Orange Color Psychology

The color orange is warm, inviting, and stimulates two-way conversations because it is both physically and mentally energizing. Orange also inspires motivation and positive outlook in life. Many sports teams use the color orange in their uniforms and mascots, including the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, as orange has been shown to stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence

Incorporating orange into designs targets a younger audience who are more accepting of the color. Some people see orange as a “cheap” color, so caution must be used when incorporating it into designs.

Orange around the world:

  • Native Americans associate orange with kinship
  • In Japan and China, orange symbolizes happiness and love
  • Christianity associates orange with gluttony
  • Favorite color of the Netherlands, where the country’s monarchy is called the “House of Orange”

Do you have more questions regarding orange and design? Contact us, we’d be happy to answer them!

Blue Cocktails

Blue design isn’t appealing to the senses in the food realm of restaurants, but behind the bar, it’s a different story. People are hard-wired to associate blue food with things that are toxic or will poison them, a blue drink has the ability to add a splash of color people crave.

Maybe it’s the tropical blue that Blue Curacao (made from the Iaraha Citrus) creates when added to a perfect margarita (or other cocktails) that causes people to like the drink. The bright blue reminds them of a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean by mirroring the crystal clear coastal water. The relationship between “blue” and “drink” is a good one. Phrases people grow up with, such as “the clear blue water” and “icy blue lakes” make blue sound like a healthy color to consume. It makes sense that people view blue drinks as ice cold, calming, and refreshing. Complete the cocktail with a splash of bright color, like a lime wheel, lemon twist, or plump cherry and you have a crave-able drink!

We want to know: what’s your favorite blue drink?


Let’s face it, people don’t like blue food

If you’re designing a restaurant there are certain colors to stay away from, and blue is one of them. Blue and purple are associated subconsciously with toxins and spoiled food. Why? Blue foods are not commonly found in nature, with the exception of blueberries and a few other rare foods. Our ancestors regarded blue as a warning color, indicating the food was poisonous.

Sight is the first sense evoked by food. If the color of the food is unappetizing, a food can be immediately rejected. Studies have shown that blue food makes people lose their appetite completely, and in some cases become sick. Just imagine eating a blue steak. Gross!

Quick sensory design tip: using blue in your menu design or restaurant’s interior may not be such a good idea! Restaurants that use blue in their theme may be more focused on the environment their guests are in than the actual quality of food. Modern Steak, which has a blue logo and blue tables is a trendy place to be seen in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s reputation for food however, is not stellar. While many reviews focus on the “great ambiance” and “beautiful décor,” few elaborate on the quality of food. A well-known food blogger in Scottsdale wrote a review complete with pictures of Modern Steak. We have included some of his photos in this post, let us know what you think of how the food looks!

Some diet plans use the reaction to blue to their advantage. Put a blue light in the refrigerator or eating off blue plates.

When was the last time you ate something blue?


Useful Link: Rating Diet Plans

Psychology of the color blue

“Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones… it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another color – pink.”  – Raoul Dufy, French Fauvist Painter, 1877-1953

Blue is associated with corporate America because so many large companies’ logos are integrated with blue. Intel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and IBM all have blue in their logos. These companies may have chosen blue because it enhances communication with others and aids intuition. Blue is also the least gender specific color, appealing to men and women equally.

Use caution when incorporating blue into designs. Too much of the color can be cold or uncaring. Blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming and sedating, too much blue may cause too many chemicals to be released.

Blue around the world

  • In Mexico, blue is the color of mourning
  • Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” contributes to his transition from a classical to abstract artist
  • Blue symbolizes paradise in Iran
  • In China, blue is associated with wood, east, and spring

Going green? Font matters







10 Sustainable tips for print and graphic design

1. Print in Century Gothic. Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial, and is considered one of the most frugal fonts.

2. Use recycled paper. each 20 cases of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water, and 4100 kwh of energy. It also eliminates 60 pounds of air-polluting emissions and saves 8 cubic feet of landfill space. That’s a LOT of saving. (Bonus: some recycled paper products have an interesting texture creating a sensory design element!)

3. Buy paper derived from a sustainable forest. These trees are actually grown to be used for consumer products. The initiative has helped curb illegal logging and destruction of forests in North America.

4. Use soy based ink. It might dry a little slower, but soy based ink is much more environmentally friendly than it’s alternative which is petroleum based. (Bonus: provides more accurate colors!)

