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Neutral Color Symbolism

The Colors of Unity

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Examples of Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are warm and cool shades of black, gray, brown, beige, and white. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com

| Cool, Calming Colors | Warm, Exciting Colors | Mixed Cool/Warm Colors
The neutral colors of black, white, silver, gray, and brown make good backgrounds, serve to unify diverse color palettes, and also often stand alone as the only or primary focus of a design. Neutral colors can be cool or warm but are more subtle than blues and reds.

Neutral colors help to put the focus on other colors or serve to tone down colors that might otherwise be overpowering on their own. To some extent blacks, browns, tans, golds, and beige colors are considered warm. While white, ivory, silver, and gray are somewhat cooler colors. Yet these warm and cool attributes are flexible and more subtle than that of reds or blues.

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

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