Orange is the color of enthusiasm, adventure, and creativity
This article is about the color orange meaning and symbolism, which is part of the Color Meaning Series.
If you’re curious about other colors too, check out our guide on colors meanings.
Where can we find the meaning of the color orange? In the bright orange from the crackling campfire or in the muted orange from the fall foliage?
Perhaps, we can find it in a soothing sunset or in the spicy pumpkin meals of fall.
Either way, orange is a powerful, polarizing, and underrated color, as we will see below.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the color orange meaning, usability, and effect on us.
The symbolism of orange
In this article, we will talk about the psychological meaning of the color orange and its physical impact on us.
In color psychology, different hues and shades have distinct effects on us – that’s a fact. Obviously, that also depends on the surrounding colors, the whole picture if you will.
Still, color symbology is something unique to each society/person, which can change based on personal experiences. Thinking of that, we will outline below the meanings of orange in a few other cultures.
Orange color meanings in other cultures
- In the Netherlands, orange is the national color. It represents the Dutch royal family.
- In Ukraine, the color orange means strength and bravery.
- In Hinduism, saffron orange is the most sacred color, representing fire and purity.
- In China and Japan, orange symbolizes happiness, love, good health, and courage.
- In the United Kingdom, orange is often used in political and social movements. It is the color of the Liberal Party.
- In the United States, the color orange is used in prison uniforms.
Color orange meaning
Orange is a color of extremes. It’s a group of polarizing hues, you hate it, or you love it.
Still, orange is a dynamic color. It evokes change, movement, and transformation, and this premise is confirmed by its presence in nature.
The color orange is strongly associated with tropical landscapes and summer, yet it is the color of harvest and fall.
The fall foliage turns to a muted orange to let us know of the change in the seasons. Oh, its beauty!
In western cultures, orange is the color of Halloween, pumpkins, and cozy weather.
When orange reveals itself outside, oozing in different shades, take a moment to embrace its warmth and comforting feel despite the cool weather.
In short, orange represents the changing seasons, and therefore, it is often used as a transitional color.
For instance, the transitioning color in traffic lights in France is orange.
In the meaning of the colors, orange is vibrant, energetic, warm, and fruity. However, it can also be abrasive and insensitive.
To the human eye, orange conveys warmth because its fiery undertones give the sensation of heat. Hence why it’s often depicted in scenes where fire and sun are present.
A crackling campfire is the perfect illustrative definition of orange.
Calm and yet lively, the color orange radiates and oozes with delight from its playful shade to its inviting comfort.
Orange is happy and enthusiastic like yellow, but it also is a physically stimulating color full of energy like red.
Orange stimulates appetite. It can trigger hunger in its reddish hues, and it is often used in kitchen decor and restaurants for that reason.
If you have children who don’t eat as much as you would like to, try adding some orange details to your kitchen or dining room.
Orange is more than a color, it is a fruit. And because of that, it conveys health and vitality too. Worldwide, orange is associated with vitamin C and healthy eating, but don’t let it fool you into frequent cravings.
Physical effects of orange
Every color has physical effects on us, including the color orange. Orange can be:
- Encourages – as a vibrant color, orange encourages people by offering spontaneity and motivation.
- Enhances creativity – as it combines red’s energy and yellow’s mental strength, orange enhances creativity.
- Stimulates the mind and the body – with similar physiological effects as its root color of red, orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, stimulating mental and physical activity.
- Uplifts – the fiery undertones of orange offer comfort and warmth, making us feel enthusiast and therefore enhancing emotional endurance.
More meanings of the color orange
Orange ignites encouragement, excitement, and enthusiasm.
It is a color for adventure lovers and risk-takers pushing people out of their comfort zone. It instills spontaneity and confidence, providing those who use it with the courage to face their fears.
This color is social and inviting. Of all colors of the spectrum, orange is the most extroverted one.
Speaking to youth and creative souls, orange resonates strongly with Millenials for its fearlessness and freedom qualities.
It aids in the assimilation of new ideas, freeing the spirits of their limitations and letting them be themselves.
Furthermore, it stimulates social communication but without judging the introvert ones. Orange acknowledges it isn’t for everyone and reassures those who are not up for the task.
Orange is powerful. It has strong physical effects on us. Stimulates appetite, increases energy level, and boosts metabolism.
Orange is dynamic, saucy. Therefore, it’s no surprise such an intense color has negative associations as well.
The color orange can also be so self-confident and enthusiastic that it can become arrogant, prideful, and lack care for others.
Similarly, despite its positive associations, orange can be superficial, insincere, dependent, exhibitionist, and inexpensive.
