Connecting Colours

The hidden meanings behind colours and their importance.

To helping with my Cafe for the Futures development I have decided to look into the hidden meaning of colours and what connects them to different world elements. Colours are always a big element of my design work. 

Helping me to create the perfect colour palette for my project I wanted to find which colours connected best with my cafe themes and vision. I have been researching different websites online and books to find the best colours and the real meanings behind each one. I found a website called which explains the elements and meanings behind a range of creative colours, what they are used for, why they are used & more. 


Colours are always a huge impact on our emotions, perceptions, energies and well being. For everything we design should have strong meaning and reasons as to why we have used certain colours, either creating a brand or choosing something that represents us or another we have to ask the question, are we using the right colour palette?  Understanding the meanings behind each colour is a must and the power each individual colour holds. I want to chose the right colours in order to communicate the perfect messages throughout my cafe. Jennifer Bourn, the writer of has come up with an amazing colour meaning blog series which has been a strong part of my research. 

Colour Values

Red | all shades including scarlet, crimson, vermillion, carmine, maroon, burgundy, ruby, rose, madder, rouge, brick, blood red, blush, fire engine red, cinnabar, russet, rust, Venetian red, flame, Indian red, tomato & their positive  and negative elements. 

The meaning behind the colour red is very much associated with love, passion, desire, heat, lust, sexuality, romance, leadership, joy, strength, willpower & courage. red being an assertive colour is daring, determined and very energetic. Symbolising action and self preservation. Red is also very intense and can be overpowering. A stimulating colour that creates physical effects such as heart rate changes, high levels of energy and increased confidence. Focusing attention quickly gaining peoples attention being one of the reasons why fire engines are painted this colour. Red has also been used for things such as the red carpet VIP’s and also for companies like for charities to help raise awareness. 

Linking other colours and symbolic meanings with the colour red. 

Christmas | 40th anniversary | Wedding (Red ruby wedding.) | Roses | The saying “in the red” means losing, either linked to finances or failure in other areas. The phrase “paint the town red” is associated with having fun and enjoyment. The expression “seeing red” is linked to being angry or annoyed. In different cultures red means many different things. China | is used for good luck, purity, joy and celebration, also the colour worn by brides. Also means happiness and prosperity. Africa | is the colour of mourning. Russia | associated with communism. United States | Pride over their country. Red gemstones are used to help increase enthusiasm, boost good energies and offer protection for those suffering with fears and anxiety.

Orange | all shades including pumpkin, fire, gold, copper, flame, brass, apricot, peach, rust, citrus, mandarin, tangerine & their positive elements. 

A mixture of energy linked with the colour red and also yellow. Orange means joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, success, change, determination, health, balance, freedom and expression. Linking to creativity orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that can be shared nicely. Orange helps people to recover from things such as a wounded heart and disappointments. It is a pretty flamboyant colour filled with confidence. Studies have shown how orange can create different physical effects, boosting aspirations, stimulating mental activity, increasing contentment and enhancing happiness, confidence and understanding. 

Orange also has ways of stimulating appetite and is common found in many healthy diets and vitamins. It is also apparently a poplar colour in establishments with food to encourage the feeling of hunger as it has a way of connecting with our mind. This is also another colour that helps to gain attention. Orange also can cause self serving qualities, including arrogance and the lack of care towards others and the loss of emotions and motivation, low self esteem also loneliness.

Linking other colours and symbolic meanings with the colour red. 

Orange is associated with the season Autumn & also Halloween & the Harvest. This is where the connection with change comes from (the change in the colour of the autumn leaves.) Orange is known to work particularly well with blue as they are complementary colours. Linked with yellow or green expresses exotic destinations, places with beaches, sand, sun and sea. 

Yellow | all shades including Lemon, yellow ocher, golden, saffron, cream, mustard, mellow yellow.

The colour yellow represents happiness, sunshine, hope, freshness, positivity, energy and enlightenment. Also works for remembrance, intellect and loyalty. A low light yellow may represent caution, sickness or jealousy. Warmth, cheerfulness, increased muscle energy. Enhance vision, builds confidence and activate the mind.  An attention grabbing colour and combined with black creates one of the easiest combinations to read from long distance as to why taxi’s, school buses and most road signs are painted in these colours. A spontaneous and unstable colour, used with food regularly, highly used at schools and for education purposes. Too much yellow also can cause people to become critical. 

