11 Colours: Grey

Colour is really really important in design. There are only 11 basic colour terms although there are MILLIONS of colours so it’s essential to spend some time looking at your colours and making sure that they create the right impression for your business. 

This month is all about grey. 

11colours- GREY-01

Grey is a neutral colour. It’s not exciting, it’s not motivating, it’s not positive or inspiring. It just is.

No one likes a grey day. The whole world just seems to lose colour doesn’t it? Grey indicates dampness and misery, a need to hide – spending the day wrapped in a colourful blanket and fluffy slippers eating hot buttered crumpets rather than go outside. It indicates lack of energy.

Grey is not a good colour if you want to inspire action, it would be hopeless in a gym where you need vibrant, motivating colours. Nor would it be good in a place where people need to feel confident or happy as it can drain those feelings from you.

Grey is often used as a supporting colour alongside a main colour. This is because, being a neutral colour, it gives the main colour room to do it’s thing because it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t provoke a strong reaction. You do have to be careful which shade of grey to use and how much though, as if you do it wrong it can have a negative effect on the other colours – for example, if you use grey with a rich colour such as dark purple, the grey will make the purple seem less powerful.

Grey is the colour of reponsibilty and maturity – some of us get grey hair when we age. It’s the colour of respect, dignity and stability. Which makes it a great colour to work alongside others for businesses where these qualities are important. It’s important to consider the traits which may not be quite so desirable however, most businesses don’t want to appear indifferent, staid or boring!

Grey can sway more towards black or more towards white and this means that some of the qualities associated with these colours – which we’ve not covered yet – can be seen in the grey. Because of this, it is possible for grey to be seen as elegant, serious or  lively. Grey can also have elements of other colours within it, which also helps to lift it and give it new meaning. Purple-ish light greys and blue-ish dark greys create a completely different impression.

Do you have grey in your branding? What colours do you use it with? Please comment below and let me know!

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