5. Alcohol free printing.

6. End product recyclable or biodegradable. Try to use products that are good for the environment even when you are done using them.

7. Shop locally. There are less transportation costs and resources used when you buy from the supplier down the street versus the supplier on the other side of the country.

8. Use digital options. Send out coupons through e-mail, and let consumers show their inboxes on their cell phones instead of asking them to print the e-mail.

9. Print double sided. Use less pages when possible.

10. Utilize page space. Why do you need margins that are 1.5 inches wide? Utilize the space on every page by decreasing margins and using a smaller font size.

Do you have any sustainability tips?

All about the color green

The color green is one of the most familiar colors to the human eye; which isn’t surprising because it occupies the more space than any other color in the visible spectrum.  Psychologically, green has soothing and calming effects, has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, and nervousness, and can physically improve readability.

Although green is sometimes associated with negative things, such as being “green with envy” and evil witches being green, across cultures, the color has mostly positive connotations.  In Portugal for example, it signifies spring.  In Scotland green symbolizes honor, and in China, it is emblematic of virtue and beauty. The deployment of the environmental movement further increased its use in public space and has positioned green as an excellent color to embrace for its revitalizing and modern qualities.  When using green to convey a message, be aware of its’ characteristics.  If applied incorrectly it may become bland.  To convey your message, use this kind and tranquil color with due respect of its characteristics, because if applied incorrectly it may become bland or communicate boredom.


  • Green is used in night vision goggles, because the human eye can discern the most shades of this color.
  • Green is popular in recreational clothing and interior design
  • Green’s complementary color on the RGB color wheel is magenta.
  • Green is increasingly used in web design, and when used correctly can draw attention to a call-to-action on a webpage.

Establishing a brand image that stands out




A quick quiz (don’t worry, you pass):

1.    What’s red, made it so Santa Clause was jolly and round, likes polar bears, is a tasty drink and “Gives the world a ….”?

And for question #2, same genre, different product. Good luck!

2.    What’s green, adventurous, male, a daredevil, and energizing? “Do the…”

Did you figure it out? Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew have established great brand images and consumer expectations. But can companies without multimillion dollar marketing budgets do the same? Here are a few tips:

  • Establish consistent colors. Your website, blog, and Twitter account should all look and feel similar. Reinforce your brand through every media outlet.
  • Logo: design (preferably hire a professional to design) a logo for your company. Put it on everything, even in-house documents.
  • Induce emotion: make sure everything associated with your company name makes your potential consumer feel the way you want them to feel. (link to Article on logos)
  • Use social media: tweet, blog, and update Facebook about things that are relevant to your field
  • Develop a mascot (follow ours on twitter: @doggydetails )
  • Follow through with your customer. Make sure they are getting what they were promised, in terms of experience, service, and products.

Are your colors creating the right kind of experience?







We are surrounded by millions of colors everyday, and each one of them evokes an emotional response within us, whether conscious or subconscious (sometimes referred to as color psychology. ­Have you ever noticed that stepping into a room with blue walls makes you feel calmer? Or when surrounded by large amounts or red you feel aggressive or hungry? Both of these are examples of emotional responses to the colors around you.

Every color is related to an emotion or specific activity in the brain. For example, purple stimulates problem-solving brain activity, while yellow sparks creativity. So, in addition to the aesthetic components of visual compositions, colors actually inspire your emotions.  It is especially important to consider this when designing a business system, marketing materials, logo or environment for your customers or prospective clients. Using the wrong colors or wrong color combinations can be detrimental to your business. Clients may feel disconnected from your company if the color(s) used are neutral to the viewer or worse, off-putting.

Here’s a quick list of how each color makes people feel:

Black: authority, intelligence, evil, seriousness, seduction, mystery

Blue: (blue is the most universally liked color) calm, trust, dependable, mature, cool/cold

White: pure, clean, (in some Eastern countries white is the color of mourning)

Gray: practical, solid, old, depressed

Red: attention getter, energy, love, aggression, hunger

Pink: (pink is the most calming of all colors), sweet, soft, safe, love

Green: growth, youth, learning, money, calming, envy, luck, fertility, generosity, peace

Purple: royal, fake/artificial, mystery, wisdom, dignity

Yellow: happiness, creativity, optimism, (too much can cause aggression)

Orange: energy, warmth, ambition, new dawn

Brown: reliability, stability, natural

Want more info? This is the first in a series of color focused blog posts from Miss Details Design.