Color Theory: The Meanings of Color


To explore and explain the meanings and psychological effects of colors.

Student-Friendly Learning Target: 

I can use web resources to discover the meaning of colors, and the psychological effects of colors on people.

Web Links:

Color Matters: The Meanings of Colors:

Color Meaning, Symbolism and Psychology:

Topics Discussed:

  1. Color Theory
  2. Semiotics


Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and how they are used. Use the websites below to read about the meanings and symbolism of the colors we have been discussing in class:

Read about the symbolism and meanings of the warm colors Red, Orange and Yellow, the cool colors Green, Blue, and Purple, the more-versatile-than-you-know Pink, and the neutral colors Black, Brown, White, and Grey. We will discuss these meanings in class.

Next, on your fourth and final artboard, use your knowledge of Color Theory and Color Harmonies to demonstrate some of the cultural and psychological associations of the major hues discussed in class.

  1. Follow along with the class presentation on the meanings of colors.
  2. Design a document that describes some of the cultural and psychological associations related to each of the following colors:
    1. Red
    2. Orange
    3. Yellow
    4. Green
    5. Blue
    6. Purple
    7. Pink
    8. Brown
    9. Black
    10. White
    11. Grey
  3. For each of the above listed hues, include the following:
    1. A shape filled with the color, representing the pure hue.
    2. A text box with at least one complete sentence describing some things associated with the color.
    3. A text box with at least one complete sentence describing some of the psychological associations with the color.
    4. A text box with at least one complete sentence describing a fun fact you learned about the color.
  4. The background should be any color except white.
  5. The document should contain a headline containing a few words describing the main topic of the poster.
  6. You should use the principles of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity in the development of this poster.
  7. You should use these principles to make the poster interesting and fun to look at.
  8. You may use the Color Wheel you designed in our previous assignment as a guide to the hues, and you may copy and paste information from the provided websites, as long as you give the site credit on your page. (Add a text box with the word “Source:” and a link to the website somewhere on the page.)

Hints and Tips:

  • If you’ve forgotten what Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity mean, review your Principles of Design notes from last semester, or the book chapters available on the class server (
  • Fill the page with color, but choose your colors wisely! Your background color should not conflict with the hues you are trying to showcase!
  • You may design the page any way you wish, but you may wish to look at the Color Theory for Designers link for ideas on how to arrange your page and what background colors to use.
  • Don’t steal! If you copy information from one of the websites, you need to include a reference link to the source.
  • Do your best to make this page interesting and fun to look at! There’s a reason I had you choose “Print” when you created the document, and there are already far too many boring and ugly posters on campus already. Don’t be a part of that problem, be part of the solution.

Assigned: February 11th, 2020
Teacher Pacing Due Date: February 12th, 2020