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The Meaning of Color in Desktop Publishing Projects

written by: KateG•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 12/31/2009

Color can create a visceral reaction in the human heart and mind. If you want to be able to play off of that, then these tips can help you use color with meaning.

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    Every color has a meaning. If you want to take your projects to the next level and make them great, an understanding of color can help you reach that goal. That is why today we are going to look at how some colors are perceived. These tips can help you best decide which colors to choose to evoke the responses you want from the viewer of your desktop publishing project.

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    The Colors

    White

    White is a color that has connotations of peace and nurality, think of a white flag. It can also represent purity or virginity, like a white wedding dress. Just be aware that white can also be associated with death in the right cultural context.

    Black

    Black is a color with many meanings. While some of its traditional associations are the unknown, evil, and death it can also be associated with professionalism and formality.

    Red

    The color red has two traditions associations with anger and passion though it can also be associated with fire. It is worth noting that for some cultures red has a specific meaning. In China it is associated with wealth, in India with marriage and in the Catholic faith with Martyrs.

    Orange

    Orange is a color that can symbolize energy and enthusiasm as well as playfulness. It is also the traditional color of both Buddhism and Hinduism. Be aware that orange is the color of royalty in the Netherlands and of the Calvinist faith in Ireland.

    Yellow

    Yellow is a color that can evoke joy, optimism and socialibility. When associated with ribbons it means hope. In Egypt it is the color or mourning, royalty in China and courage in Japan.

    Blue

    Blue is seen as a calming and non threatening color. It can also be associated with sadness, with the male gender and with water.

    Purple

    Purple is a color of royalty in the west, as well as being considered a color with strong ties to Easter. In many cultures it is associated with mourning.

    Brown

    The color brown has two very diverse meanings. It can be associated with calm and trustworthiness, but some shades can remind people of of human excrement. Be careful with shapes when you use brown.

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    Now you can be a color expert.