What does the sky have to do with the color of publications? Nothing really.

November 30, 2009 at 6:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

This post is inspired by the changing colors of the environment. The sky has faded from a bright cheery blue, speckled with white clouds (the sign of a perfect beach day); to a dull gray cloudless sky (winter is hear). So it was do the colors of the sky have to do with publications? Well, not much; unless the colors of the sky are inspiration for your publication. Color has a certain amount of power that plain old white just doesn’t have. Strategic Publications by Linda P. Morton states that color enhances design in five ways:

  1. Adds information about items as perceived in nature.
  2. Distorts nature to alter perceptions and influence emotions
  3. Helps readers to distinguish between items
  4. Aids the visual balance of design
  5. Helps to establish a mood or to add excitement

Colors are broken down into primary, secondary (complementary), and tertiary (intermediate) colors. In this post we will only be discussing primary colors. Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. They cannot be mixed together or you will get brown and they cannot also be mixed. 

Red happens to have the longest wavelength of light that is discernable by the human eye. It evokes passion and heritage, red is also enraging, fierce, intense, lively, and stimulating. Morton suggests using it for secondary emphasis rather than primary emphasis because it is so strong. Have you noticed that every time you went to a fast food restaurant you became hungrier? Well before the great shift of fast food restaurants from hard plastic seats and glaring lights to plasmas TVs and earth tones, the color red was everywhere. Scientists have discovered that red actually makes you hungrier. Other points about red are:

  •  It attracts readers better than any other color.
  • Has the potential to make readers tense
  •  Active readers prefer it, but all readers seek this color when they are bored.


Blue is considered to be a cool color. It portrays authority, seriousness, sincerity, trustworthiness and high quality. Morton states that the color blue calms the reader so much that the reader feels that they have spent more time looking at the publication than they really do. Here are some other points about the color blue:

  •  Most readers site blue as their favorite color
  •  It is liked more as a dominant color’
  • Blue is considered a “safe” color to use in publications
  • Readers feel that pages that utilize spot blue are more important and believable than other colors or black-and white.


Yellow is the color of the sun and this is what readers think when they see the color yellow. It is preferred by “high-minded people.” The general appearance of yellow is sunny, incandescent, and radiant. The objective impressions that yellow gives off are cheerful, inspiring, vital, and celestial. This particular color is reflective; it takes on the tones of other colors. Finally here are some points about yellow:It is best for attracting readers’ eyes

  • It can overpower items in other colors
  • Items appear to move “forward and ‘jumps’ at the reader.”
  • Bright yellow is better than muted yellow for publications

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