Powerpoint & Visual Color Associations

Using Color to Evoke Emotions and Energize

Red…….. says, “Pay attention”  It evokes power, anger, achievement, excitement, and intensity. It tells us to stop. It may send a negative message due to financial shortages. Red should be reserved for highlighting, circling hot spots, or trouble. It can indicate tension or stressful areas also.

Yellow…….evokes happiness, cheerfulness, and warmth. While it can be mellow and indicate optimism, it can also suggest caution. Although it stimulates thinking, it is impossible to see on its own, so use it to fill within the lines. Use it to find ideas and to support creativity.

Blue……. creates a feeling of reliability, trust, maturity, authority, peace and tranquility.  Dark blue projects a masculine image, while light blue projects youth.  Use blue early in a session to establish trust.

Green……. indicates productivity, growth, youth and health.  Instills a positive image and forward motion, “go”.  Suggests money or prosperity.  Use green branches on a tree to suggest strength or growth.  Light green is energizing, but dark green is easier to read.  Use it when reaching consensus or finding compromise.

Orange……. stimulates energy, enthusiasm, and positive thinking.  This lively color works best for highlighting, but it may be difficult to read in rooms with fluorescent lighting.  Use to highlight a subject or create connections.

Purple…….projects assertiveness, boldness, passion and power.  May be used to signify royalty, richness, or spirituality.  Works well with other colors and stimulates ideas during brainstorming.

White……. usually indicates cleanliness, honesty, innocence, or goodness.  White space provides visual rest.  Use white space to assist with clarity and order.

Black……. creates feelings of independence and solidarity.  As opposed to red, suggests financial solvency.  Has a serious side by representing death, somberness, or gravity of a situation.  Easiest of all colors to read by everyone.  Usually highlight with a bright color.  Because it means finality, it is not the best color when brainstorming.

Brown……. indicates strength, support, solidly earthy, and a lack of superiority.  It may affect some folks negatively.  This is an easy-to-read color but may be depressing or drab on its own.

Pink……. light pink indicates femininity and fun.  It is upbeat and youthful. Bright pink creates excitement and passion.  Combines well with other colors and may be a good wake-up color after lunch.

Gold or Silver……. These prestigious hues project elegance and an image of status.  May also suggest riches.
Excerpted from Training for Dummies by Elaine Biech, 2005.