Shades Of Gray: Silver Linings in Somber Colors

While the book certainly has taken the literary world by storm, besting even the well-loved Harry Potter series, not a lot of people will admit, or even think of gray as their favorite color. But while it may not always seem like it, gray is a tactical color advantage when it comes to designs. It is a cool, conservative color that very rarely evokes any kind of strong emotion, making it perfect for any neutral themes in mind, and can be matched up with stronger tones to balance them out, or it can also be used to channel tranquility and order whenever used singularly. It is a very timeless color that that lends grounding and a quiet formality to any product. It is a favorite color for men’s suits for work, formal wear, for weddings, and among the more popular colors for business cards, not having the sharp tang of ivory or the taut directness of white. It is cool. It is calm. It is collected.

It can be a replacement color for the very typical, and very one dimensional black or white, and the hues range from something as pale as ash, to something as shiny as silver, then dark as charcoal. Gray can be taupe, gunmetal, mousy, pearl, slate, or charcoal. It can be nearly as dark as the blackest of black, as intense as its mystery or as light as white, feathery and frail. It never makes excuses for itself, and never has to beg to be noticed. It can stand alone, or in a crowd, but it will always, in its quiet little ways, stand out.

Gray can also be used to highlight and bring out the qualities of other colors, to be used as a completely complementary element. Some grays have hues of blue and purple, while some have slight little undertones of a blush, or brown or pink or lavender. Grays can be feminine when matched with pastels, or hard and intense when matched with bolder colors like red or fiery orange. Gray can be very reminiscent of the thundering calm that comes before a storm, a great, silent, looming, seemingly unthreatening force. In a card, gray lends its humble intensity, the promise of strength behind a face of cool deference.

Gray is the color of compromise, being in the middle of two opposite non-colors of the color spectrum. It is the color of conformity; of a calm, dependable and practical convention. It is a subdued color, the color of reservation, sometimes drab, sometimes boring, always elegant, always formal. It never aims to shock, and although in itself it is never glamorous; it is a light, helpful color upon which glamour can be built. It controls other wild colors, tames the stronger ones. It never means to overpower, only ever helpful it aims to enhance, to bring out the best in other colors, other visual elements it happens to find itself paired up with. It knows its place, and it always knows how to fit in, whether in a cold wintery environment with frost and the color white, or with earthy brown tones or loud and obnoxious reds. Gray is the harbinger of color harmony.

This is a guest post by Laura Brentley. She is the Manager for Online Sales for Card Printing US, a company which specializes in print and design gift cards. With a background in printing business, she is also an avid guest blogger who likes to share her expertise through guest blogging on design and tech sites.