One of my all time favorite movies is Steel Magnolias. It is Julia Roberts in her finest as the girl next door, planning her wedding. Do you remember the scene where she is having her hair done and she’s discussing the details of the decor at her wedding?
She isn’t just a girl in love with pink. “Everything is going to be drench-ed in pink at my wedding”, but in two very, very specific shades of pink: “blush and bashful, two very distinctive shades of pink.”
And after all of the talk and getting the nails done and more talk about the wedding, the scene shifts, the doors are thrown open to the event and, sure enough, the entire wedding is decked out in pink, pink, PINK!
Some of us sighed in blissful content at the sight of all that pink and others thought it looked like Pepto Bismo had thrown up all over that church!
We respond to pink differently, usually not even understanding why.
So who speaks pink? And why?
The Magic of Pink
The power and magic of pink is its ability to create a sense of nurturing. It’s the ultimate feminine color, ranging from innocence to sensuality (depending on the the shade).
I was out with a friend who specializes in color theory for wardrobes. She’s worked in fashion for years and teaches people all about color, texture and the feel of color. We were talking about pink and she commented that whenever she’s add a challenging day, she goes home and puts on pink- whatever she can find: a pink scarf, pink slippers, a pink bathrobe. Soon, she calms down without having to work through or think out the problem. Why? Because pink subconsciously soothes ruffled emotions and feelings.
Pink is also the ultimate feminine color, speaking of girlish innocence to sensuality. It all depends on the shade of pink, the intensity of the hue and so forth. So, if you’re trying to infuse a sense of adding a nurturing element to the feel of your business or some feminine energy and fun, add in some pink. Just beware of what kind of pink chosen.
Always think about your end goals when choosing colors. What do you want your clients to feel? If you have an interior, a lobby or a website that seems too cool, a bit of pink can ‘warm up’ a room. Notice in the picture below, the spring-pink tulips warm up an otherwise fairly stark and modern winter-styled kitchen.
In this logo for Blogging Your Way, Holly Becker of Decor8 and the Blogging Your Way businesses, she incorporates lovely warm pinks plus some shades of deeper autumn-linked pinks into a design to create a very upbeat logo with an underlying sense of richness to it. This represents Holly’s courses well: they are very motivational and upbeat and they’re content rich with actionable guidance.
Incorporating pink into your color scheme, whether a room, a book design or a website may increase the comfort and nurturing sensation people have when viewing your website or sitting in your lobby.
Pink is also viewed and related to as a feminine color, or with a correlation to sensuality, of lightness and vivaciousness.
Changing the tones and hues of the basic color of pink can intensify or diminish the characteristics of pink.
We’ll explore the different messages different shades of pink show and ways to incorporate them.
All Shades of Pink: How to Incorporate into Each Seasonal Archetype
To make things a bit more complicated (or fun, if you’re me!) each color can be changed or used to incorporate into each one of the seasons. It’s important that you use the hue that correlates with your seasonal archetype.
Why? Because if you’re a autumnal-linked business industrious and passionate underbelly and the pale pinks of summer are used in your colors, it sends the wrong message. Your words describe a service that is bold and determined, but the colors say you’re soft and don’t like to be out on center stage. People may not know why they don’t respond to a weak message, but they will respond…by leaving or clicking away.
Here’s a tip: the most important part of choosing the best pink that will merge with your message and create the feel you want is this: get the temperature right. Spring pinks are warm and bright. Summer pinks are cool and light. Autumn pinks are warm and muted. Winter pinks are cold and intense.
There is a difference between youthful pink and a more sophisticated pink and a mature pink. Pink is incredibly diverse and will go well with many different settings; it’s all about identifying the experience you want your audience to have.
All spring-linked colors are bright and warm. They’re the nearest colors to the primary colors than any of the other seasonal archetypes. I consider the spring pinks the ultimate girly-girl pinks.
Pink in spring is full of life, light and energy. When I think of pink in the spring I think of the flowers on trees before the green leafs come out. It’s the sign that winter is over and warm weather is coming! Spring tulips come to mind.
My mom used to plant tulips and gerbera daises. In the spring time, the pink ones were bold and bright and happy. When I think of spring pink, I often think of my mom’s flower beds in the spring.
When you use pink in a spring palette, it should be a very happy, warm, bouncy pink. Not too pale and not muted in its color. It would look well next to a primary green or bright blue sky.
