The Impact of Color in Graphic DesignJuly 29, 2012 No Comments
The color wheel, primary and secondary colors, and warm and cool colors have all been terms utilized by visual artists since the late 18th century. Since then, color theory has remained an important aspect of visual representation, and has only become more significant as graphic design hit mainstream. Beginning with Isaac Newton’s controversial theory of color, the meanings and feelings provoked by certain colors have developed and have become more recognizable. There is no doubt; color has a huge effect on communicating a message.
While the interpretation of color is subjective, there are certain design case studies that have helped link specific colors with very prominent meanings. The color pink, for example, has been widely associated with breast cancer awareness. Bono’s Red campaign to fight AIDS in Africa has connected the powerful color with energy and struggle. Lance Armstrong’s popular Livestrong bracelets have strengthened the color yellow symbolizing hope and triumph.
San Francisco’s Academy of Art University has recognized the importance of color in graphic design. Two teachers there challenged their design students with a “colorful” task: use color as a social vehicle to create change. The students split into eight groups, each confronting a different social problem, including blindness, illiteracy, and discrimination. After careful research, the students collaborated on an in-depth presentation of their findings and solutions. Their projects were eye-opening, and they definitely reinforced that color plays an essential role in communicating through design.
Are there certain graphic design projects that you have noticed that utilize color in this way? What are your favorite colors, and why? Let us know what you think!
Written by: Katie Coughlan
Case Studies, Picture Perfect