color code: the secret meaning of colors

we live in a deliciously diverse world full of different cultures, languages and social contracts.  there are few things that are consistent across humanity.  mathematics are one, as 1 + 1 = 2 everywhere you go.  and another unifying (and arguably more fun) concept across the planet is color.  while a boy in spain will say ‘rojo’ and a boy in denver will say ‘red,’ they are both agreeing upon the same fiery color of strawberries and blood.  this allows colors to have deep historical and cultural roots, not to mention color is proven to have psychological affects on the human mind.  so before you select the color palette for you next design project, we feel like you should know what you’re getting into.  some of these fun facts you may know, others may cause the ‘more you know’ rainbow to shine bright. 


as established in the opener, red is the color of fire and blood.  a primary color, red is a dye found commonly in nature and has significant historical significance.  red is associated with strength and power making it a popular color in national flags (and ahem, dictator regimes) and is a universal sign of caution and danger.  red is also the color of love and desire, ironically claiming both valentine’s day and our world’s red-light districts.  red triggers impulse, too.  pay attention to those ‘buy buttons’, y’all.

designer profile: top-of-the-class charmers, bold bad-assess, those who are trouble with a capitol T

molly mutt pattern: lady in red


yellow is the color of the sun, which literally makes people happy via vitamin D.  the cheerful color stimulates the brain upon viewing, which is why attention-getting taxis and traditional highlighters are that color.  oddly, too much yellow has an adverse affect on the mind, so use this one judiciously.

designer profile: glass-half-fullers, lifelong wiz-kids, people who prefer accent colors

molly mutt pattern: lion’s roar and northwestern girls


the energy of red + the happiness of yellow = enthusiastically determined orange.  a citrus color, it aligns with health as well as the fall harvest symbolizing abundance.  orange is also high visibility and is effective in promoting food products and toys.  plus nothing rhymes with orange.  (mic drop.)

designer profile: plant lovers, lifelong cheerleaders, people with a top-of-the-line juicer

molly mutt pattern: the boxer and amsterdam


green is the color of nature, combining the vibrancy of yellow with the coolness of blue.  representing fertility, harmony and growth, green is the most restful color to the human eye and can actually improve vision.  green is the opposite of red, representing safety and as such is often used in medical packaging and playgrounds.

designer profile: witches, zen masters, those who prefer being barefoot

molly mutt pattern: title track, dew in the grass and karma chameleon


the color of both the sky and the sea (reflecting the sky), blue is associated with wisdom, confidence and stability, so it is no wonder that is it the chosen color of corporate America.  blue also represents purity, tranquility and cleanliness, and can be found on hygiene related products.  shown to increase metabolism and suppress appetite, restaurants and food products avoid using blue.  the color most favored by men according to years of studies, it is closely associated with masculinity.

designer profile: bosses of all types, manly men, tidy people

molly mutt pattern: romeo & juliet, new theory, weekend away and nightswimming


kids love purple and no one really knows why.  maybe it is because they know it is uncommon in nature giving it a rare quality, associated with mystery and magic.  purple combines the materialism of red and the grounded nature of blue, making it an appropriate historic color for royalty.

designer profile: magicians, elusive rockers, queens of all kinds

molly mutt pattern: royals

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