Make Colour Theory Work for You


Make colour theory work for you

What’s your favourite colour? You can probably answer that easily enough, but why? 

Mine’s blue. The lighter shades, usually. Why? It reminds me of the sky, of the sea, and that in turn makes me think of freedom and good times.

We make associations like this all the time, and it’s important to remember this when it comes to design work. This could be choosing your book cover, or setting up your blog, maybe arranging a photoshoot – colour theory is always important.

While colours can mean different things to different people (especially those with different cultural backgrounds), here’s a quick overview of some common colour connotations:

Red: Energy, confidence, assertiveness. Also a good choice for horror and thrillers, with the association of blood.

Blue: Calming, peaceful.

Yellow: Warm, nurturing, calming. Said to increase creativity!

Orange: Energy, warmth,

Green: Nature, money, prosperity. Good choices for books about nature.

Purple: Royalty, luxury, power. A very rich colour with connotations of wealth.

Pink: Romance and love are the main connotations of pink. Used a lot in chick lit – whether or not you want to follow that trend is up to you!

The combinations are important, too. Red and pink would make for a nice romance cover; blue and green suggest the earth and the sky; orange and white are a mixture of energetic and calming.

As you go about your day to day life, take a look at the designs you see. What do the colours on that book cover make you feel? What about that pasta box? That ad on TV? You can learn a lot about colour just by keeping your eyes open.

Whatever you’re looking to design, think about what you want your work to say, and keep in mind how colour choices can prop up this intention.

If you want to dive really deeply into this, check out 50 Hard Science-Backed Facts about Colour on Creative Market.