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Be Aware of the Social Connotations of Colors

Colors carry a strong emotional weight for most people, due to the social connotations that are often associated with them. Blue, for example, connotes not only maleness, but often water, cold, and sometimes death. Red, when used in type, almost universally suggests a warning or an error. Used in images, however, red is less threatening—even uplifting—though it is just as attention-getting. Color combinations carry even greater weight. Red, white, and blue, for example, immediately suggests patriotism ... at least to American or French readers. Red, white, and black, on the other hand, may, in certain contexts, have the very different effect of suggesting National Socialism.