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The Science of Color in Signage: How to Choose the Right Color Scheme


When it comes to signage, choosing the right color scheme is crucial. The colors you use in your signage can have a significant impact on your business’s success. That’s because color has a psychological effect on people. The right color can help you convey a message, evoke emotions, and even influence behavior. In this article, we’ll explore the science of color in signage and provide you with some tips on how to choose the right color scheme for your business.

Understanding Color Theory

Before we dive into how to choose the right color scheme, it’s important to understand the basics of color theory. Color theory is the study of how colors interact with each other. It’s based on three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. These colors cannot be created by mixing other colors. However, by combining these primary colors, you can create all other colors in the spectrum.

There are also secondary colors, which are created by mixing two primary colors. For example, blue and yellow create green. Finally, there are tertiary colors, which are created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. For example, red-orange is a tertiary color.

Colors also have different properties, such as hue, saturation, and brightness. Hue refers to the actual color, such as red or blue. Saturation refers to how intense the color is. Brightness refers to how light or dark the color is.

Choosing the Right Color Scheme

Now that you have a basic understanding of color theory, let’s dive into how to choose the right color scheme for your signage. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Consider Your Brand

Your brand should be your starting point when choosing a color scheme. The colors you choose should reflect your brand’s personality and values. For example, if your brand is all about luxury and sophistication, you might want to use gold or silver in your color scheme.

Think About Your Audience

Your target audience should also play a role in your color scheme. Different colors evoke different emotions and can be more or less appealing to different demographics. For example, red is often associated with passion and energy, while blue is associated with trust and stability.

Consider Contrast

Contrast is important in signage because it helps to make your message stand out. Make sure your color scheme has enough contrast between the text and background to make it easy to read.

Keep It Simple

While it might be tempting to use every color in the rainbow, it’s best to keep your color scheme simple. Too many colors can be overwhelming and detract from your message.

Test It Out

Before finalizing your color scheme, test it out in different lighting conditions and from different distances. This will help you make sure your message is clear and easy to read.

Colors and Their Meanings

As we mentioned earlier, different colors evoke different emotions and can have a significant impact on your message. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common colors used in signage and what they mean:

Red – Passion, energy, urgency

Orange – Warmth, friendliness, playfulness

Yellow – Optimism, happiness, clarity

Green – Nature, health, growth

Blue – Trust, stability, peace

Purple – Luxury, creativity, spirituality

Pink – Romance, femininity, sweetness

Brown – Comfort, stability, earthiness

Black – Sophistication, power, elegance

White – Purity, simplicity, cleanliness


Choosing the right color scheme for your signage can be a daunting task. But by understanding color theory and considering your brand, audience, and message, you can create a color scheme that effectively communicates your message and evokes the emotions you want.

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