Color In Design: Green

    Jennifer Farley

    So far in this series we’ve looked at blue and red with some examples of their use in design. Today it’s the turn of the color green. Like blue, green is closely associated with nature and growth. The term forty shades of green is certainly appropriate and when you think about the names of the many green hues greens you can see why: sea green, emerald, grass green, apple, forest, leaf, sage, olive, pea green, fir and moss green to name but a few.

    Just thinking about language and common phrases may help a designer decide what kind of feeling their use of green conveys. Green has many good connotations: getting the green light, moving to greener pastures, earning some greenbacks. Likewise green has its dark or unattractive meanings: the green-eyed monster, feeling green around the gills and simply being green, i.e. inexperienced.  I don’t think many designers want to come off as green, nor leave the visitors of the site feeling green around the gills.

    Using Green

    There are so many green hues, it makes for an extremely flexible color. It can be warm in the yellow-green side of the color wheel and cool in the blue-green and aquamarine. A lime green can make a design pop, olive green is much more subdued, while light green can give a clean spring time feel. Combining green with blue conveys feelings of water. Adding beige or brown gives an earthy organic feel. White and green is fresh and outdoorsy while purple and green is high contrast (and needs to be handled with care).

    Green Logos

    In previous posts on color in design, it’s been easy to pick out a large number of very famous logos, but when it came to green I found it quite difficult to think of some really well known global brands with green as a major color. (While I did come up with a few, I have to give a thank you to some Twitter friends who helped out.) It seems that in the world of massive corporations, green is not as popular as red or blue. Please feel free to add to the list. Here are a few:

    bp-logo landrover

    Recycle StarbucksLogo


    Below you’ll see ten websites with varying shades of green appropriate to their content and audience. What do you think about the use of green in these sites?

    Bird Malaysia


    Leaf Span






    The Fruit Box






    The Medium


    Version App




    Are you a fan of the green?