Spring-Linked Pinks include: warm pink, gerber daisy pink, coral pink, strawberry
In nature, summer calms down and heats up at the same time! Summer decreases in energy, the heat encouraging us to slow down and rest from all the busy-ness of spring.
Summer pinks are pale and delicate, cool in colors and sensation. These make wonderful accent colors to soften stronger colors. Summer pinks are relaxed and nurturing and speak of femininity, grace and elegance. Think of the dozen pink roses in the crystal vase, lovely and elegant!
The following picture shows a palette of the summer-linked pinks along with the grays, purples and blues that go so well with them. Note the understated elegance of the combination of colors. It’s not screaming out at you, but it’s very inviting and lovely.
Recall, the summer-linked personality is highly organized and efficient and doesn’t like to be at the center of attention. They get things done and know why the things need to be done, often having the wonderful ability to pay attention to the smallest details.
Oh, and it is the summer pinks that make up the “blush and bashful” pinks of Julia Robert’s character’s wedding in Steel Magnolias.
Here is a blog post I created for The Creative Season using the summer-linked pinks, but there is the warm spring pink notepad on the side.
Summer-linked pinks include: blush, bashful pink, delicate pink, champagne pink, light pink, rose pink
Autumn colors are warm and muted. The autumn palette is the most diverse of all the seasonal archetypes. Autumn pinks can range from a warm salmon pink to a robust plum-pink. It’s soft, but there’s a toughness to autumn pinks. They don’t look like they’re afraid to get a bit messy or do something tough (like the spring pinks or more elegant summer pinks might be).
The autumn personality is robust, loves people, industrious and rich. Pinks in this palette have an intense, rich energy and a sense of warmth and energy.
Autumn pinks are warm and rich. The warm, bright fuchsias belong in autumn as well the orange-pinks. Do you see how the autumn-linked pinks have a bit more of a ooph and stregnth to them. It’s more of a stronger, more robust femininity vs. the more cheerful exuberance of the summer pink?
Spring pinks will go well in a autumnal-linked palette because both color palettes are warm and the lighter spring may blend well with the deeper autumn colors. (In the next post, I’ll share specific companies who use pinks).
Keep in mind autumn pinks are warm and muted and they go wonderfully against a moody background.
Or, they may be used to warm up a cool interior, such as this one. Think about the different feel the room would have if the accent wall was a cool white (like the rest of the room) or a violet or blue or red. It would completely change the feel.
Autumn-linked pinks include: salmon pink, plum, raspberry pink, peach-pink, deep rose, dusty (warm) rose, chili, coral
Winter colors are cool and bold. Winter pinks will be bright. They may be called a ‘hot’ pink, but it’s really a cold pink. Think of the Barbie convertible pink; it’s a pink that gets your attention and says Look. At. Me.
There is a cool blue undertone which gives it a cool feel and makes it a winter color.
Pinks in winter may be very bright or they may get dark, like a cherry pink that is almost a maroon red. I will be the first to say that sometimes the pinks look kinda similar, especially shades in autumn and winter BUT the differentiation is how does the pink look with the other colors. If it has a cool undertone, it will complement other cool. If it’s not, there will be a sensation of “something off.” So, play with the colors and see how they blend with one another.
I write more about winter colors in this post. Remember the winter palette is a minimal palette. Less is more. If pink is a mainstay color, it should be bright and cool and there shouldn’t be a lot of other colors competing with it.
Winter-linked pinks include: shocking (or hot) pink, neon pink, cranberry, fuchsia pink, purple-pink, cherry, magenta
More colors! I’ve got posts coming up for cerebral, calming blue and elegant purple, plus more. Figure out what colors mean and how people respond to them!
I’m a big pinner of colors! For color inspiration, check out my pinterest boards. The pink one is here. For this particular board, I’ve included all shades of pink- spring, summer, autumn and winter-linked pinks. As your eyes go through them, see if you can identify what pinks go in what season and the correlating feelings.
THEN, bring it back to styling your own brand. Do you want to create a more nurturing connection with your clients and audience? Want to infuse a bit of feminine fun or gentle sensuality? The kinds of pink you use and the amount you use can help you create these feelings.
This week’s download: Ten Ways to Integrate Pink Into Your Business Style
Use Pink with Power
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