The Meaning of the Color Green: The Good and the Bad
The positives: Green has come to be associated with many things. Green has become the symbol of living an environmentally conscious lifestyle, as well as safety. You’ve heard of green living, right? Of course you have! Green is also commonly used to advertise eco-friendly products and all-natural medicines.
When people see green, they often feel positive feelings. It’s a color that seems to be progressively moving forward. After all, green means go on a stoplight for a reason. And of course, let’s not forget one of the big ones: Green is heavily associated with wealth. Green is even slang for money, after all!
The negatives: Green has also become the spokes-color of greed and jealousy. Ever hear someone say you look "green with envy?" It’s also been tethered to the meaning of "inexperienced." Often green denotes "beginner" while yellow and red indicate people who have experience or are even experts in a particular field.
When to Use Green and What Green to Use
Green can be used for most projects, as different shades can mean wildly different things. Soft natural greens look beautiful as spring wedding invitation colors, while bold dark greens and emerald greens make for a striking business card. If you’re throwing a baby shower for a baby of unknown gender, mint green has long been a standard "gender neutral" color. If you’re looking for a specific feeling, here are a few examples of different shades of green and what they mean.
Bright green: High energy, progressive,inexperience
Dark green: Wealth, greed, envy
Neutral mid-green: Nature, safety
Mint green: Infant color (traditionally gender neutral)
Aqua/Teal: Calming, refreshing
Olive Drab/Khaki greens: Peace, tranquility, zen
Green is a pretty universally "friendly" color, capable of playing well with many colors across the spectrum. For example, green works great with other shades of green, blues, purples, yellows, and even oranges. It is recommended, however, that you avoid reds unless you are specifically going for a "Christmassy" feel.
If you’re going for an accent color to work with green, you need to think about the over-all effect of what you are trying to achieve. Oranges work well for a high-impact color that stands out of the crowd. Blues will work well to keep the scheme looking uniform, but adding enough variety to make it look interesting. Yellow added to a muted green scheme can help add a bit of sunshine to make it seem less sleepy.
Green as an accent color:
Green typically adds a refreshing high note to most color schemes, helping to bring a high-energy feel into an otherwise calm, relaxed scheme. In lighter color schemes like with yellows and pale blues, green can add a soft, tranquil note to something otherwise almost overpoweringly bright.