Colors In Every Sense of the Word

Words have color. They can bleed red or be moody blue. Sometimes they are tinkled pink. Passive verbs are yellow-bellied cowards that are green with envy over their action counterparts. Don’t confuse that with Blue states passing Green laws or Red states turning blue in the face over healthcare reform.

Which reminds me, you have the green light to write that a red flag is a warning. We look into the night and we see black and are scared that Evil lurks. Angels wear white and represent purity, and not surprisingly, when we want to insult someone, we say that they are as bland as white bread.

Writers look into the universe and see a vast color scale and interpret it with words describing an emotional response, while marketers use both color and words to make a statement about their brand that connect it to our senses on a visceral level.

Color expresses words. Nike uses that orange swoosh mark in their logo, next to the words, “Just Do It.” It is no coincidence that orange represents energy and is a color that demands as much attention as the slogan’s command of “Just do it.“ Blue has somehow managed to become the color of technology. Think of “Big Blue,” IBM. Yet blue also suggests depression—or great jazz albums, like, “Kinda Blue.”

When I see blue, I feel a bit sad. It took me a while to figure out why, then I remembered that as a child, my aunt had a room that was painted an imperial blue. Her husband died when I was just two or three, and I barely remember him, but I remember how sad she naturally was after his death. She kept a cabinet in the room filled with his memorabilia, and to this day, I equate vibrant shades of blue with depression. Maybe that’s a subconscious reason for why I am Mac user instead of a PC. Apple is void of that blue, though if you look at the two brands websites, IBM is starting to look more like Apple’s site. That has less to do with any perception of blue, and more about Apple’s success, though.

We use our websites as visual representations of our brand. We ruminate on color, and try to pick ones that say something about us. This site, for example, for Snog yogurt uses colors that not only evoke sweetness, but fun.

Words and colors are connected to our senses. They are on each other like, dare I say it, white on rice. I have to quit typing now, my fingers are turning blue.

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