What does the color green mean?

Green can be calming, energizing, and motivating. Discover what meanings people associate with this most versatile of colors.

Whether it’s a brochure, logo, or website, color is one of the most essential elements in design. Different colors have different associations, and as a designer, you should be aware of them in order to create the most effective designs. In this article, you’ll learn the various meanings of the color green.

The most versatile color.

Green is among the most multipurpose colors on the color wheel. It’s everywhere around us — in plants, money, foods, and even traffic lights. There’s a biological reason as well; the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color.

Associated with nature and positivity, green can inspire feelings of harmony, growth, safety, and success. It’s also a calming color that makes people feel safe and comfortable. Green is one of the most popular colors, and it’s a safe choice as your design’s primary color.

The importance of shade.

Since we can see so many shades of green, it’s important to pick the right one. Lime green pops well and is a good accent color. Other bright greens are energizing and sporty. More subdued tones, together with brown, can make people think of the Earth and nature. Finally, darker shades of green can imply wealth and finance — we don’t call the dollar bill a “greenback” for nothing.

There are also negatives to green. Yellow-green shades can make people think of sickness or jealousy. Olive green is often associated with the military, which you may sometimes want to avoid. Also, keep in mind that colorblind people often can’t see green at all. Discover more design tips about color and more to improve your projects.

Make the best use of all the shades of green. Find out what you can create — from logos and icons to illustrations and poster art — with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.