bubblegum pink, however, is associated with low quality and inferior construction. Did you ever notice that plastic toys are often bubblegum pink?


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    The Meaning of the Color Orange

    The color orange
    The Color Orange. Rita Shehan

    Orange is a color that autumn and the harvest season represent. Bright orange is seen as happy, childlike and whimsical.

    Orange is another color that has an actual physical effect on the body. The color orange stimulates the appetite. Fast food restaurants will often use the color orange in their signage and décor, trying to affect peoples hunger levels subconsciously.


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    The Meaning of the Color Yellow

    The color yellow
    The Color Yellow. Rita Shehan

    Yellow is the color of sunshine, light, and warmth. On the positive side, it symbolizes optimism, joy, and wisdom. Too much yellow can express cowardice, jealousy, and deceit. A typical stereotype of cowardice is a yellow stripe running down ones back.


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    The Meaning of the Color Brown

    The color brown
    The Color Brown. Rita Shehan

    Brown is the color of the earth. Brown brings to mind visions of hearth and home. Brown also has the connotation of dirtiness and was rarely used in packaging until coffeehouses became popular in the nineties. Coffee is seen as comforting, energizing and delicious, which is why coffeehouses use the color in the decor and advertising.


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    The Meaning of the Color Blue

    The color blue
    The Color Blue. Rita Shehan

    Blue is the color of water and the sky. The positive connotations of blue are loyalty, justice, knowledge, and intelligence. The negative associations are coldness, apathy, and depression. People often say "I am feeling blue" when they are sad or depressed.


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    The Meaning of the Color Green

    The color green
    The Color Green. Rita Shehan

    Green conveys nature. People often think of grass and foliage when asked what the color green symbolizes. Green also represents money. Banks will often use the color green in their logos. The negative connotations of the color green are greed and envy. Such as the term “green with envy.”


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    The Meaning of the Color Purple

    The color purple
    The Color Purple. Rita Shehan

    Purple has been associated with royalty since ancient times. Purple dye was quite expensive and the ordinary man  could not afford it. Only the wealthy dressed in purple clothing. It became a way to distinguish class. The color purple also symbolizes elegance, spirituality and mystery. Purple is not a color that is often seen in nature.


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    The Meaning of the Color White

    The color white
    The Color White. Rita Shehan

    White conveys purity and cleanliness. Brides in the Western Hemisphere wear white wedding dresses to symbolize their innocence and purity. White also expresses softness, simplicity, and truth.


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    The Meaning of the Color Black

    The color black
    The Color Black. Rita Shehan

    Black is the color of power, sophistication, and elegance. Hence the term “black tie affair.” Of course, there is also a negative connotation to the color black. It can be used to symbolize fear, negativity, and evil. “A black soul” is a term for an evil human being.


In conclusion it is important to give color choices in your craft projects some thought. You want to be sure your designs are projecting the color language and message that you are trying to express.