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EFL: Let´s understand the connotations associated with different colours.

Because, many times, we think in colours….

Perceptions of color are subjective, and there few color effects that have universal meaning. Much of the meaning that we believe are inherent in colors are in fact socially ascribed. As an extreme example, death is symbolized by black in most Western cultures but by white in many Eastern cultures.

 First, make this test:


A warm powerful and attention getting colour. Red is a very visually empowering and attractive colour for an book cover. Cardinal and tomato red offer impact and creativity and a pure red is always a good choice.
The colour red is extremely dominating. Red reflects energy and can motivate an individual to take action  and hopefully to buy your book. Used as an accent colour, it can stimulate people to make quick decisions and increase expectations creating a high arousal threshold.
Words associated with this market include:
Truth, strength, courage, excitement, creative energy, desire, danger, power, speed, passion, love, lust, sex, aggression, heat and fire. It represents all things intense and passionate.
• Magenta when tinted with red to become purple stands for lush, rich and royal.
• The Maroon tint represents sacrifice and bravery.
The preference for red is linked to economically secure and stable people who are achievers in society e.g. the high powered active women who are unafraid to take risks.
People who like Red are generally exciting, stimulating  people to be with. They tend to stay on top of things with a passion and zest for life. Think of the red sports car which is generally associated with speed and young people.
Routine can drive red people “up the wall” since they crave excitement from life. The red market individuals have a tendency to listen to what others tell them and then do whatever they please. They tend to be opinionated and patience is not one of their virtues.
Psychological lovers of red are animated, optimistic, emotional and extroverted individuals experiencing life and living in every sense of the word.
When we feel negative psychologically towards red our feelings might be a too bit much to handle at this point in life. People who are irritable, ill, exhausted, or bothered by many problems often reject red and turn to calmer colours for rest and relaxation.
Red has been proven to raise blood pressure and cause perspiration in some individuals.
Red  can however also be a symbol of war, violence, blood and aggression.

• Pink

When red is highlighted with white we have pink the softer side of red.
Words associated with this market include:
Romance, charm, beauty, sweetness, feminine, delicacy, refinement, calming, nurture, security, warmth, tenderness, intuitive, refined, sophisticated, well-bred, reserved, calm, even-keeled, non-violent.
People who like pink have similar personalities of reds but more subdued. They tend to be romantic and take care of those around them in a sensitive way.
Soft, medium tints do not evoke much emotion – many people are indifferent to pink. It is sweetness, innocence, uncomplicated emotions and naivety (red with the passion removed).
Fluorescent Pink is the least liked of the pink shades.
If you dislike pink, you may be craving more excitement in your life and pink does not psychologically fill the need.

• Orange

Orange is the most stable and reassuring of the earth tones. A combination of red, which commands action, and yellow which adds happiness making this a pleasant warm colour.
Orange has a high acceptance amongst the younger market segment.
Orange is used to indicate to consumers that an expensive product is affordable and convey that it is suitable for everyone.
Words associated with this market include:
Vibrant, warmth, energy, balance, enthusiasm, flamboyant, creativity, courage, joy, love of people, expansive, extroverted, good natured, determination and demanding of attention.
Orange tends to be declassifying; it has broad appeal. People who wear orange tend to have a strong personality.
Bright Orange is considered the least favourite colour overall.
Dark Orange however means distrust and deceit.
If the preference tends towards the
Peach tones, this market have all the same traits as the orange person but are less assertive about it. They work hard, but tend towards observation rather than participation.
Vibrant and warm orange tones are found in special places in nature: The colour of warmth and Autumn, salmon in the waters of the ocean, tangerines, coral, oranges, and pumpkins.
As a Citrus Orange colour, it can symbolize health. Orange  is the colour most associated with appetite and has been known to stimulate the appetite.
Lovers of this colour work and play hard, like people, are adventurous and enthusiastic. They have unique ideas, always looking for new things to conquer with a strong streak of determination and are more agreeable than aggressive.
People who dislike Orange tend to be those who dislike to much partying, hilarity, loud laughter, showing off and obvious intimacy. As a result, they may be difficult to get to know.
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• Yellow

