Colour Of The Month: Green Colour Palette
They say “the grass in always greener on the other side”
But once you get the green light to take the boat to that ‘other side’ and your seasickness makes you green around the gills, you may want to reconsider if you’re actually looking for green(er).
Just by looking at all those phrases, it may seem like green is sending you mixed messages, but don’t worry, I’ll help clear that up! In the following the meaning and use of darker hues of green will be broken down and simplified and it’ll be a walk in the park for you to decide if dark green might be a good choice for your brand!
In general darker tones of green are considered very conservative, calm and traditional, mainly associated as a masculine colour. Olive greens and several other darker shades are used in camouflage and are strongly related to the military. Darker greens are also linked to wealth, money and finances in general, making it a colour which can be easily used to portray a level of ambition. Those associations also link the colour to character traits like jealousy and greed (thus the phase: being green with envy). On the upside the right use of greens can also stand for growth and adventure, drawing on the vast presence of green in nature around us.
How do you use dark greens for your business then?
Use of dark greens in branding
There are a few companies that come to mind if you think of green branding:
Starbucks is one of the biggest. The tone of green used in their branding is meant to give off a calm, consistent and sophisticated vibe. They also draw on the association of nature and environment friendliness which the company supports by offering reusable coffee cups and being passionate about trying to reduce their environmental footprint. Other companies like BP and Spotify also draw on the good properties of darker greens, having their branding support their message of helping the environment (through renewable energies) or giving off a fresh and modern vibe.
So if your business is trying to convey a calm, environmental friendly healthy vibe, it might be a good idea to consider darker, calm tones of green as one of your brand colours and for your logo. Combined with fluid lines and smooth shapes it is a winning concept for anything promoting natural health services or growth!
Here’s one example how we used dark green as a both background and logo colour in the branding of one of our clients:
The Sage Wellbeing.
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Use of dark greens in websites
If you don’t feel like a darker tone of green is not the right thing for your logo, why not consider it for your website? The human eyes are so accustomed to seeing green all around them in nature that it is an ideal colour for backgrounds that are not meant to attract too much attention and get the focus on the text or pictures displayed on them. And while brighter greens are a great colour to use for call to action buttons, darker hues should be avoided, as they are more likely to be overlooked than their lighter companions. Should you look for an accent colour that harmonises well with dark greens though, why not choose red? As complimentary colours they seem to vibrate when used together and they give off a harmonious Christmas vibe.
As with every colour, over- and under-use of dark greens can lead to various negative associations with the viewer of your website: too much might make the experience seem slow, and give off a moody and lazy vibe, while using too little can suggest feelings of apathy and fear of rejection.
Here’s an example of the use of darker green on the website of our client Village Green Boutique!
Use of dark greens in photos
The same backdrop effect that applies to websites, also applies to photos when using darker greens as a background (for example outside in the forest): it helps the viewer easily focus on the person or object in the foreground. Those calming properties of darker greens can also be utilised in photos by using small plants as accents on lighter backgrounds.
When using dark greens in clothing you will have to be careful though:
Dark greens tend to suggest that the wearer does not want to attract attention and does not want to be noticed (maybe due to its use in camouflage-patterns). It is often associated with a reserved character and putting a high emphasis on privacy. So you might want to opt for different coloured clothing if that is not how you want to be perceived in your pictures.
So what’s the takeaway
Dark greens are great to use in backdrops if you want the viewer to focus on whatever is displayed in the foreground. They will help give off a calm and traditional vibe. While in the right context there is a strong connection to wealth, money and possibly greed (especially when you use greens in a company that is active in financial sectors) green can also be seen as supporting the environment, promoting health and natural products and services and promoting growth and stability.
Special care should be taken with dark green clothing during photoshoots, as they might be associated with a reserved character and not wanting to be noticed (while you should be looking for the complete opposite as a business). All in all dark greens are great colours though which can support many different kinds of brands with their online presence and branding.
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