Yellow gemstones are believed to aid in clarity for making key decisions, boosting ones concentration, improving energy and also exhaustion. In a lot of different cultures yellow has many different meanings. yellow represents peace in most places however, in Egypt yellow represents death and Japan | courage. War times | yellow was used to represent a sign of hope and yellow ribbons were worn by the woman waiting for their husbands to return home. The term mellow yellow stands for laid and relaxation. 

Green | all shades emerald, sea green, sea foam, olive, olive drab, pea green, grass green, apple, mint, forest, lawn green, lime, spring green, leaf green, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, fir, kelly green, pine, moss, jade, sage, yellow-green, sap, viridian.

Green is very much the colour of life, renewal, nature and once again energy. Meaning growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility and environment. Traditionally associated with all aspects of money, ambition as well as elements of greed and jealousy. The colour green is a very spiritual colour with healing powers the most resting, relaxing shade to the human eye. Enhances vision. A dominant colour in all thing natural. A natural choice in interior design. Linked very much to spring season. Green is soothing and youthful. Helps very much with anxiety and depression. A huge sense of hope, good health and also adventure. Very harmonious and good for branding products. 

Ireland | good luck, leprechauns, clovers, and Saint Patrick’s Day. Too much green can cause people to become lazy, slow and also moody. Green gemstones are believed to help create balance and promote change. 

Blue | all shades including sapphire, azure, beryl, cerulean, cobalt, indigo, navy, royal, sky blue, baby blue, robin’s egg blue, cyan, cornflower blue, midnight blue, slate, steel blue, Prussian blue.

Blue very much links to the sky and sea, harmonious surroundings and open spaces. Freedom, imagination, inspiration and sensitivity. Trustworthy, loyal, wisdom, stability, heaven & faith. Effects the mind and the body in positive ways and is the colour of our spirit. Calming and tranquil. Balance and self expression. Softer and deep blues work best. Brighter blues are a lot more dramatic.

A strong and friendly colour, the colour blue stands positively in many religious beliefs, bringing us peace and keeping the negatives away. Communicates importance and power as well as unity. Splashes of blue work best in branding. A good colour for flowing communication between loved ones and heart warming words. Darker shades are elegant, rich, intelligent and light blue means honesty and trust. 

Purple | all shades including violet, plum, lavender, lilac, puce, thistle, orchid, mauve, magenta, royal, amethyst, wine, pomegranate, eggplant, mulberry, plum, lilac, thistle, orchid, mauve, purple.

Purple has a calm element. The color purple is associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also means wealthy, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, devotion, peace, pride, independence and magic. The colour is rare in nature and has a scared feel, being delicate and precious.

Purple effects our mind, body and soul positively. Uplifts out spirits and calms our minds. Enhances creativity and spirituality and has nurturing elements touching on sensitivity and encourages our imaginations. A passionate colour which helps to outline the entire universe. A feminine colour linked to beauty and nature. 

Grey | all shades including charcoal, slate, iron gray, ashen, lead, mousy, gunmetal, silver, dove gray, powder grey, oyster, pearl, taupe, sere, Payne’s grey.

Grey is a neutral, calm and balanced color. The color gray is an emotionless colour that is typically known as formal, conservative, and sophisticated. Grey works well with most colours a timeless and practical colour communicating strength. 

The color gray is a timeless and practical color that is often associated with loss or depression. Dark, charcoal grey communicates strength and mystery. It is a sophisticated color that lacks negativity. A very natural colour represented with the cold weather and the season December. 

Black | all shades including ebony, jet, ink, lampblack, coal, soot, charcoal, raven, midnight, obsidian, onyx, sable.

Black is associated with power, mystery, strength, authority, elegance, formality,and sophistication. Black is associated with the unknown. The colour black also represents strength, elegance and is very prestigious. Also linked to seriousness, strong emotions and at times can be overwhelming. Helps to boost confidence in appearance increasing a sense of potential and possibilities. 

This colour works perfectly with most other colours adding the perfect combination. 

Whiteall shades including antique white, ivory, chalk, milk white, lily, smoke, seashell, old lace, cream, linen, ghost white, beige, cornsilk, alabaster, paper, whitewash.

A strong positive colour associated with purity, innocence, light, goodness, safety, brilliance, understanding, faith, beginnings, spirituality, possibility and perfection. Representing success and also links very much to relaxation and simplicity. Cleanliness and health.

