When I was a little girl, my parents moved our family from downtown Sacrament to the outskirts of town, to a darling home with tall, built-in oak book shelves and a gorgeous oak hutch. My mom loved oak.
She wasn’t so crazy about the green.
You must understand: the entire house was covered in green.
Not the bright, happy, Kermit-the-frog green, mind you. It was like a deep, sap green.
Green carpets (the color of moss).
Green linoleum and green tinted counters.
And the color of the outside of the house? A warm green.
Neighbors came over and told my parents how relieved they were when, in the first few months, my parents hired painters to repaint the house in a neutral taupe.
Most of us like the color green, (but with a bit more moderation than the previous occupants of that home). It is a life-giving color. It’s cool and enchanting and ‘speaks’ of things growing and flourishing. It’s happy, but as Angela Wright points out in her book, The Beginner’s Guide to Color Psychology, it’s a ‘restful, positive’ color, not as energetic as yellow or orange. We see this first in nature, as the winter gives way to spring and bright green leaves, grass and bushes began to proliferate.
Green conveys life and flourishing. Money may be referred to as “green”. A green traffic light is internationally recognized as ‘go,’ and that has turned into slang in some areas as well such as, “Do we have a green light for that project-?” or “I’m giving you the green light for this.”
Generally speaking, green is a life giving, positive, even confident color.
How to Add More Life to Your Brand with Green
Do you want to add some more action, more zest to your business style? A bit of green might be what you need to inspire people to take action.
I wouldn’t recommend a cover-the-walls-and-floors approach, but in moderation, green can lift the lively atmosphere of a room or a website.
It can be as simple as adding in several deep green plants to an office. Or adding in some images with a warm green skirt or highlighted words.
See how Where Women Create magazine created a warm, life-infusing tone with this fall-linked green on their cover. Isn’t lovely?
Choose the Best Green to Fit in Your Brand
Remember one of the most important elements of color psychology and the seasonal archetypes: use the color that coordinates with your seasonal palette.
Spring-linked archetypes should choose greens that are warm and light. Think of St. Patrick’s day, a thriving lawn of grass, spring fields after a long winter, the green crayon in the Crayola crayon classics box. Greens in spring may have more yellow in them, giving them a range of hues to work with.
Summer greens will be cool, which means there will be blues added to these greens. Green colors can range in shades from the color of palm trees (a lighter, cooler green than spring green) to a turquoise-green.
Autumn greens have a wide spectrum, but they will all be warm and muted. Greens may be a deep sap green, like moss or leaves before they turn colors. Think of the swamps in the south. Greens may also take the appearance of a mossy green or a moody green-blue, even diving into a mysterious pond that is so dark in color one cannot peer through save for the brightly colored coy fish moving around.
Winter greens include the deep cold greens such as seen in the evergreen trees in the middle of winter. It may also be a cold, bright neon green.
For Your Website
There is a reason why buy buttons on websites are often green! You would not want to make your buy button red (which subconsciously may communicate stop!) or yellow (which might encourage some people to hesitate and take caution before purchasing or signing up for your offering).
What other ways might you use greens to add color to your website, book cover or even to your presentation as the face of your business?
For you: I find that unlike some of the other colors, people either will or will not wear green, especially the bold, St. Patrick-esque spring green many of us think of when green comes to our mind. I certainly don’t have any spring green sweaters in my closet. I have a colleague who looks fabulous in a green sweater. She looks extra energetic and “on” when she wears her green cardigan.
You can add in a bit of green to earrings or other bits of jewelry, a bracelet or a scarf.
Green comes in all sorts of shades so first off, where a shade of green that looks good on you, especially if you are going to wear a green shirt or sweater. Wearing a color that drains the life from us won’t help as we give talks or network with people. The goal is to draw people to you, not away!
Ideas For events:
When we are at events, we want to have things that catch people’s eyes and will bring them over or encourage them to pick up the brochure, business card and then…keep it! And call you!
Green can be used to brighten up a more subdued branding style without going overboard as well as calm down the bright colors without detracting from them (see the example of the Blogging Your Way logo below).
Or, consider incorporating a green plant or flowers (with your brand colors) and greenery on your table. The vertical position of the flowers is visually interesting and may help draw people to you.
Play with everything. I know this may not fare well if you are printing a bunch of brochures or business cards. So, perhaps print in small batches until you have something you know is a sure thing.
In a room, office or retail space:
You might be hesitant to paint the walls green. Perhaps something more subtle such as placing green plants -deep, cool green ferns or light hanging green plants around the venue.
It’s become in trend to hang and decorate with palm branches and other leaves. The lovely thing about trends is it makes it easier to access the decor.
Don’t underestimate the power of green as a background color. Think of adding in green plants and floral arrangements, even cacti, for workshops. Pictures of people interacting with those symbols of flourishing in the background can be very drawing.
Always Keep Noticing
Use pictures, your own or stock photography to test out a look before you commit to it in a brand re-design. It’s by playing and experimenting that we find our own business voice.
Most importantly, note how green shows up in nature and in the town you live in. What shades of green merge seamlessly with other colors? What seems to clash?
Most importantly, notice how people -and you- respond to the colors in the spaces around you.
If you’d like to peruse a gallery of green, pop over to my Pinterest board where I was having fun with both muted and vivid shades of this lovely color.