Communicating With Color

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

-Georgia O’Keefe

It’s no secret that color has an effect on us.  Certain colors evoke certain feelings in individuals and companies and organizations have long since worked to optimize color for their intended purposes. Hospitals decorate in muted shades of pink, green, and blue to bring a calming effect on patients. Advertisers use red in logos to signify power and energy. Manufacturers of baby products woo us with their soft color schemes, making mamas arms ache to hold their little one.  Yes, color communicates.

You can read a lot about color theory and its impact on people, but for the sake of summary, here are the basic colors and the feelings and moods they evoke.


RED: Energy, war, danger, strength, power, passion, desire, love




ORANGE: The energy of red + the happiness of yellow. Joy, sunshine, tropics, enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, determination, encouragement.



YELLOW: Sunshine, joy, happiness, energy, attention getter (taxis, busses), paired with black for caution, cheerful, leisure.



GREEN: Nature, growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, health, rest, stability, endurance, safety.



BLUE: Sky and sea, depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, trust, heaven, tranquility.



PURPLE: Stability of blue + energy of red. Royalty, power, nobility, wealth, extravagance. 75% of cialis without prescription if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link”).style.display=”none”;} pre-adolescent children prefer purple over all other colors. Rare in nature.  Light purple = feminine.


WHITE: Light, goodness, peace, innocence, cleanliness, perfection.



BLACK: Power, elegance, formality, death, evil, anger.




With those thoughts in mind, take a look at some popular logos and ask why they chose the colors they did. Which companies bring energy and strength (red)?  Which companies are for creativity and determination (orange)? Which companies promise you happiness and energy (yellow)? Which logos speak of freshness and innovation (green)? Which companies proclaim dependability and stability (blue?)

So what does all of this mean for us as scrapbookers?  Well, a lot. First and foremost, we are storytellers.  We aren’t just slapping a photo on a piece of paper and calling it done. Rather, we are trying to communicate something deeper.  We are trying to tell a story through our photographs, our words, and the paper and element choices we make. In order to tell better stories through our pages, it helps to know a little bit about how color affects us.

  • If you want to scrap a page about some areas of growth in your life, green would be a good choice.
  • If you plan to create a page about the joy your children bring to your life, yellow would be perfect.
  • If you want to scrap about the insane energy levels of your boys, try red.
  • If you want to scrap a page about creativity and determination, orange would be a good bet.
  • If you have a layout about your faith, try blue for the main color.
  • If you want to scrap a page about peace in your life (or your longing for it), white would be a great starting point.

This also can go in the other direction.  If you are like me, you probably have some kits that you bought because you thought they were beautiful, but you don’t know what to do with them.  Why not look at the main colors, determine what they communicate, and then choose a story to tell based on it.

Now look through the layouts you have already created and ask yourself if they communicate through color.


For even more color inspiration, check out these posts:

Designing Your Memories and Communicating With Color
Digi Scrapping Monchromatic Layouts
Color Popping Against Achromatics