It can also convey a lack of serious intellectual values and awful taste.
Nevertheless, orange is an attention-getter, like red, and it’s often used in graphic design for that purpose.
In essence, orange does the same job red does but without being so aggressive or having the in-your-face presence that red has.
It’s a softer, lighter, and more friendly color.
And because of that, orange can either be the highlights of your design or the whole message.
It is an edgy color strongly associated with creativity, which especially appeals to young companies.
Still, unlike its neighbors (red and yellow), orange evokes emotional responses to deal with problems. It encourages emotional strength in depressingly dark times.
It helps us bounce back from despair and disappointments. So if you have been through a divorce, using some orange in your life might help make you feel stronger.
After all, orange is one of the liveliest colors. It’s an uplifting spirit that ignites motivation helping us see the bright side, rejuvenating our souls.
It offers a positive outlook on life.
Personality color orange
Among all colors of the spectrum, orange is one of the most rejected ones.
Still, it has a degree of youthful impulsiveness, resonating with young people.
Variations of the orange
Light orange: Pale and light hues of orange evoke feelings of friendliness, good health, and are soothing.
- Light orange hex code: #FED8B1
Red-orange: Reddish hues of orange are energetic, engaging, playful, and can also symbolize vitality.
- Red-orange hex code: #FF5349
Dark orange: Dark orange offers a sense of comfort and warmth because of its earthy and fiery undertones. Still, it can also convey selfishness and aggression.
- Dark orange hex code: #FF8C00
Golden orange: Because of its apparent association with gold, this shade of orange represents wisdom, wealth, and prestige.
- Golden orange hex code: #DA9100
Additional shades of orange
These are a few different orange shades, tints, and values: Tart, soda, Portland, safety, burnt, Spanish, Persian, Princeton, alloy, cadmium, carrot, peel, peach, copper, tangerine, terracotta, Persimmon, pumpkin, mango, salmon, melon.
Most common uses of orange
Orange is commonly used to promote food products, toys, technology services.
The color orange is often used to draw attention, such as in:
- Traffic cones
- Life rafts
- Safety jackets
Companies and brands that use orange in their logo
Orange is commonly used to promote items related to food and for energetic brands.
Each chakra color has its meaning rooted in the meaning of those colors.
The orange chakra, also known as Svadhisthana, is located in the lower abdomen. It stimulates creativity and carnal energy.
Orange gemstones are believed to help ease depression, protect from evil thoughts, and give vitality.
Facts about orange
- Orange is a secondary color that is complementary to blue. Beyond that, orange is a warm color that combines perfectly with the cool blue.
- It’s a common misconception that no word rhymes with the word orange. The rapper Eminem has proved it wrong many times.
- The Golden Gate Bridge is painted in a color known as “international orange,” which is also used in the aerospace industry as a way of highlighting objects.
- According to a study, people associate a musty scent with brown and orange.
- Orange is the second least favorite color, only behind brown.
- An orange’s skin turns orange as the weather cools, but in hotter areas, the chlorophyll stays, and the fruit remains green.
What does the color orange mean in the Bible?
Colors convey plenty of meanings in the Bible. Orange means the fire of God, protection, something pleasant and fresh.
The color orange in the Bible is also associated with danger and warning.
Quotes about orange
Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.Wassily Kandinsky
Breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.Anita Bryant
There is no blue without yellow and without orange.Vincent Van Gogh
Orange is an underrated color, it’s the second most underrated color after yellow.Michel Gondry
Orange is the happiest color.Frank Sinatra
Popular idioms about the orange color
- Squeezed orange: A person or thing that is not useful anymore.
- Sucket orange: A totally exhausted person.
- Squeeze an orange: To make use of everything a person or a thing has to offer.
- Apples and oranges: It is used regarding two things that are fundamentally different and, therefore, not suited to comparison.
Summary: Color orange meaning
Cheerful and optimistic, orange is energetic, spontaneous, and dynamic.
It’s a color that resonates with young people, but that can also be arrogant and prideful.
It stimulates us, mentally and physically. Still, it can be superficial, insincere, and exhibitionist.
At the same time, orange is an attention-getter without being too aggressive, and it conveys transformation.
As an open-minded and risk-taker color that changes with the seasons, orange is uplifting, offering emotional endurance and igniting motivation in dark times.
Orange means: optimism, emotion, adventure, creative
Effects of orange: encouraging, enhances creativity, stimulates appetite, heightened sense of activity, uplifting
Positive traits: positivity, creativity, warmth, spontaneity
Negative traits: insincerity, exhibitionism, superficial, impatient