Understanding color and the impact it has on our minds and attitudes is essential to making smart color decisions for all your marketing projects. Understanding this is critical when seeking to bridge the gap between what you are trying to communicate and what is actually perceived.
Love it or hate it, the color orange is a fun, dynamic color that tends to elicit strong reactions. A close relative of red, orange seems to spark more controversy than any other color. It’s bold, vivid and yes, obnoxious at times. But it also is part of some popular well-known logos such as MasterCard, FedEx, and Home Depot.
Which one is it: Activity vs Caution
Orange signifies a rather interesting contradiction. The two primary ways in which this color communicates speak to two opposing ideas—activity and caution. Orange can encourage our attitude to be more energetic and lively, while at the same time can instill a sense of restraint. Without at least a basic understanding of how orange works, this conflicted color may lead to an unclear message.
The best use of orange to represent activity is its prevalent use throughout dozens of sports teams. Some of these teams include the Baltimore Orioles, the San Francisco Giants, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Phoenix Suns, and the Denver Broncos. The use of orange throughout these athletic brands may vary but the intended message is the same—the communication of energy, life, motivation and activity.
Orange seems to decorate our roadways more and more. As a symbol of safety, orange is used to set things apart from their surroundings. Its use is usually found on traffic cones, stanchions, tow truck lights, barrels and other construction zone markers. The vibrance that orange exudes and the attention it demands makes it the ideal color for such scenarios. Can we think of a better color to use? Probably not.
The Color of Halloween
But, the best is yet to come. Halloween is right around the corner! Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.
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