The Psychology of Color — Orange

David Kelly
3 min readFeb 6, 2019


“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” — Wassily Kandinsky

Psychological studies have found that our perception of colors differs extensively. Each color gives off a different, unique message to us. Understanding how colors create psychological and physiological reactions can help us in business. This article will focus on the attention grabbing color of orange.

Orange combines the colors red and yellow. As we outlined in our article covering the psychology of red, red contains a wide variety of overtones ranging from love to dominance. Yellow, on the other hand, is responsible for happiness and cheerfulness. Orange signals us to react by the way we feel in anyone given moment.

It is important to understand that orange symbolism, like all colors, is not universal. Orange can contain meanings that vary by culture. For example, orange is often associated with prison uniforms in the United States. However in other cultures throughout the world, orange is linked to royalty and spirituality.

The way that our sense of sight perceives orange in our environment contributes to how we feel about the color. If orange reminds the observer of calm, autumn evenings, then orange is likely to have strong positive associations in their perception of it. On the contrary, if orange reminds the observer of prisoners, then it may signify negative connotations.

Generally, orange signifies shelter, allowing us to evade an grief or disappointment that may be dominating our minds. The color promotes rejuvenation, positivism, and optimism.

Orange can foster encouragement, motivation, and drive during our trying times. This allows for us to find solutions and improvements to the toughest of obstacles and roadblocks that we face.

Similarly to red, orange increases our competition level and makes us feel physically stronger. The color promotes extroversion, allowing our inhibitions to be lowered for at least the time being while it is present. Given its positive social characteristics, the color is a great choice for decorations when hosting a party or gathering. A family dinner or date can be made more pleasant and social by using lighter shades of orange to decorate the table.

Orange helps lift the personal limits we place upon ourselves. The color can help us grow, assimilate more, and develop as an individual. It helps us to respect ourselves more. It also helps us respect others to a higher degree.

Even utilizing small orange items such as a pen or mug daily can help promote the positive effects of the color.

Shades of Orange Contain Different Meanings

Peach is great when used to convey a high degree of sociability and cultivates open communication. It influences good manners and helps us to calm down when facing stress.

Orange with hints of gold represents vitality and self control.

Amber promotes levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. However, amber can also promote a certain degree of arrogance.

Burnt orange is a color of aggression, pride, and tension.

Dark orange is the color that represents selfishness, greed, and toxic levels of pride.

Orange in Marketing and Business

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David Kelly

I am a vocalist, writer, entrepreneur, and bodybuilder. My passion is helping people others find their own passion, purpose, and meaning.