Pure yellow produces sensations of brightness and warmth reminding us of  warm, sunny days. Yellow is the colour of lemons, buttercups and rich cream. Sunflower and winter squash can be used in your design elements of your book cover to increase visual impact.
Yellow is the second most visually attractive colour after red.
Because this is a luminous colour you will notice yellow tends to disappear into the page so often needs a strong colour to highlight and bring it out especially if used against white.
Words associated with this market include:
Original, imaginative, joy, happiness, idealistic, creative, artistic, spiritual, optimism, intellect,  love of learning, light, sunshine, summer, fold, philosophy, cheer, hope, happiness and energy.
Dingy or dull yellow represents weakness, jealousy, caution, decay, illness or sickness.
The people who like the colour yellow usually have “sunny” personalities and are concerned about society but generally do nothing about it except talk. They are generally perfectionists by nature and can be rather shy at heart and appear somewhat aloof as a result.
People who dislike yellow, usually dislike the luminous qualities that this colour has. They are realists – practical down to earth people and probably critical of others who are not.
Special Note: GOLD
Gold is evokes the feelings of prestige, and of being expensive.
Gold  is the perfect complement for purple symbolizing wealth and beauty.

• Green

Green is a combination of blue and yellow. The blue qualities represent peace and tranquillity, while yellow brings happiness and light hearted feelings to this colour.
Green is a strong colour ranging from soft sage and willow, rich jade green, deep forest green and others. The new greens communicate peace and growth to your market  and is considered a fresh, clean and revitalizing colour that  speaks of ecology and nature.
Moss and lily green are warm, crisp and smooth colours
• Emerald green represents immortality.
• Olive green is the traditional colour of peace.
• Darker greens are very cool.
• Yellow-Green is negative for adults but is liked by the youth market.
• Blue tinted with green is the iciest of all the greens and is associated with depression and sadness.
Green is favoured by the trendsetter market segment. These are the vocal 10% of the the population that others go to advice. They are the opinion leaders, who like newness and spreading the word.
Words associated with this market include:
Health, wealth (money), spring, calm, sympathy, renewal, fertility, life, new growth, energy, faith, nature, environment, good luck, fresh, cool, youth, vigour, hope, cheerfulness and abundance and generosity.
Green brings feelings of hope as the lush spring greens appear and thoughts turn to new beginnings and the renewal of life.
Green can also mean jealousy, inexperience, envy and misfortune.
People who like green are usually balanced and stable individuals, good citizens, parents and neighbours. They are usually found involved in clubs and organizations. They have high moral values and tend to do the right thing.
The bad news about green people is that they often have big appetites for food. If they are dieting, it is difficult for them to loose weight. Also another vice for a green is the tendency to gossip.

• Blue

Listed as the most popular colour being the most preferred colour universally. It is considered to be a “safe” colour to use.
Blue is one of the most calming colours and is often associated with the sky and the sea and evokes peaceful feelings. It is regarded as therapeutic to the mind and body.
The blue colours of sunny sky, angel and majolica communicate strength and unity to your market.
Words associated with this market include:
Trust, wisdom, tranquillity, love, confidence, conservatism, reliability, belonging, coolness, quiet, truth, seriousness, harmony, serenity, patience, perseverance, peace, intelligence, unity, reassurance, trust, security, solitude, hope, generosity, cleanliness, order, sky, water, cold, technology and loyalty.
Royal blue is associated with people doing the work they are meant to be doing.
Blue added to purple gives us the blue blood of nobility.
People who like Blue are sensitive to the needs of others and form strong attachments, and are deeply hurt if their trust is betrayed. They are generally conservative, even tempered and reliable.
A dislike for blue may mean restlessness, a need to break away from the sameness of routines.
Deeper blues may mean sadness and melancholy to blue haters.
Blue may simply give some people the blues.

• Violet or Purple

Purple is a bridge between warn and colour being a combination of red and blue.
Purple is considered a ‘spiritual’ colour and when colours such as orchid, grape and lilac are used in e-book cover design they can communicate a unique individuality.
Purple is the third favourite colour in terms of colour preference after blue and green.
The eighteen to twenty-nine year old age group tend to see purple as sexy and the trendsetter group in society see it as a powerful and sophisticated colour.
Purple is frequently blended with sage, gold and taupe.
Dark purples are heavy and sometimes depressing unless they are offset with rich gold and deep reds.
Deep purple is associated with Royalty, wealth or richness and has been worn by kings, queens and emperors for many centuries.
Light purple is the colour of lilacs and lavender evoking light hearted, whimsical, romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Light Purple blends well with light yellows, pinks, corals and white.
Words associated with this market include:
Independence, intuition, intellectual, spiritual, creativity, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, royalty, nobility, ceremony, richness, power, sensitivity, passion, love, dignity, wit, keen observation, super sensitivity, vanity and moodiness.
Purple people are easy to live with but hard to know. They can be secretive, so that even when they seem to confide freely, their closest friends never completely understand them.
People who are attracted to purple are people who have an aura of mystery and intrigue. Purple is often preferred by artists. People who like to consider themselves different from the common herd or unconventional often prefer purple.
Because purple is a combination of red and blue, which are opposites in many ways, People who dislike purple often recognize their conflicting traits and are constantly trying to balance those opposites, the excitement of red and the tranquillity of blue.

