“In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.” Hans Hoffman
Color in design is very subjective. Color theory is a science in itself. Colors affect people differently and something as simple as changing the hue or saturation of a color can evoke a completely different feeling.
Warm colors include red, orange and yellow. These are the colors of fire, fall leaves, sunsets and sunrises and are generally energizing, passionate and positive. Red and yellow are both primary colors, with orange falling in the middle. Orange is a vibrant and energetic color but in its muted forms, can be associated with the earth and with autumn. It can also be associated with health and vitality. Yellow is often considered the brightest of the warm colors. It is associated with happiness and sunshine.
Cool colors include green, blue and purple and are often more subdued than warm colors. They are the colors of night, water and nature and are usually calming, relaxing and reserved. Green represents new beginnings and growth and signifies renewal and abundance. Blue, the color of the sky, is associated with depth and stability. It is beneficial to the mind and body because it slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Purple symbolizes power, luxury and ambition. It is associated with creativity, independence, wealth and royalty.
Neutral colors often serve as a backdrop in design. They are commonly used with brighter accent colors. Black is the strongest of the neutral colors and is associated with elegance and formality. This color can be considered conservative or modern as necessary. Gray is also a neutral color considered to be on the cool end of the spectrum. It can also be formal or modern and is a sophisticated color. Brown is associated with the earth, wood and stone. It is a completely natural color and a warm neutral. It can be associated with reliability and earthiness. It helps to bring a feeling of warmth and comfort to designs. It is sometimes used in its darkest forms as a replacement for black.