Does the color brown sound a bit plain and boring for you? Think about brown form your customers point of view. Is it a color that draws people to your product or services? What would the average person associate with the color brown?
If your web site is aimed at tree surgeons or farmers then brown may well be the color to consider. Brown comes in various shades and generally exists by the combination of 2 colors.
Brown can come in various forms and shades. Familiar browns include beige, chestnut, chocolate, khaki, tan and taupe. But how can you make the colors and shades from other colors?
So what colors make brown? Most colors mixed together will give you some shade of brown. Nix it with white or black and you will lighten or darken the brown. If you have more than the primary colors then you can mix brown with just 2 colors.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to make the color brown with 2 colors
Brown can be made if you mix red and green (of course you will need to mix yellow with blue to get green, if you don’t have green)
Brown can be made if you mix blue and orange (of course you will need to mix yellow with red to get orange, if you don’t have orange)
Brown can be made if you mix yellow and purple (of course you will need to mix blue with red to get purple, if you don’t have purple)
Without going any further, let’s look in detail at the meaning behind the color in question, the natural color brown.
If brown doesn’t work for you, then do consider a color that is better associated with your line of business. Is your business related to natural products? Brown tends to have the ruggedness and wholesome naturalness found in foods and farming fields. I have looked at every color and its psychological meaning for web designers. Make sure you also take advantage of the highly respected article called The Meaning Of Colors.
For an example of the use of browns in design, take a look at this web site I built last year for a client in my portfolio. The Website was designed with orange in mind as the main color. But orange and brown are closely linked. So this website shows how brown is complimentary to the main orange. The website branding is called Performance Edge Consulting.
So we mentioned brown is common in nature. We have seen that most colors can make brown. Also most live items when rotting turn to brown (sorry about that). Brown is found throughout nature. So branding your business is about finding a color hook that relates to your business message.
In the Dorset countryside I went out to find a brown color scheme. I’m not sure if brown is found in flowers as such. We know stems and tree bark along with soil always provide several various shades of brown. Here are the results from the photo. The purpose is to take the digital photo and convert the colors into hex numbers for a designer.
Here is my photo of capturing the brown colors around me. It’s more about earth, soil, dust and natural earthy farming instead of flowers on this photo.
To extract the various brown colors I take the digital photo and upload it to an online color scheme tool to produce a useful color palette.
Here is my example after extracting some of the colors.
It’s amazing how many beautiful browns there are. I was really surprised by how good this color scheme ended up. So please take the hex numbers and use them freely in your next design or re-brand.
Branding with brown. I’ve not heard it very often, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done. Dreyer’s ice cream, and chocolate companies like M&M’s and Hershey’s have used it successfully. What branding comes to mind when you think of brown? Have we missed any obvious ones, if so make sure you let us know in the comments area below?
If you said brown was exciting and stirring I think most people wouldn’t buy into it. Brown is considered a dull, boring, dirty, sad and cheap color. But it is without hypocrisy, so it is honest and that may be important in conveying serious and sensible design. I used it for a solicitor in the past and it works well, brown table and desk with several brown books on law, you get the idea.
You can use brown with gold. The two are closely linked and are miles apart in meaning. Brown has some positive meanings including, natural, wholesome, practical, approachable, friendly, stable, supportive, comforting, reliable, protective, honest and sincere. So office services and quietly confident businesses may thrive on the color brown. Who would of expected a designer brand like Louis Vuitton to successfully use brown?
Why is Chocolate brown? This is due to the chocolate comes from the cocoa bean that is also brown.
Brown doesn’t have a specific wavelength as such, it’s close to orange and said to be around 600 nanometres.
Brown colored eyes are in the majority—an estimated 70 to 90 percent of the world’s population have brown eyes.
Breath-taking brown doesn’t exist, so don’t use it in business or branding. But brown is believable, basic and budget. If you have a different view or have successfully designed a smart looking web site which used brown in a stunning way we want to see it. Let us know by commenting below and tell us what the color brown means to you.