Design Principles – Colour Association

19 Nov


Red is one of the most extreme of colours in the world. it has a vast array of meanings, from love, seduction and passion, to violence, danger and action. It was seen in the eyes of populations in the past to be symbols for fire and blood, and in this sense great power. In a lot of ideologies and theories, red is captured by our eyes in a way that pulls forward from everything around it, which is why it stands out so much to us. In today’s society, the majority of our red shades derive from the colour of crushed beetles such as the lac beetle. In the western culture, red symbolises love and sex, which is why in a lot of large cities in Europe the ‘Red Light District’ consists of shops which sell X-rated objects such as pornography. In eastern cultures the colour red varies in association, Because in parts of Asia it is used to show a rise in stock prices, whereas in America red signifies a drop in global stock prices.


Green is identified in a most cultures as being related to birth, growth and fertility as well as nature. Greens also have the largest range of colour shades, from green-yellows to greens with a slightly blue edge. Green is used in most buildings as fire exit signs, as it is a colour that stands out the most from a fire and will be able to be easily distinguished when there is a lot of smoke. In some areas of the world, green is a lucky colour, such as in Ireland a green four leafed clover is very lucky. You will almost never see green coloured race cars because this is an unlucky trait. A use of green which is the same all over the world is the use of green traffic lights, because it signifies safety on a global level.


The colour brown symbolises stability and reliability in most cases, as well as rich and rustic. people who like the colour brown are generally professional and organised. Brown is also used to make you feel warm and comfortable, such as a brown leather chair.


Blue is primarily a colour that is used in paintings and official images to show the colour of the sky as well as rivers and oceans. the colour blue is described as being mainly cold, wet and slow and falls into the ‘cool’ section of a colour wheel. Different shades of blue create different meanings:

  • Light blue means peace, serenity and infinity
  • Dark blue means authority, trust and dignity
  • Bright blue: cleanliness, strength and coolness

Blue is mainly one of the most favourite colours in the world. a significant amount of corporate logos and websites use the colour blue because it is a sign of authority, trust and professionalism. In cultural relation, the meaning to ‘feel blue’ in England is to be down and upset, whereas in Russia to be light blue is to be a homosexual. in England, blue is associated with a baby boy, whereas in Belgium it is associated with a baby girl.


Neutral colours generally include shades such as beige, ivory, taupe, black and grey. they are described as being classy and quiet colours. neutral colours can be either Cool or Warm colours, but they are much more toned down and do not attract as much attention as shades like dark blues or bright reds. They are a lot less overpowering and can be used in paintings to shade in areas which are not as important, such as a blurred out background of a mountain in a landscape scene. In environmentalist cultures, the neutral colours are described with ‘technophiles’ and are also tagged alongside large concrete cities such as New York. In ethics neutral colours are used to describe situations that have no clear moral value.



One Response to “Design Principles – Colour Association”

  1. segmation November 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM #

    What a beautiful color wheel!

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