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Cool Color Symbolism

The Colors of Calm


Cool Colors from the color wheel

The cool side of the color wheel from blues to greens. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com

| Warm, Exciting Colors | Mixed Cool/Warm Colors | Unifying Neutral Colors
Cool colors tend to have a calming effect. At one end of the spectrum they are cold, impersonal, antispectic colors. At the other end the cool colors are comforting and nurturing. Blue, green, and the neutrals white, gray, and silver are examples of cool colors.

In nature blue is water and the sky and green is grass, trees, and other plant life - a natural, life-sustaining duo. Combine blues and greens for natural, watery color palettes. Heat up a too cool color palette with a dash of warm colors such as red or orange. If you want warmth with just a blue palette, choose deeper blues with a touch of red but not quite purple or almost black deep navy blues.

Cool colors appear smaller than warm colors and they visually recede on the page so red can visually overpower and stand out over blue even if used in equal amounts. So, if you want to focus on the calm, use more of the cool and just a dash of the warm colors.

The profiles for each of these cool colors include descriptions of their nature, cultural color meanings, how to use each color in design work, and which colors work best together.

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