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The Color Orange for Dummies

As we know, orange is a color that is often disliked or neglected. They say that it does not go with anything or that it is too loud. However, who does not like a sunset when the sky seems inflamed by orange? As a secondary color, it is one of the six main colors and is used by many companies for their logos or sports teams. So if you want to stand out or make your image more dynamic, this shade can be part of the solution. Let's take a look at the complexity, use, and history of this often forgotten color.

A Brief History of this Color

To begin, did you know that before the 14th century, the color orange did not technically exist? It was considered a shade of yellow, red or brown. Since it is a complementary color, a color made up of two primary colors, people were reluctant to use it because it was challenging to make. According to Michel Pastoureau, artists preferred to work with primary colors in the Middle Ages because they were considered pure. Then, everyone started talking about the color orange when fruit became more available in Europe. Over the years, this shade has been made with different ingredients, including saffron or Brazil wood.

Do you know the Royal House of Orange? Although the name derives from a principality of the south of France and not fruit, this family over time used this color to represent themselves. It is the family of Prince of Orange who gained independence for the Netherlands from Spain. They then became rulers of the new country. Today, orange is still popular in the Netherlands - think of their football jerseys for example! The color orange was also used to represent the Protestantism after another member of the Orange family, William III, became King of England. This color is on the Irish flag, the green is for Catholicism and white for peace. Orange is used very little on flags. It can be found on the New York City flag as a tribute to the Dutch who colonized New York first. It was also in 1797 that a French scientist discovered a synthetic way of creating this color making it more accessible.

The Meaning of the Colour Orange

Carrots, pumpkins, and autumn, all contain a shade of orange to represent life, warmth, and optimism. According to Buddhist monks, it also represents purity as it is the color of gold and dawn, which is why their clothes are this shade. In Western societies, orange is often associated with entertainment and eccentricity. It is reminiscent of citrus fruits and joy and was popularized in the 1960s. It is also a color that quickly captures the eye, which is why lifejackets and road signs are this color.

Some Tips for Using Orange in Your Logo 

It is not easy to use the color orange, because it is a color that does not always pair well with other colors. It is also a color that can become too strong and aggressive if used in large quantities. Therefore, it is ideal to add a few touches of this shade to revitalize a dull or cold image or logo. To avoid being overbearing, follow the 60-30-10 rule which works well with complementary colors. Choose and predominantly use a primary color in your logo. Then, use a secondary color at 30%, which is orange in this case, and finally, at 10% use an accent color. The white-orange duo is quite often used to give a refreshing effect to a design while the black-orange combination, of course, reminds us of Halloween.

Some Examples of Logos

In addition to being a color used to represent the Netherlands or Protestantism, orange is found on several companies or sports teams logos. Do any come to mind? Here are some:

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Freshness and Citrus

The two competing soft drink companies Fanta and Crush both opted for a logo with orange, and the fruit orange to make us think of the citrus taste of their drinks. These are companies that, in addition to wanting to project freshness, want to look young and fun. This is why in this case orange is the ideal color to use. As well, the sight of orange can stimulate the appetite!

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Colour of Entertainment

As mentioned above, orange is the color of the joy of life, and that is why we see companies related to entertainment and fun opt for orange in their logos. The American Television Channel for children and teenagers Nickelodeon and Harley-Davidson motorcycle company did this.

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Create a Big Contrast

The color in question can be used to create beautiful contrasts when used with another color or to highlight a detail. FedEx has used this combination to create its fast delivery logo. For the Mozilla Internet Explorer logo, the use of blue brings out the orange making it both warmer and more vivid.

In conclusion, you may still not like the color orange, however, you now have an idea of its origin, its meaning, and how to use it. This shade, like the fruit, is nutritious and positive, so do not hesitate to use it for your logo if you want to project a young and energetic image. Few companies dare to use it, so this is your chance to stand out! What color would you like us to investigate for you? Feel free to comment below!

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