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How to choose the right colors for your prints
Why bother with colors?
Let’s begin this very intriguing journey with the interesting color analysis done by Amanda Vlahakis who details the various meanings attached to a certain range of colors. She also explained how color is perceived subjectively, depending on an individual’s surroundings, cultural setting and one’s own status as an individual within that society.
In many cultures for example, white is a color associated with love, marriage and purity. In China however, this color symbolizes death. As you can see, it is easy to evoke a whole range of emotions with the same color.
Having said these, let’s now see how colors reflect an underlying set of values that span across many of the world’s cultures.
Red: Red is the color that is perceived in the shortest timeframe by the naked eye, even though current research shows how the young and elderly might find it difficult to perceive. Red represents energy, speed, danger, excitement, strength, romance and love.
Blue: Blue is the favorite color of Europeans, especially for members of the male gender. Blue represents security, responsibility, and trust. It also represents loneliness and despair.
Yellow: Warm and stimulating like the sun, yellow is tied to positive feelings and happiness; it is loved by the young. It can also be associated with betrayal, jealousy and cowardice.
Orange: Orange is a warm and very energetic color, and used in the proper context it is the perfect color to entice a consumer to make a purchase.
Green: Green is a fresh color tied to nature, brightness, and hope. For some people it is associated with disease and superstition.
Purple: This color is frequently associated with religion, but it is also considered an elegant, regal color. Unconsciously, purple is associated with spirituality and dignity.
Pink: Soft and delicate, it is used to symbolize love and sweetness. Be careful though: an excessive use of this color can make a a print job to look too feminine.
White: Represents purity and cleanliness. As it was stated before, white is also associated with death in Asia.
Black: It can be sophisticated, elegant, or mysterious, but it can also symbolize death and the occult. However, if it is used properly (such as in high-end luxury items) combined with the gold color, it can create a very exclusive and chic atmosphere.
Gold and Silver: These two colors are generally associated with prestige and royalty. They tend to be also associated with expensive items.
Before experimenting any further, it is best to consider any unconscious or hidden associations of these colors and what they might mean to your target audience.
Which are the right colors?
Put simply, there’s only one answer: there are no right colors, as there are no wrong colors as well. What one finds is colors which fit well a certain project, depending on the unique characteristics of the project.
To find a set of good-matching colors, you can seek the services of a Professional Printer/Designer who can put you through the various monochromatic, analogous, and complementary color arrangements. Most importantly though, one must trust one’s instincts and good taste.
Just to be clear, for a website you can opt for pastel or glowing colors such as yellow and orange. While for a restaurant brand, especially a trendy upscale one, we must use softer colors.
Keep in mind that a good color choice (combined with a great chromatic arrangement) will make a very good first impression and keep your brand in your clients’ minds or better still, entrenched forever in their hearts.