Choosing the Right Photos and Illustrations Series: Color & Mood

The imagery you choose can have a significant impact on your audience and message. In this series, we’ll explore what makes a photo or illustration a good fit for your design. 

Color and Mood 

Whether you’re trying to advertise a family friendly fall festival or an annual research conference, you can start communicating your message before your audience reads a single word. Choosing the right colors can spark certain feelings and influence how the audience engages with your design. 

 Consider the language on the UF branding site about our official color palette – “Our color palette is bold and distinctive. […] We create a modern look that elevates our momentum by leaning on our heritage colors and plenty of open space.” 

 Note: Text and other graphic elements should remain within the UF color palette, as defined by the UF Branding Site. 

Color Psychology 

Three images in a line. Left, a black woman in a red flowing gown moves as if dancing. Center, a pair of yellow sunglasses and an orange sit with beach background. Right is a white woman with brown hair and a light pink shirt holding a baby also dressed in pink.

Red – Passion, energy, and excitement. Red can evoke strong emotions, grab attention, and create a sense of urgency or intensity. 

Yellow and Orange – Happiness, optimism, and energy. Yellow is attention-grabbing and can evoke feelings of warmth, positivity, and vitality. 

 Pink – Romance, sweetness, and sensitivity. Pink can evoke tenderness, innocence, and playfulness. 

Three images in a row. Left, a landscape with a bright blue ocean with a similar color blue sky, with white clouds and a white sailboat in the middle ground. Center, green blades of grass covered in dew with sun shining over them. Right, the majority of the image is soil, with a small green plant growing off to the side.

Blue – Calmness, serenity, and trust. Blue can convey stability, reliability, and a sense of peace. 

Green – Nature, growth, and harmony. Green can create a sense of balance, calm, and sometimes evoke feelings of freshness or environmental awareness. 

Brown – Stability, earthiness, and reliability. Brown can create a sense of warmth, comfort, and down-to-earth vibes. 

A line of four photos. Far left, a purple glass perfume bottle is surrounded by pink-ish purple flowers. Center left, a gold chess knight sits on a black chess board. Center right, a sophisticated feeling black tie and all black watch wit on a black background with a light overhead. Far right, an assortment of white towels and lotions with wood accents.

Purple – Luxury, creativity, and spirituality. Purple can convey a sense of mystery, sophistication, or even a touch of magic. 

Gold – Luxury, wealth, and success. Gold in photos can add a touch of opulence, prestige, and often signifies something premium or high-value. 

Black – Sophistication, mystery, and elegance. Black can convey a sense of power, formality, or drama. 

White – Purity, simplicity, and cleanliness. White can create a sense of spaciousness, purity, and minimalism. 

Ready to apply this to your UF/IFAS designs? 

Most images will have more than one color contributing to mood of the image. Consider the photos below: 

The vibrant green leaves create the perfect backdrop for the red of the ladybug to stand out. 

The soft pinks and whites of the flowers against the darker, desaturated background create a serene feeling for the viewer.

The icy blue and white landscape emphasize a cold, wintery feel. 

Orange and yellow pigments in the sunset create a warm, relaxed feel. 

The rainbow of colorful shapes move the viewers eyes around the images with a sense of energy. 

Looking for photos for your next project?

Check out the brand new UF/IFAS Photoshelter to find thousands of high-quality images taken by ICS Photographers. The design team is also always available to help you find the perfect photo.


Posted: November 28, 2023

Category: , UF/IFAS Graphics

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories