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Color Theory and It’s Effects on Vehicle Wraps


Any designer would tell you, “Color conveys emotion.” More specifically, the different colors and how they are mixed with others are what truly bring life to an image. Conversely, sometimes even black and white are exclusively used to bring a specific feel to the design. Regardless, all colors and shades have purpose in a design and should always be pre-meditated to fit the emotion your target market needs to feel in order to demand your product.

Red, Yellow, and Orange are categorized as Warm Colors. These are known to bring about passion, happiness, enthusiasm, and energy. Notice how much red and yellow are used in most, if not all, McDonalds’ ads. This goes perfectly with their message of “Happy”, for example, the Happy Meal, a Clown mascot, and the ubiquitous “I’m Lovin’ It!” slogan, all branded with these colors.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are your Cool colors. Green, blue, and purple fall under this. They are usually calming and somewhat reserved to promote relaxation or professionalism. McDonalds used a wrap with these colors to give contrast to one of their products, the southern style Chicken Sandwich. Their vehicle wraps in Southern States were made to embody a more country style, using a background color best known for Blue & White Antique China, a popular southern collectable. This is the perfect example of how designers consider their color selection and how it affects their target market.

Lastly, your neutral colors are generally used in unison with Cool and Warm mostly for backgrounds or typeface. These are mostly “shades” such as White, Black, and Grey. You’ll want your text to really pop, so contrasting light text on a dark background, or dark text over lighter colors, is the best way to bring neutrals into your wraps. Other neutrals that are not shades, such as Brown, Ivory, or Beige, make great backgrounds to give what would have been a very deep black or too clean of a white, a softer contrast..

When designing your wrap, just remember, everyone enjoys nice imagery. Spend time on your design and think about all of your possible options, because ultimately your selection is what will drive your demand, and that’s the bottom line.

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