Since I love working with colour so much, I decided to take on the colour orange as a blog topic.
Orange is glowing like the autumn leaves and sunsets at sea, vital and tangy like the colours of flowers and fruit, and dramatic in a way that’s not as strong as red, since it’s tempered by containing more yellow. You could say it’s a bit more fun or flippant.
Orange and it’s paler counterparts peach, apricot and coral are stimulating colours, stimulating the mood and the appetite in most of us. For that reason, along with red and yellow, it’s often used in food and beverage signage and menus.
It has been called outgoing, uninhibited and free, promoting conversation and social interaction.
“In colour psychology, the colour orange is optimistic and uplifting – it lifts our spirits…adding spontaneity and a positive way of looking at life.”
It’s said it increases the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates mental activity. It encourages activity and sociality, and increases creativity.
It can be fun and flamboyant, warm and happy. Kids love it.
I can hardly believe this, but it’s one of the colours apparently least-liked by adults, both men and women. I personally don’t get it. I’m one of the orange-lovers as opposed to orange-haters, but it obviously makes people feel strongly, one way or the other.
As it’s a strong colour and evokes strong feelings (sometimes not positive ones as illustrated by the orange-haters), in web design we use it sparingly as perhaps a heading colour to draw attention to a topic on a website.
Then again, Home Depot uses it as their main logo colour – probably because it’s an attention-grabbing colour and their logo is designed to inspire activity and productivity, especially within the home.
Another example of orange used in logos is Gatorade – connected with athletics and fitness, it promotes activity and energy.
I’m good with it, but this research serves to inform us that depending on your company, product or purpose, it may not be the best choice for your imagery as a business – unless you’re in the youth market, or food & beverage market.