Effective Sign Colors

Effective Sign Colors

Effective Sign Colors

Color creates a reaction, the language of color is communicated to the brain faster than words or shapes, and they work directly on our feelings and emotions. People react psychologically to colors; you should choose the shades that most closely identify with your business or company theme.  How the consumer responds to the color of your signage is a critical factor in determining whether they buy from you or not, so selecting effective sign colors is a critical decision.

Warm ColorsWarm Colors

Warm colors tend to encourage people to feel comfortable enough to relax and linger. If you want your customers to spend extra time in your business or restaurant, you’ll want to pick from a pallet of colors that have comforting layers of oranges and yellows in them.


If you want your signage to be a real attention-getter, yellow is a universal favorite. Yellow triggers feelings of happiness, friendliness and is also the most visible color in daylight. Yellow stands out from its background, giving a clear message. In many European countries, yellow is chosen as the background color for their traffic signage.


Red is a potent color that stands out in a visually crowded environment. Many warning/emergency signs consist of a red background with yellow or white lettering, and by using pictograms, the signs are multi-language. They don’t need an explanation, even if you cannot read the text. Red works great with black, white, and yellow lettering. Advisable uses for this color would be for warning signs, public spaces, and fast-food restaurants, or in any indoor/outdoor environment.


Blue is a subtle color with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, and intelligence. The color blue works well with white lettering is used as information signage. Advisable work areas would be highway signs, railway signs, hotel signage, retail signage, public spaces, indoor & outdoor usage

black and whiteBlack & White

For professionalism and elegance that doesn’t age, black on white is always a good selection. A white background is an excellent choice for any high contrasting color. Black serves the same purpose when it supports very light or bright letting or graphics. With a black background, the lettering tends to stand out more than with other colored locations. With large lettering, white on black works very well, and yellow on black is a good combination. Advisable work areas for this kind of color combination would be Airport signage, office building signs, visually overwhelming environments, hotel signage, indoor usage, etc.

Designing WrapsAs a final thought, when using effective sign colors, remember to never use a light color logo/text on light color background. For example, bright yellow lettering on a white background will not show up. All pastels (e.g., pale blue, yellow, pink, light green) will not contrast against white backgrounds. Interestingly fluorescents, though appearing brilliant, will not contrast on white. Choose a dark color (e.g., black, navy blue, burgundy, red, forest green, etc.)

Similarly, never use a dark color logo on dark color background. For example, black lettering on a navy blue background will not show. Lettering and background must always be of contrasting value to be readable.