Orange is the next stop on our trip through the rainbow. Orange is a secondary color, made up of the primary colors red and yellow. Orange combines the energy of red with the joyfulness of yellow.
Although it’s wavelength is not as long as that of red, like red it is considered a high visibility color, hence it’s use in signage and high vis clothing. This has created an association with safety and with the construction and engineering industries. It also makes it an excellent highlight color for anything you wish to draw attention to in your logo design.
Physiological responses to orange in humans include increased appetite and increased oxygen supply to the brain. This latter reaction creates an invigorating effect and stimulates mental activity. This is no doubt why the color is linked with creativity and enthusiasm, and has become the color of a number of academic institutions.
Orange’s association with fire and warmth means that like red, it is a color of vibrancy and energy, although somewhat more tempered than its aggressive neighbour. Orange, when paired with green, is considered to be a color of the tropics, hence its use in tourism.
Orange is a playful color and can often be seen in advertising for toys. It is a popular color with young people, while true orange tends provoke more of a love it or hate attitude among older individuals. The more muted shades of orange such as terracotta, peach and rust have a much broader appeal.
In plants an orange color is produced by beta carotene. Although actually an inactive version of vitamin A, it is vitamin C that is most associated with the color due to its high content in the citrus fruit from which the color took its name. Orange is now a popular color for promoting food products due to this link with healthy eating.
Orange’s other link to food is its association with autumn (fall) and harvest. This is the time when the trees turn from green to various shades of amber and orange. It is a time of change and transition, and of course, Halloween. From pumpkins to candy corn orange, paired with black, is the color of this modern version of an ancient fire festival.
In heraldry orange is symbolic of strength and endurance. As such it has been adopted by numerous sports teams.
The color saffron, a deep yellow-orange, comes from the stigmas of the saffron crocus. This highly expensive spice, anything from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound, gave the name to the robes of Buddhist monks, although these were actually dyed with the far cheaper spice turmeric or with the wood of the jackfruit tree.
Below is a selection of some Logo Company designed logos where orange is an integral part of the design. In many cases you will notice that it has been paired with its complementary color, blue.