Colors bring your designs to life and tell your story. It’s a good idea to understand which colors evoke which emotions to best communicate and express your designs.
Before you choose colors, ask yourself, what mood do I want to convey? What is the look of my brand? These two questions will help narrow down the overwhelming number of color options from which to choose.
Many fashion designers stick within predetermined color schemes, such as Yohji Yamamoto, who works mainly in black colors. This is the look of his brand and he sticks to those colors. You can also design based on a mood, like Summer picnics for example; you narrow the color options down by working with colors that fit that mood. Greys and muted colors most likely won’t express a Summer picnic well.
What Do Colors Mean in Fashion?
Colors symbolize and carry a lot of meaning, regardless of whether you’re applying color to a dress design or painting a room. Color Psychology attempts to understand how colors convey meaning and impact human behavior. For example, the color red is bold and confident; it can indicate passion, action, and anger. It can also mean caution, as in the U.S., red is used for stop signs. Blue can be calming, loyal, trusting, strong, sad, and peaceful. When choosing your colors, you want to make sure you understand how colors make people feel because those feelings will translate into the interpretation of your fashion designs and impact whether or not a purchase will happen.
You will need to remember too that different hues of a color impact perception and meaning differently. Turquoise and Navy, for example, are both hues of the color blue, but they evoke different reactions and emotions.
Some colors are associated with calendar seasons. Colors expected in the Fall tend to be darker with lots of shades like pumpkin and burnt oranges, browns, and purples. Trends don’t always follow this so you will have to decide what will work best with your fashion brand and your consumers.
Design and Color in Other Countries
If you sell your fashion label internationally, be aware that colors can have different meanings. Color associations often differ based on hemisphere, country, or culture.
For example, in Indian culture, red can symbolize purity; in China it means good fortune and is for celebrating; in South Africa, red is for mourning. You will need to understand and be aware of what colors mean in different countries where your products sell.
Communicating Fashion With Color
When it comes to designing and choosing colors, there are no right or wrong answers. You can create whatever you want, but keep your consumers in mind because color is one of the first things they see and will use to judge your clothing garments.
Colors can communicate and express emotions and meanings. Knowing how to make and use those colors will help communicate what you want with your fashion designs. You can also apply color psychology to other aspects of your business, such as your website design and brand logo. Many fashion brands are defined and recognized by their colors. Think about what you want your fashion brand to say about your designs and find a color that communicates that message.
Anna Spaugh resides in California and is a Marketing major at Sacramento State College. She is currently a Marketing intern at MakersValley. In her free time, you can find her drinking tea and creating crafts.