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Color Psychology: What Colors Work Best for Business Signs?

Road sign on the post. Walking and cycling area. Bicycle and pedestrian lane road sign on pole post, blue

Have you ever thought about why business signs are designed in certain ways? If you look at enough businesses, you’ll see every color and combination imaginable, yet somehow, the colors tend to match what the business is offering.

There are two concepts at play that make this work. One is color theory, and the other is color psychology. You need a basic understanding of both to get the best sign for your business.

Color Theory

Color theory is how aestheticians think about color and what makes some things better or worse. When it comes to business signs, color theory can help a lot.

If you have ever wondered why some colors clash while others match, it has to do with distance on the visible spectrum. Colors that are very close together don’t distinguish themselves enough, and it can look like they are fighting for their place on the sign. Meanwhile, colors on opposite ends of the spectrum tend to look great together. Almost any blue looks good with almost any red.

This is color theory, and there are other aspects of it that can help you plan your business sign.

Unnatural Colors

Natural colors are all around us. Buildings are often black, brown, and gray. So are parking lots. If your sign matches these colors, it will blend in with the environment. That is bad for being noticed.

You want to make use of colors that don’t blend. Reds, greens, and blues create visuals that are interesting and easy to distinguish from the background.

You can still use blacks, grays, and other background colors, as long as you think about it strategically. Frame your black with white or other bright colors so that it is easy to see and read. Use yellows with your colors to make eyes really pop. When you mix colors, you get more impact, and business signs should definitely consider impact.


Contrast is what makes things noticeable and readable. If you have ever seen white letters on a white background, you understand this concept. One of the easiest things to read is black lettering framed with white. It pops. It’s clear. If legibility matters, this idea is important.

Even outside of legibility, contrast is great for holding attention. When people look at your sign and see something different and new, they spend time, thought, and energy on it. You can make use of contrast to create dynamic visuals that do what a business sign should. The visuals bring attention to your business (or promotion).


Now that we have covered color theory, we can get into the psychology of colors. It’s important to understand that these ideas are based on large averages. Not everyone will feel the same way about the colors they see, but if enough people see your sign, responses will trend toward the averages broken down in this list. Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Red. Red is usually associated with urgency. It is used to try to get people to make quick decisions. That’s why most sales tags are red. It grabs attention and helps people to take advantage of the sale right now.
  • Green. Green is often associated with health, tranquility, and nature. Businesses that work in fields with these associations often do well with green signage. Doctors’ offices, arbors, supplement suppliers, and everything in between can do well with green colors.
  • Blue. Blue is all about water and peace. Blue is supposed to be calming. It is also sometimes associated with masculinity. For the most part, blue signage is great for businesses that offer peace of mind or relief of burdens.
  • Black. Black is a color of authority, confidence, and strength. It is used to portray professionalism and strong levels of expertise. Many professional services like black because it induces feelings of confidence and trust.
  • White. White evokes ideas of cleanliness and safety. Many businesses in the food industry like white because it makes people feel like they are getting a clean food experience. Cleaning services and businesses that want to focus on a feeling of safety and comfort will opt for white.
  • Gray. Gray is often associated with age and the wisdom of age. It denotes experience and solidarity.
  • Orange/Yellow. Orange and yellow are bright colors that help people feel a sense of optimism and excitement.

You can have a great business sign, and you don’t have to become an expert in color theory along the way. Instead, you can enlist seasoned professionals who can help you explore ideas and apply color theory and psychology while you design your sign. For that, you want to contact Legacy Signs of Texas. Our experts are ready to start helping you today. Reach out to us either online or by phone.

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