By Jennifer Farley

Color In Design: Orange

By Jennifer Farley

345_orangeMoving on from last week’s versatile Green, today we’re taking a look at the color Orange and its use on the web and in logos. Orange is combination of red and yellow, a warm vibrant color with connotations of energy and flamboyance. It’s less intense or aggressive than red but can be used in a similar fashion to grab attention and highlight important areas of a design.

Orange designs often convey a sense of friendliness and in the right hands can maintain seriousness and professionalism. On the downside, orange is sometimes associated with cheapness thanks to companies such as Easyjet which plaster all of their products and services in bright orange. In general though, it’s a great color to attract attention without offending or stopping anyone in their tracks.

Orange as a citrus fruit conveys thoughts of summer, sun, vitamin C and health. It also has connotations of autumn and change; autumn leaves changing from green to orange to brown. Depending on your audience you might choose a very bright yellow-orange or a more autumnal orange-brown.

Using Orange

As already mentioned, you can use orange as a foreground color to highlight important elements or as a main background color to convey feelings of enthusiasm, vibrancy and warmth. Without screaming, orange makes a big statement.

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Red-orange is highly energetic and fiery while softer yellow-orange is more soothing and less flamboyant. Black and orange appears in nature in pumpkins and have a strong association with Halloween. Blue and orange really pop together. Green and orange together provide a tropical feel while the complimentary colors of purple and orange are eye-catching without being too overpowering.


Orange In Logo Design

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harley fedex_logo1


Let’s look at some examples of websites using Orange as a main background color, or as a minor color to highlight important areas of the site such as navigation.





Lightway Software


Mulley Communications


Zipper CMS


Navigant Consulting


Biker Rewards


A Crayons Life


Guide Dogs South Australia






And there you have it. What do you think about Orange in web and logo design?  Have you seen any particular orange favorites of your own?

  • hmm, did someone say orange? check out my current personal project :D

  • Zoe Feast

    What a great post! As a designer I have a love hate relationship with orange, it has been so over used in the last few years. However I totally agree with your comment that it can be used to convey a feeling of friendliness but be professional at the same time.

    I made use of this attribute in a site I designed for a organization catering to children who had lost their parent through cancer. It is a delicate subject and it was important that the site related to both children and adults.

    Check out the site here

    Teaming orange with a dark blue and using cheerful orange toned icons engaged both user groups. Orange really worked for this project.

  • theslip

    Love orange online and sure in print too, just be carefull when picking an orange as if designing a logo, the logo at some point may need to be printed in CMYK and most oranges don’t reproduce well in CMYK print. There are a few that will but few and far between, most print browny in CMYK, spot colours are fine as use pantone. All that Orange has started my day cheery and bright! thanks

  • Luca
  • ooh nice orange sites guys! Will keep them all in mind if I do another orange post in the future.

  • SSJ

    I hate orange color nowadays as did so much websites in orange and I think as per the industry standards and web design standards changes everyday we need to change. But still I think people are using orange colors with a great tone. I personally like Biker Rewards. Great use of orange color.

  • welshstew

    Thanks for the round up. You can also take a look at that seem to handle the colour pretty well.

  • Ian Patrick Buss

    I should have been informed of this color scheme:
    my site is most definitely orange…
    A bright orange site

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