• Black

Black is classically used as an accent for Jewel tones and rich metallic Gold.
Since black is the negation of colour, it may be a total negative psychologically for some people e.g. middle-aged men and women tend to psychologically associate black with mourning.
Words associated with this market include:
Power, elegance, sophistication, formality, wealth, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, mourning, death (western culture), mysterious, underground, remorse, seductive, sexy and a good technical colour.
Wealthy, achievement orientated women tend to favour this colour.
It can also be associated with death, evil, anger, sadness and is associated with criminal activities, depression, demons, witches and black magic in Western culture.
Black when tempered with white it signifies prudence and humility.
When worn by people with lighter hair colour, it is an indicator of inner strength and determination.
Black can be intimidating to some people because of its power and formality.
People who like black may be conventional, conservative and serious, or they may think of themselves as sophisticated, or as being very dignified.
Black lovers tend to feel uncomfortable with the super-sophisticated and feel insecure in their company. They like real people and are not usually dazzled by dignitaries.
People who hate black sometimes were frightened of the dark during childhood? That experience could be buried in the subconscious in the darkest recesses of the mind and may still haunt them when they look at anything black.
Black may be simply to heavy and depressing for some people to handle at this point in their lives.

• White


White represents life and marriage in western cultures, but represents death in the Chinese culture.
Words associated with this market include:
Cleanliness, purity, chastity, virginal, youth, simplicity, clean, immaculate, fresh, bright, blinding, reverence, peace, humility, precision, innocence, birth, winter, snow, good, cold, clinical, sterile, mild and spirituality.
People who prefer white tend to be neat and immaculate in their clothing and homes. White lovers are inclined to be cautious buyers and shrewd business people, but are critical and fussy. White can signify a self-sufficient person and occasionally the innocence and recall of youth and simplistic way of life.
People who dislike white are usually not very fussy. They do not need to have everything placed in an orderly straight line.  They are easy going characters and not very uptight about life in general.
White is sometimes seen as being a very sterile colour being psychologically  connected with hospitals, nurse’s, uniforms, doctors and dentists.

• Grey

Grey is the combination of black and white and is the most neutral of all the shades. It is a conservative colour and good for use as a background colour.
The keywords for this market are:
Security, maturity, reliability, cool, conservative, composed, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, solid, practical, old age, sadness and boring.
Grey can also signify psychologically gloominess, sadness, ghosts, ashes, cobwebs, and the dust of a haunted house and other scary things.
People who like Grey tend to be neutral about life. They like to protect themselves from the hectic world in a blanket of non-commitment preferring a secure, safe, balanced existence. They work hard and are the “middle of the road” type of individual.
They have often made compromises in their lifestyles. They are practical and calm and do not like to attract attention.
To dislike Grey  is to dislike neutrality. These individuals look for a richer, happier and fuller lifestyle. This may lead them to get into one involvement, hobby, or interest after another in the pursuit of happiness.
Special Note: Silver
Silver is associated with the words –  prestige, cold, scientific.

• Brown

Brown is sometimes classified as a “special” colour. Sometimes brown can be used as a neutral and sometimes a warm colour.
A good colour to gather more information as it creates a neutral environment for open discussion.
Words associated with this market include:
Strength, solidity, maturity, credibility, stability, simplicity, comfort, quality, harmony, outdoors, reliability, endurance, hearth, home and earth.
People who like Brown are generally steady and reliable characters with a keen sense of responsibility and duty. They are “down to earth” types who make good friends and family life is important to them. Many men like Brown.
A person who dislikes brown generally find “down to earth”  people boring. They tend  not to like people in general but they know  they must mix with others and be bright and outgoing.

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