Have you ever noticed how industries like healthcare and finance tend to use the color blue, or how organic food industries and natural products often use the color green? That’s because colors evoke meaning. Blue signifies trust, while green is associated with nature. Knowing this, it’s easy to see how colors influence our emotions and behavior. This information is important to know when you’re choosing color schemes for your e-learning course. 

It’s also important to note that the descriptions of colors in this article apply to most western cultures. Depending on the culture or country specific to your learners, colors might have different meanings and significance, so it’s important to think about your audience. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how each color impacts your learners. 

Red 

Red is a powerful and attention-grabbing color. Its effect is physical, as it stimulates our attention and raises the pulse rate. It’s lively and friendly, but can also be perceived as demanding and aggressive. 

Associations: Excitement, Passion, Fire, Boldness, Spicy, Actionable, Determined, Danger, Anger 

Orange 

Orange is the color of communication and optimism. As a combination of red and yellow, it’s considered an energetic color. It’s also stimulating, which is why it’s often used for traffic signs and advertising. 

Associations: Optimistic, Enthusiastic, Warm, Communicative, Spontaneous, Impatient, Dominating

Yellow

Yellow is a bright color that is often described as cheerful and optimistic. However, due to the large amount of light reflected in it, it can overstimulate the eyes and cause fatigue. Because yellow is the most visible color, it’s often used for traffic signs. 

Associations: Optimism, Happiness, Clarity, Friendliness, Intellect, Creativity, Energizes, Cowardice, Caution 

Green

Green symbolizes nature. It also represents balance, growth, tranquility, good luck, health, and jealousy. The color green has long been a symbol of fertility, and it’s also thought to relieve stress and help healing. 

Associations: Harmony, Growth, Relaxing, Revitalizing, Cleanliness, Peaceful, Health, Nature, Judgmental, Envy 

Blue

Blue is the color of trust and peace. It can also evoke loyalty, calmness, and integrity as well as conservatism and frigidity. It is often described as serene, tranquil, secure, and orderly. Blue can also create feelings of sadness or loneliness.

Associations: Trust, Loyalty, Responsible, Security, Calm, Confident, Reliable, Passive, Depressed, Predictable 

Purple 

Purple is the color of imagination. It can be viewed as creative and unique, or immature and impractical. The color purple is traditionally the symbol of royalty and wealth, and it also represents wisdom and spirituality. 

Associations: Imaginative, Uplifting, Spiritual, Compassionate, Regal, Fantasy, Wisdom, Sensitive, Vigilant, Immature, Emotional 

Summary

As you can see, colors can influence us in different ways. As you plan out your e-learning projects, choose a color scheme that works with your content and your target audience, while keeping these things in mind. 

Need help choosing the right color theme for your projects? Then check out the following resources:


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Jacqueline Hutchinson
Nicole Legault