As we already know that each colour has a different meaning and triggers a different emotion. Here we will discuss the 2 categories of colors, warm and cold, through which we can tell the meanings of the colors and why they are categorized as warm and cold. Furthermore, we will also discuss which colour is more suitable in any given situation or design.
Warm colours are those colours that are usually reminding of or associated with the sun and fire. They are the colours that start from yellow and finish at red. So, we can say that the colours that are hues of red, yellow, orange and pink are warm colors.
Red is usually associated with passion, excitement and adventure. It is mostly used by companies to grab the attention of the customers. You may have noticed that most sports cars have the colour red because it is associated with energy. Most companies like CNN, Coca Cola, McDonald’s use the colour red to show speed and energy.
Orange colour is used for youth and playfulness. Just like Nickelodeon uses the colour to show the playfulness and youth of the channel itself. Fanta is another company that uses an orange colour to show playfulness.
The yellow colour is used to show cheerfulness and freshness. Cheerios, Reese’s and Post-it use yellow in their logos to represent optimism and freshness of the items.
Pink represents sympathy, sensitivity and innocence. Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Barbie use pink logos to show innocence and tenderness.
Warm colours are generally associated with energy and vividness. When asked people what they thought about such colours, they replied that these colours seemed appealing, inviting and friendly. Some logo designs use two or more warm colours to make a good unique combination and mix two meanings and get a new one. For example, McDonald’s uses red and yellow to show a ‘fast’ food chain for the youth and their cheerfulness. Dunkin’ Donuts uses orange and pink to show sympathy and youthfulness in the brand.
When to use?
Warm colours are usually used when aggressive emotions are to be shown. Like for example, passion and love. But you have to make sure that you are using it right. If your brand or brand message is not something that is aggressive then the colour and your logo will look out of place. One more thing you have to make sure of is that the red colour is a very ‘loud’ colour, meaning that if too much red is used and there are other colours besides red, they might not be noticed and only the red colour will stand out. So, this will cause wastage of your money and might even change the message you are trying to give through the logo or design. So, that’s why when you use red, you should use it in a fixed ratio.
Most designers use warm colours against white backgrounds to make the colours stand out more and make them look clean. One of the rules of working with warm colours is the 80/20 rule. Basically, this rule says that 80% of the image should be the background, one colour only, and 20% should be warm colours.
Cool colours usually remind us of or are associated with nature, peace, water and sky. These colours start with purple and end at the green. They are hues of blue, green and purple. These colours give a sort of relaxing vibe living up to their name.
Green is usually associated with nature and grass. It basically means growth, fresh, harmony and safety. You might have noticed that green is a common colour for those brands that are environment-friendly and want to promote that message. It is also used by some nature documentaries channels and groups as it shows nature.
Blue is a colour that represents loyalty, truth, stability and depth. It is mostly used by companies to trigger trustworthy feelings among the customers for their brand. It is also used by drinking water brands and travel brands to represent water and sky.
Purple colour represents royalty, ambition and power. It is used by various companies in their logo to show elegance and power. It makes a company seem regal and grand.
Cool colors induce relaxed feelings into the customer and make them trust a brand and make them think that they are friendly and easy-going. Some brands mix two or all the cool colors to give a new meaning to the brand. Take the example of Yahoo! They use the color purple and blue in their logo to give a relaxed, trustworthy and powerful feeling to the user.
When to use?
People use these colours when they want to show their brand as a friendly, easy-going yet powerful and trustworthy brand. Since these colours are not loud, they can be used as a background with another cool colour on top of them or they can also be used against a simple white background to give a plain look.
Mixing colors to create balance
Some custom logos and designs have a combination of both warm and cool colours. It is to be made sure that one colour does not completely stand out and suffocates the other colour. Both should equally have their places in representing a meaning.