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Color Meaning: Meaning of The Color Orange

This post is part of the Color Meaning Blog Series, detailing the meanings associated with colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, black, white, brown, pink, turquoise, gold, silver, and beige.

Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange is associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, sexuality, freedom, expression, and fascination.

Orange is the color of joy and creativity. Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be shared, such as compassion, passion, and warmth. Orange will help a person recover from disappointments, a wounded heart, or a blow to one’s pride.

The meaning of the color orange is stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow.

Studies show that the orange color can create physical effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased socialization, boost in aspiration, stimulated mental activity, increased oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance. Orange also helps aid decision making, and enhances happiness, confidence, and understanding.

The color orange is a very hot color and often provides the sensation of heat. While orange is a common color associated with summer and the hot sun, often associated with being a main color of harvest and autumn due to the changing color of the leaves and pumpkins.

While orange does stimulate the appetite, it is a common color found in citrus fruit and is often associated with Vitamin C and a healthy diet. Orange is a popular color in restaurants to encourage the feeling of hunger and contentment.

The color orange has very high visibility and is often used to gain attention. It still gets your message noticed without the bold, in-your-face presence that the color red has.

Too much orange causes self-centered and self-serving qualities, including pride, arrogance, and lack of care for others. Too little orange causes loss of motivation, lower self-esteem, and loneliness.

Different shades, tints, and hues of orange have different meanings. For example, dark orange may represent deceit and distrust, while red-orange relates to passion, pleasure, desire, aggression, domination, and action, and a golden orange often stands for prestige, wisdom, illumination, wealth, and quality. A light orange or peach color tend to be more friendly and soothing.

Other meanings associated with the color orange:

  • Orange is often associated with autumn leaves, pumpkins, and when used alongside the color black, Halloween. With the change in color of the autumn leaves, orange often represents the changing seasons. Because of it’s association with change, orange is often used as a transitional color or to represent a transition or change of some kind.
  • Orange and blue work well together because they are complimentary colors. The orange and blue color palettes are commonly used for representations of play and summer fun, depicting both the hot, summer sun and the cool, refreshing water.
  • Orange when combined with yellow conjures up feelings of heat and fire, as well as fresh fruit. When combined with the color green, the colors elicit feelings of adventure and tropical destinations.

Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color orange: pumpkin, fire, gold, copper, flame, brass, apricot, peach, rust, citrus, mandarin, tangerine.

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

  1. Brenda

    Thank you so much for your thorough description of the color orange:) I’m designing a weight loss website and orange was the color I chose for logo and key words…wasn’t too happy to see it stimulates the appetite, but as we are encouraging HEALTHY eating, and not starvation, I think it will work out fine!
    Thanks again!

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