Color Theory, Part 3
For color theory, Part 3 – If you want to create your own covers, or if you are a part of selecting your cover in your published work, you need to understand color theory.
What happens when you select a cover color predominantly from the family of yellows?
The Basics of Color Theory, Part 3
Color theory is the associations and impressions we get when confronted with a certain color or set of colors. Color matters.
Yellow and its family of colors
Yellow is a vibrant color but it is rather difficult to see against a white background. If your cover is mainly white, yellow is a poor choice for author or title lettering unless you outline the yellow in a darker color.
We associate yellow with sunshine but also with lemons, which can evoke either cleanliness or a car that just never seems to work right. Yellow can also evoke cowardice and caution. It can also feel like early springtime, particularly in the northeastern United States. This is because two early flowers, forsythia and daffodils, are primarily yellow in color.
It can also remind us of taxis and urban living. But it can also remind us of Buddhist monks’ saffron robes, or even the spice saffron itself, which is rare and expensive. In science fiction, it signifies an intermediate alert, a cause for concern but not out and out panic. But we also use an amber alert for locating missing children.
Gold more closely aligns with wealth and winning. We may also associate it with wedding rings and even old-fashioned false teeth. Gold is scarce. However, adding it can feel a bit much, like gilding the lily, as opposed to illuminating a sacred manuscript. Gold has ancient associations with wealth, and was reportedly used in the Ark of the Covenant.
Add yellow to your book cover for a splash of sunshine or wealth, or scarcity, depending on the shade.