White is a bright colour linked to certain cultures and religions. Angels and royalty are another two elements of this colour. Glow of happiness and the gifted. Being safe and building a happy home. Boosts encouragement and helps create new beginnings. 

Brown | all shades including sienna, bay, sand, wood, dapple, auburn, chestnut, nut-brown, cinnamon, russet, tawny, chocolate, tan, brunette, fawn, liver-colored, mahogany, oak, bronze, terra-cotta, toast, umber, cocoa, coffee, copper, ecru, ginger, hazel, khaki, ochre, puce, snuff-colored.

Brown is the colour of earth, wood, stone, wholesomeness, reliability, elegance, security, healing, home, grounding, stability, warmth and honesty. It is also a very natural colour being neutral and is associated with the season Autumn. A warm and homely shade, which is friendly, simplistic and healthy. 

Brown means stability, reliability, dependability, and approachability.  All things natural and organic, comforting and nurturing. Also brings a huge sense of relaxation, homeliness, organisation and wholesomeness. A strong connection with the earth and a colour that means we all belong. 

Pink | all shades including salmon, coral, hot pink, fuschia, blush, flesh, flush, fuchsia, rose.

Pink is a delicate colour which means sweet, sensitive, playful and tender. It is also very romantic and charming. The colour represents universe love as well as harmony, inner peace and friendship.

The official feminine shade for everything nice, pink can also create a physical weakness when seen in large amounts. Pink brings us good health, relaxation, acceptance, contentment and softens frustration. 

Turquoise | all shades including teal, ultramarine, blue-green, aqua, aquamarine.

Turquoise is a blend of the colours blue and green. This has some many cool and calming attributes similarly to both green and blue. Turquoise means good energy, emotional balance, wisdom, serenity, wholeness, creativity, emotional balance, equality, good luck, love, tranquility, patience, friendship, love, change and loyalty. It is very much used to express value, as well as wealth and prosperity. 

In many cultures turquoise is one of the oldest protection colours connecting with the spiritual world and sensitivity. A protecting colour from harm and negativity. The turquoise gemstone is the symbol of friendship and brings peace to the home and good fortune to the home owner. The turquoise stone holds great wisdom and represents self realisation, expression and creative energy. It also has healing powers and helps to enhance communication skills as well as calm the mind. 

Gold | all shades including goldenrod, yellow gold, honey, bronze, copper.

The colour gold means extravagance, wealth, and shares several of the same attributes of yellow. The color gold is a warm shade that can be bright and cheerful as well as somber  when used correctly. The colour gold is cousin to the color yellow and the color brown, and is also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic and wisdom. 

Gold gemstones are used to increase our own wisdom and power, help in health and wellness, create success and prosperity, and help create the path of life we all follow toward our goal.

Silver | all shades including gun metal, grey, metallic grey.

Silver, the colour of riches, has cool properties like gray, but is more fun, lively, and playful. The colour silver is sleek, high-tech, and modern, as well as glamourous, graceful, sophisticated, and elegant. Silver is a precious colour similarly to gold is believed to help us in many ways. Is believed to be a mirror to the soul.

As a gemstone silver means hope, unconditional love, meditation, mystic visions and kindness. Draws negative energy out of the body and replaces it with positive energy. 

Beige | buff, camel, oatmeal, tan, sand, biscuit, cream, ecru, mushroom. Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color ivory: milk white, pearl, off-white, opaline.

Beige is dependable and flexible. The colour beige is neutral, calming and very relaxing. Beige offers warmth and works on the same level as the colour brow being crisp and cool which works perfectly with white. A similar colour to beige is ivory, which is neutral, relaxing and calming and has some of the same pureness and softness however uses a warmer tone. The color ivory sets relaxed tone of understated elegance.

Decisions | Choosing my colour palette. 

After researching the hidden meanings behind different colours and all their elements and what they stand for I have decided on a range of colours that I fill will link best with my brand platform for my cafe. I am looking to chose colours that link to unity, equality, love, power, good energy, emotional balance, wisdom, creativity, tranquility, patience, friendship, love, change and loyalty, simplicity and new beginnings. 

I have careful read through my research a second time and decided on a variety of colours that will work well alone as well as together. My chosen colours are; 

Turquoise Gold | Brown Black & White. 


This independent task has really helped me to develop a clear understanding of colours and their hidden meanings and also how this can help me to create meaningful designs not just for this project but for my FMP and other future work and projects. This is an amazing task to do if you have not done already as creating colour palettes can at times be difficult. 





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