Colours can be classified as warm or cool. Warm colours such as red, orange, or yellow, tend to be exciting, emphatic, and affirmative. In addition to these psychological effects, optically they seem to advance and expand.
Colours ranging between yellow to red-violet on the circle i.e. yellow, orange-yellow, red and red-violet.
However, interaction between colours may cause a hue such as red-violet to appear warmer if it is placed next to a cold colour, such as green, or colder if it is placed next to a warm colour, such as orange.
Warm colours, such as red and apricot, have an opposite effect, closing in the walls of a room. If the room is large, its dimensions seem decreased. Warm colours look their best in a not so bright room with southern light, so that the bright effect of the sunny colours is not too overbearing.
In nature, warm colors represent change as in the changing of the seasons or the eruption of a volcano.
Warm colors appear larger than cool colors so red can visually overpower blue even if used in equal amounts.
• Red is hot. It’s a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence and warfare. Red is Cupid and the Devil.
• A stimulant, red is the hottest of the warm colors. Studies show that red can have a physical effect, increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure.
• The expression seeing red indicates anger and may stem not only from the stimulus of the color but from the natural flush (redness) of the cheeks, a physical reaction to anger, increased blood pressure, or physical exertion.
• Red is power, hence the red power tie for business people and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs (very important people).
• Flashing red lights denote danger or emergency. Stop signs and stop lights are red to get the drivers’ attention and alert them to the dangers of the intersection.
• In some cultures, red denotes purity, joy, and celebration. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China and may be used to attract good luck.
• Pink is a softer, less violent red. Pink is the sweet side of red. It’s cotton candy and bubble gum and babies, especially little girls.
While red stirs up passion and action, studies have shown that large amounts of pink can create physical weakness in people. Perhaps there is a tie-in between this physical reaction and the color’s association with the so-called weaker sex.
• In some cultures, such as the US, pink is the color of little girls. It represents sugar and spice and everything nice. Pink for men goes in and out of style. Most people still think of pink as a feminine, delicate color.
• Both red and pink denote love but while red is hot passion, pink is romantic and charming. Use pink to convey playfulness (hot pink flamingoes) and tenderness (pastel pinks).
• Yellow is sunshine. It is a warm color that, like red, has conflicting symbolism. On the one hand it denotes happiness and joy but on the other hand it’s the color of cowardice and deceit.
• Yellow is one of the warm colors. Because of the high visibility of bright yellow, it is often used for hazard signs and some emergency vehicles. Yellow is cheerful.
• For years yellow ribbons were worn as a sign of hope as women waited from their men to come marching home from war. Today, they are still used to welcome home loved ones. Its use for hazard signs creates an association between yellow and danger, although not quite as dangerous as red.
• If someone is yellow it means they are a coward so yellow can have a negative meaning in some cultures.
• Yellow is for mourning in Egypt and actors of the Middle Ages wore yellow to signify the dead. Yet yellow has also represented courage (Japan), merchants (India), and peace.
• A cousin to yellow (and orange and brown) is gold. While green may be the color of money (U.S. money, that is) gold is the color of riches and extravagance.
• Gold shares many of the attributes of yellow. It is a warm color that can be both bright and cheerful as well as somber and traditional.
Because gold is a precious metal, the color gold is associated with wealth and prosperity.
• While all that glitters is not gold the color gold still suggests grandeur, and perhaps on the downside, the excesses of the rich. Gold is the traditional gift for a Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary while gold-like bronze is for the eighth and copper with its reddish-gold tones is for the seventh.
• Orange is vibrant. It’s a combination of red and yellow so it shares some common attributes with those colors. It denotes energy, warmth, and the sun. But orange has a bit less intensity or aggression than red, calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow.
• As a warm color orange is a stimulant — stimulating the emotions and even the appetite. Orange can be found in nature in the changing leaves of fall, the setting sun, and the skin and meat of citrus fruit.
• Orange brings up images of autumn leaves, pumpkins, and (in combination with Black) Halloween. It represents the changing seasons so in that sense it is a color on the edge, the color of change between the heat of summer and the cool of winter.
• Because orange is also a citrus color, it can conjure up thoughts of vitamin C and good health.
• If you want to get noticed without screaming, consider orange — it demands attention. The softer oranges such as peach are even friendlier, more soothing. Peachy oranges are less flamboyant than their redder cousins but still energetic.
• Considered the negation of color, black is conservative, goes well with almost any color except the very dark. It also has conflicting connotations. • It can be serious and conventional. Black can also be mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated.
• Black is the absence of color. In clothing, black is visually slimming. Black, like other dark colors, can make a room appear to shrink in size and even a well-lit room looks dark with a lot of black. Black can make other colors appear brighter.
• In most Western countries black is the color of mourning. Among young people, black is often seen as a color of rebellion. Black is both positive and negative. It is the color for little boys in China. Black, especially combined with orange is the color of Halloween. In early Westerns the good guy wore white while the bad guy wore black. But later on good guys wore black to lend an air of mystery to themselves.
• Use black to convey elegance, sophistication, or perhaps a touch of mystery. Dark charcoal gray and very dark brown can sometimes stand in for black.
• Brown is a natural, down-to-earth neutral color. It is found in earth, wood, and stone.
• Brown is a warm neutral color that can stimulate the appetite. It is found extensively in nature in both living and non-living materials.
• Brown represents wholesomeness and earthiness. While it might be considered a little on the dull side, it also represents steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health. Although blue is the typical corporate color, UPS (United Parcel Service) has built their business around the dependability associated with brown.
• Brown and its lighter cousins in tan, taupe, beige, or cream make excellent backgrounds helping accompanying colors appear richer, brighter. Use brown to convey a feeling of warmth, honesty, and wholesomeness. Although found in nature year-round, brown is often considered a fall and winter color. It is more casual than black.