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Warm Color Symbolism

The Colors of Excitement


Warm Colors of the color wheel

The warm side of the color wheel includes red, orange, and yellow. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com

| Cool, Calming Colors | Mixed Cool/Warm Colors | Unifying Neutral Colors
Warm colors rev us up and get us going. The warmth of red, yellow, or orange can create excitement or even anger. Warm colors convey emotions from simple optimism to strong violence. The neutrals of black and brown also carry warm attributes.

In nature, warm colors represent change as in the changing of the seasons or the eruption of a volcano. Tone down the strong emotions of a warm palette with some soothing cool or neutral colors or by using the lighter side of the warm palette such as pinks, pale yellows, and peach.

Warm colors appear larger than cool colors so red can visually overpower blue even if used in equal amounts. You can often back off from the warm shades and still convey its excitement. Warm colors appear closer while their cool counterparts visually recede on the page.

The profiles for each of these warm 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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