When it comes to signage most of us tend to think about the type of sign we need (yard sign, directional sign, car magnet etc.), the wording, the design, and of course, where we’ll place the sign. But how often do we pay close attention to the colors we use, other than making sure what we select is visible to a driver at 55 mph?

Choosing the right color is critical because it sends a marketing message that affects your prospective customers on a subconscious level. Pastels, for instance, are calming and subtle. That’s why hospitals generally paint the walls a pale yellow or mint green. Babies’ clothing usually comes in sweet pastel colors because pastels also tend to impart a new, young, growing energy. Children’s toys, by contrast, are often created in bold primary colors: reds, blues and vibrant yellows designed to grab and hold the attention of young children.

Every color has multiple associations that also vary culturally. Here are some examples of color connotations:


Colors can be VERY important in the world of signage; Take care to choose colors that compliment your message!

Red – love, enthusiasm, action, aggression, anger, sex

Orange – warmth, energy, fun, flamboyant (it’s also the most controversial color)

Yellow – mentally stimulating, memory activating, optimism, happiness

Green – peace, relaxing, renewal, harmony, abundance

Blue – trustworthy, dependable, committed, calming

Purple – uplifting, spiritual, royal, creativity

Brown – organic, earthy, natural, orderly, stability

Black – authoritative, powerful, sophisticated, mysterious

White – purity, neutrality, cleanliness, mental clarity, fresh beginnings

Gray – timeless, practical, solid, expectant

Gold – prestige, expensive, warm, powerful, masculine

Silver – cool, scientific, prestigious, feminine

Which is the right color for your signage? It depends on the type of product or service you provide, and your target audience. For instance, if you sell toys, as mentioned above, bright colors will work for the merchandise itself, though you might want to select slightly more restrained color choices for your marketing materials, since your target audience for the purchase is going to be an adult. You can still use bright colors, just fewer of them! High contrast colors such as yellow and blue work best on signage — and send a positive message of stimulating, dependable toys that will enhance your child’s memory and happiness.