The meaning of orange in design.

Orange is the color of positive, cheerful energy. Find out all the meanings of orange and how to use it in design.

Color is one of the most powerful elements in design. Different colors carry different meanings, and their proper use can make or break a design. Whether you work in graphic, UI, or product design, you must be aware of the meanings of colors.

Explore what emotions and meanings people associate with orange and learn a few handy tips for using orange effectively in your designs.

What does orange symbolize?

A mix of red and yellow, orange combines the passion of the former with the positivity of the latter. Bright and vibrant oranges are fun colors that burst with youthfulness, energy, and happiness. They inspire creativity and uplift people’s moods. Golden oranges also exude a sense of luxury and prestige.

On the other hand, dark and almost brown, drab oranges — like decomposing autumn leaves — can elicit feelings of deceit or hopelessness. Even the energy of bright oranges can create ideas of impatience. These aren’t as common as the positive associations, but as a designer you should be aware of them.

How to use orange in design.

Because it’s associated with optimism and energy, many brands use orange to convey a message of positivity. If you’re looking to get your audience excited about something, go for orange. It’s an attention-grabbing, warm color that really pops when combined with cool blue or green tones.

Too much orange can have the opposite effect, though. Overwhelmingly orange designs can be perceived as almost self-aggrandizing. It’s best to use orange sparingly to direct attention to where it matters the most. Discover even more design tips that can help take your graphics to the next level.

Make orange designs that are bound to excite your audience. Find out what you can create — from logos and icons to illustrations and poster art — with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.