How to use this energetic color to your advantage, from warming up seasonal marketing to boosting year-round conversion.
Whether you’re peepin’ leaves, carvin’ pumpkins, or browsin’ the web, orange is all around us these days. But how do you succeed using orange for marketing and graphic design, without looking like a traffic cone? By following along as we take a seasonal, yet strategic, look at this strong color with a welcoming, transitional feel.
Orange: seasonal but not spooky
Orange is the star shade all throughout autumn, from fun Halloween decoration to bright uniforms that capture the thrill of football season.
While it can be a strong color, you don’t need to be scared of using it, especially this time of year.
Orange is naturally associated with New England’s changing of the season, pumpkins, and bountiful fall harvests. As such, orange is commonly perceived as a transitional color that represents change and excitement.
The psychology of orange
Orange can be a very strong and energetic color. In that regard, it’s similar to pink, our trending color for summer. In fact, both colors have a thrilling feel because of the red in them. Orange has a nice benefit of feeling more inviting. As Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says, “ Orange is the child of red and yellow. It gives you the excitement of red, but at the same time, the welcoming, friendly, warm aspect of yellow.”
While using the color orange in marketing or graphic design can be exciting, be careful not to go overboard. Leaning too heavily into the bright hue can turn people off because then it veers into traffic cone/safety vest territory. Aim for attention-grabbing and fun, not alarming or scary.
Using orange in your marketing
During this time of year, it’s common to want to work orange into your emails, ads, and collateral. When used as an accent, bright orange can be very effective without being overly distracting.
For instance, orange is often used as a color for buttons or other calls to action (CTAs). In addition to the general eye-catching aspect you want for conversion, orange also tends to have high contrast with dark colors like blues or blacks.
With effective pops of color like that, no wonder Zoom, FedEx, Care.com, and other brands feature orange buttons on their sites. Tracy Shaw, Co-Founder of Expand, remembers when an old employer conducted a usability test on the color of sign up buttons. The winner? Orange CTAs. Sorry, red, blue, and green buttons…maybe one day.
Year round brand identity
Of course, there are leading brands out there using orange as part of their all around identity. As Hubspot notes, “Orange is light and fun, so it suits less ‘corporate’-feeling brands.” We agree with that and their follow-on point that darker shades of orange are associated with autumn, which pairs well with more “earthy” brands.
Here are some examples of orange being used effectively:
Think color theory is too spooky to handle alone?
We’re your allies in orange (or whatever color best represents your brand). Contact us below for help updating your color palette or crafting logos fit for any season.