How to add an orange color to your design.
Learn what makes orange a versatile color option, and how you can integrate it into your own designs, photos, and illustrations.
Without color, the world would be bland and boring. Not only does color create visual interest, it also has a unique way of evoking certain emotions. Orange is one of the most evocative colors on the color wheel — and one that shows up often in design concepts. Let’s explore how to use this color effectively.
The meaning of orange.
Vibrant and energetic, orange is most often associated with creativity. Like its namesake, orange also symbolizes health and vitality, which is why it often appears in the color palette of health-related brands. Its bright, high visibility also lends it to safety applications — think life preservers, safety vests, and traffic cones.
- HEX #FFA500
- RGB 255, 165, 0
Hue variations of orange.
Orange is made up of exactly equal portions of red and yellow. Its natural variations include red orange (#FF5349) and burnt orange (#CC5500), as well as red (#FF0000) and yellow (#FFFF00) themselves.
Colors that complement orange.
- Experiment with different combinations of black, cream, and orange. A cream-colored website with black font and subtle orange accents creates an elegant yet conservative design. Now, flip those ratios — say, a bright orange website with a cream font — and you’ll have a design that’s bursting with energy and confidence.
- Mix a soft peach with dark orange. This creates a more subtle, monochromatic color scheme, but one that still has a lot of energy.
- To temper the intensity of orange, don’t overlook the color white. This duo creates a restrained-yet-energized pairing that can feel crisp and fresh, especially in illustrative work.
While orange generally evokes positive feelings, it can feel overwhelming when used in large amounts. If your design feels a little too over-the-top, dial it back by decreasing the amount of orange or by making it your accent color instead. Discover more graphic design tips to keep your creations visually appealing.