Friday, May 16, 2008

Green is "In" and Green is not "In"

Courtesy kevinrosseel of

According to Graphic Design USA magazine, a new survey financed by The Kaplan Thaler Group found that 77 percent of Americans view green primarily as a symbol of the environmental movement. Associations with envy, greed and money have been replaced by conservation, coolness, and cachet. More than half of Americans, 53 percent, today feel more positively about the color green than they did five years ago. One third of those surveyed categorized the color green as distinctively "cool." Even more interesting is that 1 out of 4 women surveyed said that they are more apt to buy a product sold in packaging featuring green.

Does this mean that the savvy design approach is to use green on all package designs and advertisements? In fact, it seems to make sense to do this since it is a positive color in most people's minds now. But I still feel the same as I did in my last post—and I may be alone in feeling this way, I know. As history has shown colors fall in and out of favor as well as cutting-edge design. The quickest way to date something is to follow the herd in style and color.

Green by any other color is still green

I am not saying it isn't wise to use the color green from time to time, if it is appropriate to do so. But who would advertise green eggs and ham images (except Sam I Am) and still expect a favorable response simply because the color green is seen as favorable? Not many, I hope. And isn't it interesting that the color green is rarely used as a dominate color in restaurant advertising. In fact the dominate color is often red. Why? Because red excites the culinary desires much better than green does, regardless of the environmental overtones.

Designers should not be married to any color or color scheme. Design is not fine art or simplistic decoration. It is more a communication science. And in some regards it is an art in the sense that some designers can apply the science of visual communication with adeptness and excellence.

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