Agents of Orange

If you’ve been following our recent posts on the color orange and how it is applied to logo design and website usability, surely, by now, you are aware that orange is a festive and vibrant way to highlight your designs. Well, here are a few examples of how some of the biggest names in modern graphic design have implemented various shades of orange in their designs to create a mood or enhance an element of their design.

Paula Scher

Paula Scher is certainly no wallflower, and her designs are clear evidence of this. Her bold usage of color paired with her daring approach to typography creates a mood that very much came to represent New York City in the 1990’s. So when choosing a color for her book cover, what better color to signify her loud design aesthetic than the highly visible orange. For her posters for “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk,” Scher chose an unmissable orange to mirror the “funk” of the play.

Herb Lubalin

Herb Lubalin’s type specimen for “Avant Garde” uses an orange background to augment the bold, graphic nature of his typeface. Lubalin’s spread for Eros magazine features a blown up portrait of Marilyn Monroe with a bright orange X drawn over her face. The picture was actually a negative the photographer had crossed off his contact sheet, but Lubalin saw design where the photographer saw a bad photo. The bright orange, which symbolizes youth and vivaciousness, is the perfect match to represent Ms. Monroe’s star quality.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass (and much of the New York School) sought to break design down to its elements; using distilled imagery and flat colors, Bass designed posters that perfectly encapsulated both the mood of the films, and the style of the times. His use of color was impeccable, the darker orange of the Vertigo poster signifies deceit and distrust – one immediately knows what the film is about, not through imagery, but through color. The red-orange in his Anatomy of a Murder poster represents passion, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.

Orange is undoubtedly a power color, as made evident by three of the biggest names in design. And while they serve as excellent examples, they are certainly not the only designers to use orange. Here is some more inspiration from around the web!

Did these orange pieces brighten your day?

This is third and last in a series of posts about orange color theory and design inspiration.

Stay tuned for posts on the next color in the spectrum: yellow!

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