Green: Color By Definition

color theory green

The Color Green

The color green. You see it everywhere. It’s in commercials, the color of most people’s grass, your favorite shirt, in a forest… even some flavored drinks. But what does green mean in graphic design and marketing?

As humans, we are lucky to see in color and be able to associate thoughts and feelings to those colors.

I’m sure many of you have heard the saying “the grass is greener on the other side”. It is an emotion of green that can be associated with jealousy and wanting. Green is also associated with birth and renewal, like Spring.

Global Meanings of Green

  • Green is universally associated with nature.
  • Green symbolizes ecology and the environment.
  • Traffic lights are green all over the world.

Unique Meanings of Green in Different Cultures

  • In China, Green may symbolize infidelity. A green hat symbolizes that a man’s wife is cheating on him.
  • In Israel, green may symbolize bad news.
  • In Japan, the words for blue and green (“ao”) are the same.
  • In Spain, racy jokes are “green.”

Good Luck or Bad Luck?

  • Green is a lucky culture in most Western cultures. A green shamrock symbolizes this.
  • You won’t find many green cars at racetracks because they are considered unlucky.
  • Circus and traveling showmen in Australia may consider green to be bad luck.
  • An old English rhyme about wedding colors: “Married in green, Ashamed to be seen.”

Green’s Importance in Graphic Design and Marketing

There are more shades of green than that of any other color. Many scientists state that humans evolved to see more shades of green due to our survival instincts to help us see danger or food while hunting in the forest.

Greens range from yellow-greens, such as lime and avocado greens, to those with a blue tinge (such as emerald).  Aqua or turquoise are colors that are typically half green and half blue.

Green exit signs have an important advantage when there is smoke in the air (in other words, when a fire is burning). With red exit signs, it looks like a fire – firemen have actually rushed into burning buildings and tried to put out the signs! With a green sign, people know it isn’t the fire itself but the way to safety.

Feng Shui claims that green eases absent-mindedness, nervousness and rudeness.

So, when designing with green, remember what kind of message you are trying to help your client send.




So what does green mean to you?

Chat with KC Designs about the color green in the comments below.

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